Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Is War.

Drop. The. Puck. Ref.
I don't know as we've ever formalized the terms of the battle.  Yes, there have been 'sorties and surprises', ambushes, minor skirmishes, strafings and sniper attacks.  But a head-on fight, such as that of a fully operational Death Star versus a small but plucky band of determined Rebels?  No.

And though we amiable Bettys rub along well enough--like a band of Pilgrims and Indians enjoying a Thanksgiving feast--we know it's there.  Under the surface.  The knowledge that tomahawks and flint locks are not far at hand should the final reckoning come.
Mistress Goode Mindwell handed over the bread with a winning smile but couldn't help herself.  'Olivia' she growled.  Chief  Six Feathers of the Wampanoag thought 'That's torn it' and threw down his tomahawk with a cry of 'Araminta!'  Next year, Thanksgiving was going to be awk. ward.
I know we all have them.  Our favorite books, our favorite themes, our favorite characters...And it's time to roll your sleeves up and show your ill-advised Betty tats.

Which team are you?  Araminta or Olivia?


  1. Smack. Down.

    I would take a plucky Araminta over an Olivia most days of the week.

    I identify much more with the usually short, plump, poor and plainish Araminitas (but I don't care for limp dishrag Aramintas).

  2. Definately the Aramintas.

    I believe the reason BN is soooo popular is because of the Aramintas. Most girls IRL are Aramintas. Most girls who read Harlequins are Aramintas. Ergo the popularity.

    Can you tell I was an Araminta growing up?

    When you are shy and prefer books to wild, unruly classmates, you end up being an Araminta.

    I must say as well, even though Betty Debbie loves the spunky Aramintas, I know that most dear readers of the great BN are not naturally spunky Aramintas (myself included).

    The spunky Aramintas get their life in great gear with great jobs and sensible husbands. They are brave to the nth degree.

    I am not.


    Therefore, I like to read all about our dear Aramintas and how they braved their new worlds. And live vicariously through them.

    A show of hands for those who find their life so unlike the brave BN gals????

  3. Team Araminta for me. In my real life I work very hard not to hold a gorgeous, put-together woman's awesomeness against her but when I read La Neels I like that those girls have a bigger hill to climb and that the heroes have to be EXTRA in love when they finally fall--not having long legs or blonde hair to grease the skids, as it were.

  4. Minties for sure!
    Basically Betty books are always all about the looks, perhaps mirroring real life? It gets tiring in the Olivia tales when the Doc goes on about how pretty the heroine is and that's one of the reasons they are attracted. Yet in the Minty books the hero has to work past his preconceptions of beauty and has a larger character growth.
    I think we're all Olivia's but imagine we're Araminta types. Be confident in your looks, act plucky and meet lots of people, do good and with a little luck (and perhaps a small gas explosion) and hot loaded Euro's will fall into your lap. Betty AnHK

  5. Is Betty Magdalen still in Scotland? I actually look forward to her comments on this topic, as I think she can argue for both sides. I'm on Team Araminta, but I really enjoy it when the Olivias who are smallish are stereotyped into being weak to boot when in fact they are the opposite. Think Sister Adelaide Peters or Nurse Harriet or Eliza Proudfoot. I also enjoy reading about the Amazon Olivias who (as someone mentioned recently) can literally look down on their wimpy pre-RDD boyfriends and kick their butts.

    An Olivia who was most annoying was Victoria in Victory for Victoria--pouty and jealous. Who's your least favorite Olivia?

  6. Hey, can anyone think of an Araminta who was not small? She's small by definition, right? Because I don't think I remember any heroines who were plain AND "outsized."

  7. Betty Lulu--that's exactly what I've been thinking about today. Small and plain but never tall and plain, right? Are there some who are tallish but stacked yet still plain (with beautiful eyes, of course)?

  8. Dear Betty Keira,

    For my birthday will you please compose a book filled with stanzas of witty prose and illustration captions?

    Thank you. That is all.

  9. (Love, Betty NotQuitetheBradys)

  10. Wasn't there ONE tall Araminta? I vaguely recollect... Perhaps she is an outlier.

  11. Thank you Betty HK!

    It's all in the confidence, isn't it.

    I love your formula for success--

    That's the other thing I noticed about the heroines, they are all hard workers. They are full of energy and pluck. And work the extra mile. One of the reasons they totally stand out to the RD's. It's easy to slack when everyone around you is slacking off. In some cultures (meaning areas or cities), everyone slacks off. I noticed that in the bigger cities, you can get away with more. But that's another issue.

    One of the things that attracted me to BN was the hard-working heroines.

