Thursday, March 3, 2011

At the End of the Day--Discussion Thread

Dr. Reed: a nice quiet little man who loved his work - he had a very large wife and any number of small children.  Don't tell me that The Great Betty didn't know her way around character sketches...

Marwar wasn't going to let a little thing like rigid gender roles make her lose her nerve...
Julia is an indifferent driver...'ever since the time she had rammed the butcher's van on a tricky corner, her nerve had suffered.' The Founding Bettys were raised in a no-nonsense fashion.  Feminine squeamishness about 'nerves' or 'running over a family of five' were not given a soft place wherein to lay its head.  For instance, Betty Debbie wrote these words for me, 'You may throw me under the bus and reveal my teenage nickname: Crash Hanna.'  Not one to miss throwing anyone under the bus, I will brush aside my stellar driving record (we'll put it up on the highest shelf, here) and offer up Betty Debbie's head on a platter record for review.  She rolled a van.  Not even our family's van, if memory serves.  I'm sure my father was furious/terrifed, however, I'll bet you anything, he made her drive to church that next Sunday.

Julia is possibly the only heroine to own and watch her own TV set.  But it's 1982 so nothing's on TV...Now, now, I'm just kidding.  She could have watched The Young Ones, the World Cup, 'Allo, 'Allo...

Demi: Be a darling, Ashton, and fetch me a drink...
The unfairness that a man at 42 was still worth looking at, but that a woman of 30 was getting past it.  I must quote Bette Davis:  Bill's thirty-two. He looks thirty-two. He looked it five years ago, he'll look it twenty years from now. I hate men. 
One of the only things I remember from a History of the Middle East class I took in college was hearing a folk saying summed up as men are trees and women are flowers.  I'll say.

Why did hospital authorities go nap on green?  (Yes, nap is a funny word.) Here's an article that attempts an answer: Green may be especially well-suited to help doctors see better in the operating room because it is the opposite of red on the color wheel. Green could help physicians see better for two reasons. First, looking at blue or green can refresh a doctor’s vision of red things, including the bloody innards of a patient during surgery. If a surgeon stares at something that’s red and pink, he becomes desensitized to it. The red signal in the brain actually fades, which could make it harder to see the nuances of the human body. Looking at something green from time to time can keep someone’s eyes more sensitive to variations in red.

He's good at Scrabble, he tells her smugly.  I am rotten at Scrabble.  Betty Debbie is good.  She's only a little smug.  I don't have the crucial word-jumble gene.  I'm also missing the Eye of the Tiger...

As she gets ready for the trip to Holland Julia checks the contents of her purse: passport, Dutch money, cheque book, safety pins, snaps of her baby nephew, a lucky charm she wouldn't have dreamt of leaving behind, a pock screw driver and of course her make-up.  I have pens, a wallet, four metal zippers (I'm looking for crafting inspiration) and old receipts.

Lauris says she'll be a great mother - 'the type to play cricket while dinner burns'.  Don't tell me The Great Betty didn't know her way around character sketches...


  1. It's been some time since I read this one but I remember that wonderful description of Julia as a mother about playing cricket while dinner burns.

    Rather like calling an American mom the Kool-Aid Mom. (I was she.)


  2. Betty Barbara here--
    Love to drive! and I am considered to be a good driver.
    Scrabble--I used to play it a lot and be fairly good. I haven't played in years and probably would do poorly.
    And thanks for the article on green in the operating room. Fascinating. I had often wondered, but never bothered looking it up. Makes sense to me...

    Currently in purse--wallet, nylon shopping bag, datebook, two notebooks, envelope of grocery coupons, pen, cough drops and lip balm. And, of course, a paperback book. I do not travel anywhere without something to read!!

  3. Once my chartered accountant was in hospital on some heavy duty pain meds for a week. I was 10 days from due with our 5th little pledge of mutual affection (preggo brain is my excuse here)... he beat me at scrabble every afternoon. He took 10 minutes a turn, but he beat me. Now, I won't play unless there's a time limit (sort of like there's a handicap in golf). :-)
    That was a tough week. All the nurses kept cracking jokes about how L & D was right around the corner if I needed it. It was the only time I prayed to go out past my due date. I did. he was home before I went into labor. Whew!