Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Suitable Match--Discussion Thread

In A Suitable Match, our heroine prays to get the job which is just about as sweet as pie.  The Little Mijnheer and  have undergone periods of Abrupt Involuntary Sabbatical (early on in his career--I'll never forgive one of his employers for moving the company to Cyprus--in the Mediterranean(!)--two weeks after we signed the papers on our first house.  Though they were willing to move us out we opted to job search. (I was not going to give birth on an island with unresolved political issues.)) and, let me tell you, we were praying.

Grandpa chooses a chocolate from the box with care (Betty Debbie says, 'Me too, I hate to be surprised by a gross fruity chocolate.').  I'm a huge nut/chocolate fan so all of that is cool with me but cherries in chocolate feels like a massive bummer.  I love cherries.  I love chocolate.  The sum of them both is nonexistent in relation to their parts.

Grandpa had been in India and Burma 1940-1945 and stayed in India after the war.  Eustascia's dad was born there.  Burma is now known as Myanmar and that makes me wonder why the English-speaking world bothers to change the names of cities or countries as they themselves do.  Seems to me that it's applied inconsistently.  For instance: We call it Germany.  Spanish-speakers call it Alemania (my favorite) and natives call it Deutschland.  No one is offended by this variation (not that I know of).  Then there's the German city of Munich which they call München.
But then when Bombay went through the trouble of re-naming themselves Mumbai (from the English Bombay) I was super-cool with them changing what they wanted to be called (though an actual Indian told me he thought it was silly) but confused about why English-speakers would then change what they call it as well.
But then, I'm a bit inconsistent myself.  I was thrilled to bits to go back to calling Stalingrad St. Petersburg.

Our heroine plays with plastic space creatures with Teddy and Oliver and engages in a theological discussion about the afterlife with the boys.  Sounds like your typical afternoon at Casa van Voorhees...

Eustacia skateboards down a slope in the backyard which you might think was a bad idea.  I wonder if the dinner was burning at the time...


  1. Betty Barbara here--
    Ahhh, the best thing about those big Whitman's Sampler boxes of chocolates was the diagram inside the lid that indicated which kind of chocolate was where. (And death to anyone who shuffled the chocolates as the box emptied!!). I, too, believe that chocolate covered cherries are among the grossest of confections, to be avoided like the plague. But chocolate/nut combos can't be beat!

    I wondered about the skateboarding scene; they were supposedly on a grassy slope. Can't see that skateboard wheels would work too well on grass. It would be like trying to roller skate on grass. (I am personally most familiar with Gen 1 skateboards--vintage 1960's into early 70's--I would love to see some of the current skateboarding wizards trying their stunts on those old, tiny, heavy, stiff skateboards! But I digress...)
    But I thought it was charming that she was willing to try.

  2. The skateboard scene gave me cold sweats...if it had been me, I would have fallen and done myself some grave bodily damage.

    Here in the Western United States, we have a candy company called See's. They sell a mix called 'Nuts and Chews'. There isn't a fruity one in the mix!

  3. Betty Debbie

    Ah yes, See's Candies. Sigh--very, very good candy. Very Good. So happy it is not easily available here in the east. I will NOT bookmark their home page, so as to avoid temptation.

    Betty Barbara

  4. I love the fruity chocolates, so you can send them my way! :-)

    Unfortunately, I like the nutty ones too, but I will happily send those nasty vanilla creams -- blecch.

    Did anyone else get the sense that The Great Betty was borrowing from her grandson when she wrote the scenes with the boys?

  5. Her grandson, Magdalen, or perhaps a patient or two.

    Jason was hospitalized on average once a year for the first 16 years of his life. We were very familiar with hospital routines and by the time he was ready to go home, especially if he'd found a buddy, he'd be getting into all kinds of creative mischief. :)

    One of my favorite hospital stories is from one time when Jason had been in intensive care for several days - he'd been vomiting non-stop and had gotten very dehydrated. So the third day he was finally moved out of the ICU but was still on the clear liquid diet. When breakfast trays were brought in that first morning, he looked at his tray of jello, broth, juice and hot tea, then looked at mine with oatmeal with raisins, a sticky bun, scrambled egg and bacon and said, "They sure don't feed kids good around here."

    I like chocolate. I do appreciate a box with a diagram, especially if it's a brand I'm not familiar with. I got a luscious box of Belgian chocolates for Christmas - actually, two of 'em. One had a diagram and one didn't. Much prefer the ones with diagrams, but I've rarely met a chocolate I didn't like. (Except the chocolate covered grasshopper my nephew sicced on me once with out telling me!)


  6. Is it just my faulty memory or didn't La Neels do a little more theatre work than ward work? Your talk about patients made me wonder...

    Also, even though I don't get fancy chocolate boxes very much (I am an absolute egalitarian when it comes to chocolate--bad chocolate can satisfy my sweet tooth almost as well as good chocolate), we do sort of have the rule that if you take a little nibble out to see what it was then it is entirely permissible to put it back and let some other friend/sister/spouse have it.

  7. My sister Kim was a champion poker of chocolates. Every Christmas, as a sort of joke, Dad bought a 5lb box of Linette chocolates. After she picked out the known quantities, like the nut cups and peanut butter cups and caramels, she'd begin poking to avoid maple and lemon creams, raspberry creams, etc. Dad would eat those, but he hated having them poked. Kim would lift them out of the box, poke the bottom to see the filling and then put them back in the box if she wasn't interested. Or she'd wander around the house with the poked piece trying to get someone to eat it.

    I thought, btw, that Mrs Neels was a ward sister - women's or men's surgical? I have to go and look it up, now. :)


  8. From the article posted on Lou's website, it appears she did it all - ward sister, theatre sister - she was everywhere. And a clinic after her semi-retirement.