    One of my most memorable ones was Sadie, I believe. She lost her house and then housekept for an outlier, LOL. The house is sideways to the road, a largish cottage in the middle of nowhere where he could type out his screenplays. He had two daughters and the horrible Miss Finch as their governess. That woman had a cushy job.

    Well, SAdie impressed me totally in that book. How much she worked!!!! She got up at 6 every morning and didnt' stop till she went to bed. She took a break every day after lunch, not to nap, or read a book, or go on the net, but to go for her daily constitution. Probably with a dog. And she did all her work without making a peep. Does BN have any idea how loud pots and pans are????

    Another thing I noticed was that the heroines always find MORE work to do. They not only do the job they were hired to do, but they keep adding to the list. Remember that Araminta in NE England with the two great aunts? She was hired to help keep the house quiet, to take care of tradesmen and that's it. She ended up doing all sorts of extra jobs that she took on herself just because. Just because. I bet, secretly, she was totally infatuated with Dr. Bigwig that she WANTED to impress him. LOL

    BN is sneaky.

  12. I want to say that Cassandra in Cassandra By Chance was a tall drink of well as, perhaps, Laura in The Hasty Marriage.

  13. Olivia's are generally the big gals, right?
    Well, at 5'8" plus and full figures, 3 of the K Bettys are probably Olivias. And just the 3 of us could take on you whole gang of Arimintas. Considering yourselves glove smacked.!

    Betty Megan is a more dainty type, but cute. Her hair is more mink than mouse but she's got those pretty eyes. Is there an outliers team? I'd hate to go up against a family member. Although right now she might not mind lobbing a few books at me!

  14. Hey Olivias!!!!

    You can't glove-smack us and get away with it! Right Aramintas!!!...Aramintas????

    Don't leave me all alone! It's one against three!!!!!


  15. I'm here alone. But like in Betty's books we Olivias are outnumbered by you
    Arimintas. So, I've collected a few Betty bombs to lob your way.
    My first logical choice, that grumpy doorslamming Mary Pagett!
    Behind her, I've got Celine "I'm a country girl" Baylis.
    And the girl who'd “prefer to go by bus.”, the blonde (like Betty Brigid), Miss Claribel Brown.
    Watching our backs is "big and burly" Prudence (Not) Makeing the Peace.
    The Mature, battle worn Beatrice and the original Olivia are our experienced reinforcements waiting on the ramparts.

    We are conscripting Ariminta Shaw, who surely sounds like an Olivia to me. Pretty, honey colored hair, long legs, above middle height!
    We may need the outliers to swell our ranks, Betty gave your side an unfair majority.
    I'm sure more will join us when they hear the Olivia battle-cry. "Don't call me Burly!"

  16. It's Araminta Shaw who keeps getting me confused on which type is which.

  17. Team Olivia for me! And sorry, Betty Lulu, but I can't argue it both ways.

    Understand, I love the Minties, but I love the Olivias even more. Here's why.

    They're beautiful but NEVER vain. I'd rather hang out (in book form) with a matter-of-fact Olivia who knows that looks don't count for anything,that they won't assure her a date with that ridiculously handsome Dutch consultant whom she met on a walking tour of the South Coast, that she'll still get dumped by the hateful Nick when he has a chance to marry the boss's daughter (who's very plain), and who worries just as much that she's going to have to work as a ward sister until old age because the love of her life (aforementioned RDD) is impervious to her charms.

    By contrast, the Minties are too conscious of their looks. If they put on make-up it doesn't look good. They "pay for dressing" but only after he's set up accounts at Harrod's and Le Bonneterie. They're sensitive about their looks. Sure they're fabulous nurses, and I love them, I do, but not as much as the Olivias.

    When an Olivia has a black moment, that's as precious to me as when an Araminta is swept up into his arms because it means that looks can't protect you from heartache.

    As a Cassandra in real life (tall, outsize & not beautiful) who's gotten two REWs (Rich English Whatevers) to fall in love with me, I don't need to read an Araminta book. But I'll never know what it feels like to be an Olivia.

  18. Betty Barbara here--
    Sorry it has taken me so long to weigh in (*snork*). I belong to team "I'm not a doormat". And, alas, Betty non-doormats are not thick on the ground.
    I love the Aramintas and Olivias who are well aware of their worth. I have a hard time with some of my Araminta heroines: Hello, Tabitha, wear the new dress to the party! Don't knuckle under to your ratty step-sister!!
    Likewise there are Olivias who start out with these ratbags (houseman Nick, etc). Darling Olivia-how did you end up with this dude? Brain dead?
    FYI, I was a quasi-Araminta in my dating days. I'm the one whose granny always said "oh, you'd be so pretty if only you lost weight"! Average height, with regular facial features, and an unfortunate tendency to carry extra weight.
    But hey, I got my man(39 years ago). He may not be an RDD, but we suit each other Just Fine!

