Monday, February 21, 2011

The Awakened Heart - Discussion Thread

Sophie has to rearrange her shift a ton because of Ida--a chronically ill nurse.  We never find out what it is that Ida has. Is it chronic? Is it communicable? Is she faking? I want to know.

Rijk's home has an onion dome and a moat.  He says, 'It's quite cozy inside.' Personally, I think it sounds a Disney-esque/Slavic way.  I do have to wonder about a Dutch house with a moat and onion dome...somehow it doesn't seem very Dutch. It seems just a wee bit like having a mock Tudor in Southern California...complete with palm trees.

speaking of 'well corseted'...
Sophie's future mother-in-law is described as having 'well-corseted stoutness'.  I'm old enough to remember my mother wearing a girdle (not that she really needed it then)back in the 1960's - the kind with suspender clips for nylons.  When she discovered pantyhose, that sounded the death knell for her girdle.  I was old enough at the time to be privy to my mother's thrill at tossing away the girdle...her nod to Women's Lib.
Rijk tells her that 'a good deal of my wealth is the result of no doubt ill gotten gains from my merchant ancestors'.  Evidently the Hanna Bettys come from a line of shining examples of sterling reputation...with the commiserate impecunity that comes with.  Just kidding.  We're pretty sure that we can count a horse thief or two if we go back far enough. Unfortunately horse-thievery is not the kind of career that leads to a boatload of ill gotten gains.  It more likely led to a boatload of deported criminals.

The rector tells them that he 'may have the happy task of christening your children.'  Betty Keira wondered if Anglicans christen? Has she forgotten that christening (or re-christening) is a major plot device in The Importance of Being Earnest? Here's a picture from my favorite version.


  1. Of course we christen babies. (I say we -- I'm a lapsed Episcopalian, aka "American Anglican.") I have or had godparents and somewhere a solid silver porringer as a present. I am also a godmother, although I have yet to be called upon for any official duties in that regard.

    Now, about the onion dome: here is a Fries castle. Not quite what I'd pictured for Rijk's house, but you get the idea.

  2. I like the idea of a would give them a built-in skating rink in winter.

    I'm still not convinced an onion dome is anything more than an affectation - though perhaps those merchant ancestors of his were a bit tacky...the type to build Swiss chalet styles homes in Florida or Moorish stucco in Scotland.

  3. Betty Barbara here--
    The reference to girdles sure did bring back memories. My mother, a natural beanpole, always wore one when she 'dressed up'. That was in the 50's. And yes, sometime after we moved to Hawaii (1957), the girdle vanished, never to be seen again(Surprise, surprise).
    Betty Magdalen-thanks for the photos. I think the onion domed house is quite charming, though a bit small for our RDD.
    And of course the onion dome was an affectation! or a style statement or merely 'keeping up with the (neighbors, burgermeister, etc)'.

  4. Girdles aren't dead they are just more comfortable. My older girls are wearing Spanx. And I've see guys are wearing them to hold in their beer guts....Mirdles? I'm not joking.

  5. I'm nearly 52 years old. I say that to show that I was a pre-teen in the late-sixties and early-seventies. My mother wouldn't have dreamed of going out of the house without her girdle. She cleaned houses for extra money and she even wore it then. :)

    My sisters had panty girdles, as they were called - just to hold in that puffy tummy. And of course they all had garter belts.

    We had several pairs of cable knit stockings, my sister and I, for cold winter days - we weren't allowed to wear pants to school back then. We could wear a pair of pants to school which we then took off for class, put back on for recess, removed for the rest of class and put back on for going home. Heavy stockings were easier. For them, I had my own garter belt when I was about 10, I guess. I was allowed to wear stockings in 6th grade and by then pantyhose had come out. My first pair were L'eggs, and it was for a cousin's wedding.

    I felt so grown up!