  19. Oh, I sooooo agree about Tabitha and the dress!

  20. Team Araminta, we can pull the trump card: Caroline's Waterloo, which is an overwhelming favorite (although I don't remember if it was a favorite with Team Olivia).

  21. Alright, Betty Mary, I had to do some research, but here are some return volleys:
    --I wouldn't consider Celine Baylis a weapon with real firepower...couldn't see through that overly gushing Nicky...meets with him even AFTER she discovered he's married!
    --Tishy (Small Slice of Summer) braves a bull to save her man.
    --Beth Partridge (Star Looks Down), never sailed before, saves children in a runaway boat.
    --Jemima (Dream Come True) single-handedly subdues bossy employer and sustains said employer and her disabled maid in a blizzard.

    Why can't Team Araminta claim Cassandra? If the pretty/large girls and the pretty/small girls are both Olivias, then it's only fair that Team Araminta gets to claim both the plain/small girls and the plain/large girls (Cassandra). Right? I didn't think I could find more tall/plains, but here's a potential tall Araminta: Emma Dawson (takes two jobs to support helpless mother).

    BTW, kudos to Betty Debbie for laying the bait.

  22. Good point Betty Magdalen that an Olivia seems to dodge the bullet of overt self-consciousness that often weighs down the Araminta.

    I do respect a pretty youngish thing like Harriet from Holland that has the wherewithal to overlook both her good lucks and a nickname like haughty Harry and can leap raging dykes and be a nursing Macgyver with a swiss army knife.

    I love the Neels trope when a strong resourceful good looking or not Betty literally saves the day with her commonsense and gungho spirit. Like looker from the book where they go to former Yugosavia on a Hurricane and save the war, or something.

    But in due contrast imagine the heightened gumption and good plain cheerful stroppiness of the belagured yet awesome heroine like Becky from 'The Pursuit of Happiness'; Polly a greek scholar from, er, 'Polly'; Cordelia the backtalking Nanny from Magic in Venice; and Caroline, the nursery rhyme baby saving nurse type, from 'A Girl in a Million' who all have to endure insults from hero and hero's other sqeeze Mevrouw Von Meanypoo and save the day.

    Though most Olivia's are veering to Junoesque/chunky monkey proportions which does create a few choice verbal insults and reduces the possibility of vanity.

    But I must confess that the MOC plot is not a favourite and as Olivia's often tend to go that route - that character is just tainted by plotline. If I wanted to hear about a marriage that gets colder and less interesting as it progresses I might as well listen to the real-life divorce saga's from friends of friends!
    Betty AnHK

  23. "...tainted by plotline..." I think you're hilariously on to something, Betty AnHK. I'm not as crazy about some of the Olivia plot pivots and so, perhaps, that's why they don't endear themselves to me to the same extent. (There are a lot of exceptions, though. And even an Araminta, if she's mopey and inconsolable about her life (whistle*Tishy*whistle) I'm not going to be crazy about.)

    If fellow Bettys are tempted to suggest that this Araminta-love comes from a Cinderella-need-to-be-rescued place I might remind them that Cinderella was an Olivia (a babe, even though she paid for dressing) and that the Aramintas remind me more forcibly of the legend of the Phoenix--a battered bird that casts itself into a consuming fire (hopeless love?--Oh the symbolism!) only to emerge as the glorious powerful fowl she always was...

  24. Betty Barbara here--
    "Mevrouw von Meanypoo"--I do believe that Betty AnHK has come up with a winner! Now we just need a similar name for her English counterpart--

  25. LOL

    "Lady Meanypoo"

    "Miss Meanypoo"

    I'm not creative.

  26. Honorable Hottie-Haughtypants ?


  27. I met an Araminta.

    She is petite, generously endowed, hard worker, early 30's, wants lots of kids. She says she is attracted to non-skinny men who are dark haired.

    She wants to get married ASAP.

    But how do I find her an RDD??? or its equivalent????

    She is finding it very very difficult.

    So what were the rules again for finding a RDD for an Araminta????

  28. Step One: Avoid America
    Step Two: ??????????
    Step Three: Saying yes to becoming Professor Cor van Hoorst ter Brandt's main squeeze.

    It's a simple, fail-proof plan.

  29. Would she be agreeable to visiting a European Marian Shrine? ;-) Our Lady is a great matchmaker. It worked for 3 Olivias and a Oliver in my extended family, me included. Two of the Olivias were in their late 30's (not me, I was 23.) The Oliver was in his early 30's and had never dated. Most of us met Americans on pilgrimage with us, but my gal cousin met a German man at a shrine in the former Yugoslavia(now Bosnia-Herzegovina). She was 38, he a little younger. They now have 2 girls (15 & 13). He moved here and became a SAHD, for several years.
    All 4 couples are still together. Most of us 30+ years.
    I'll light a candle for her. 0O{<B

  30. There is a shrine in Bosnia-H? So cool.

    I will tell her to go there. LOL I wonder what she will say. LOL

    Someone wrote the BN steps somewhere (don't remember).

    I'd like to add to the above post:

    Step 1: Don't move to America. (unfortunately she did; from Europe. Hence the ability to work hard)

    Step 2: She should go back to Europe? Where in Europe? She doesn't want to go to her homeland or marry anyone from there.

    Step 3: She is in the medical field. Already. But not successfully; therefore a good candidate for ARaminta. I know. I could ask her to do some volunteer job...hmmm...medical related.

    Step 4: Volunteer BN's style: Read to an elderly lady who will die in your hands. Help sick children in some clinic. Help the poor in a bad part of town, but make sure RDD picks you up and takes you there. Join a medical team and go to a war torn city. (But I think she wouldn't qualify).

    Step 5: Go to hospital balls and meet cute RDD's who are dancing with cuter girls at the ball and get jealous and eat too much profiteroles.

    Step 6: Get a job at a private medical office as a janitor/char woman and get verbally bashed by the lovely Miss Haughtypants that come there for no apparent reason. Sigh* But overcome all the odds of cute chubby dark RDD ever falling for Miss H, and instead, inspire him to notice what a good worker Miss ARaminta is.

    Step 7: (Lost count) After several weeks of not being noticed and finally getting a real paycheck, buy some snazzy new clothes that will make cute chubbs notice her. Hopefully. Or at least make a sarcastic comment which proves he did notice her.

    Step 7. Get mad at him. Hopefully does not quit. Yet.

    Step 8. Has young medical registrar take her out on a date in front of RDD. Yeah! Show him!

    Step 9. RDD starts to look at her. Really look. He notices that she has a voluptuous figure that tells him that she wants lots of babies. He starts imagining life with lots of babies. And his old dreams come back. He starts thinking about living in the country because it's better for the babies.

    step 9. He get grumpier and meaner. To everybody. She tells him off! He kisses her.

    Step 10. She tells him off again. Meanie Miss H. tells her she is engaged to him and to lay off. She quits by calling in sick and telling the offic manager that she needs a letter of recommendation.

    step 10. RDD finds out of course. This is America. He gets mad again. She fights back. There is a big row. He gets embarrassed. And avoids her like the plague. She is miserable and feeling truly ill.

    next step> He calls her a week after she quits and tells her he needs her to help his um female relative who is ill and needs a nurse to attend to her. My Miss A accepts because she needs the money.


    See--I'm writing my own BNs novel for my Miss Araminta! How cool is that!

  31. 1Francesca is Someone Else because for some reason my blog name says it won't let me post...something to do with ? forgot.

  32. 1Francesca is Someone Else because for some reason my blog name says it won't let me post...something to do with ? forgot.

  33. Now it works? Sorry about that hosts. forgive me for double posting.


  34. Hello Gals,

    Just finished watching for the umpteenth time "Small Town Girl" From the 1930's. About Janet Gaynor the BN girl who marries a rich doctor from Boston -- a MOC. RD is in love with another woman, but can't marry her. I missed the beginning, but he ends up marry our BN gal instead. She falls in love with him early on in the marriage. His family loves her. And clothes do make her. She wears the coolest feminine outfits at home.

    His ex-lover comes home from abroad and they hook up. The evil ex invites him over to spend the night and he can't say no.

    The BN part--> we find out the the evil ex would receive phone calls from the hospital all the time to give a message to the young doctor that he is needed right away, and she thinks it's not important and lets it slide.

    But the BN wife thinks much differently. She thinks its very important to help him be a better doctor/surgeon and comes to her apt and tells him personally to go to the hospital.

    She knows he's in love with the evil B, so she goes home to her family.

    Totally cool BN film.

  35. Betty Barbara here--
    But, but...does the film have an HEA? Does Doctor husband come to his senses and ditch the witch? You can never tell with those old movies--they liked to throw weeper endings at you.
    (I am assuming that was Betty AnHK who posted about "Small Town Girl").

  36. Not me posting previously about the "Small Town Girl" film, but this film sounds adorable on IMDB. Or possibly annoying. I hope I can see it somehow soon, kisses
    Betty AnHK

    Is there a real adaption Bettty Neels film? Love to see that...