Friday, May 10, 2013

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo


In case you've a yearning to hear the song.

If we are honest with ourselves, I think we all have to admit that no matter the joys of brand new children or grandchildren, smokin’ hot crossword-puzzle experts at the breakfast table, new homes for furbishment in the West (Texas) Country, or placid husbands who gaze lovingly at us whilst driving with quiet competence across several counties so we can explore the Cheddar Gorge or Carlsbad Caves or whatever, that there are moments when we’d be tempted to trade it all in for life in Betty-land.  After all, Amelia Esmerelda has all that plus an account at Harrod’s and a pair of butlers, and a dog that apparently never bespoils the Aubusson.  Plus she has an array of Aubussons.

I know you’d never really give up your wonderful family and friends for a luxurious home in Menkemaborg, a Mini of your own and a future full of little boys who will grow to very big boys indeed and lovely-eyed little girls who are pretty when they smile, all tromping about the gardens in Wellington boots with Old Trott and two boys standing by to repair the damage – but.  Every now and now, you think about it.

So I’m curious:  what’s your single favorite element of the Fantasyland that is Amelia Esmerelda’s post-nuptial life?  I’m going to do another little poll thing like the Christmas-scene poll of a few months back (December, I think it was).  My candidates would of course include faithful retainers, which just seems like a blissful accoutrement of the good life.  But you may wish to nominate three course lunches, splendid teas and four course dinners that don’t lead to inappropriate weight gain, or impeccably well-behaved children (and even stepchildren, though they may be quite horrid at first), or a socking great dress allowance, the figure to pull off haute couture ballgowns, or antique epergne and tallboys that are neither dented nor odd smelling and never need polishing (by you, anyway).

Lunch at Betty's.
 
Once I have your ideas, I’ll put up that poll.  If you’d care to disclose why you most appreciate the element of Bettylife you nominate, that might make for entertaining reading.

31 comments:

  1. Excuse me but Menkemaborg was the name of the castle in Uithuizen, not the name of the town. So you would live a luxurious lifestyle in the Menkemborg in Uithuizen. That's Uithuizen, a village, in Groningen province, in the Netherlands. Not Friesland, but close.
    Uithuizen.

    Betty von Susie

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    1. Betty von Susie, I'm afraid I must blame you for not having drilled Uithuizen firmly enough into my head. Uithuizen, UITHUIZEN, UITHUIZEN!

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    2. I'm sorry, I shall endeavor to do better in the future. In the meanwhile, I will sit here, sipping on my mug of Lady Grey, nibbling on my buttered toast, and pretending that my living room carpet is really a marble floor, done in a classic black and white checkerboard pattern. Also, my couch is a comfortably overstuffed family heirloom, not bought at Macy's, and there is a crackling fire in my fireplace. Sigh, where is Jolly? I need him to spiff up the Rolls for my daily jaunt to Harrods.

      Betty "living in a dream world, but it's nice here" Susie

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  2. Being bilingual, even if Dutch is a fearsomely hard language to learn.
    Houses and flats in various places with no sign of the "two house problem." (That's where no matter what you want, it's in the other house.)
    The faithful retainers--first, they cook and clean for you (here's a blog post about how that tops my list), they worry about you in an unobtrusive manner, they're company in a storm, etc.
    Nice cars.
    I, personally, can live without the fine china and antiques, and I have all the knitting paraphernalia I need. I do have the smoking-hot crossword expert (with the dreamy accent). But that feeling of "everything's okay and will forever be okay..." More of that would be nice.

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    1. Now Mags you know the reason we American girls love our British romance novels is because of HISTORY. We are constantly digging for our roots in America because the further back you can trace your family implies long term literacy which implies long term prosperity which in turn implies RESPECTABILITY. That's why we want to marry peers who live in castles/houses that are older than our entire country, because we have a sneaking suspicion that they (the British) are looking at us out of the corners of their eyes thinking "colonial upstart!".
      Just look at the "dollar princesses" at the first part of the last century, as in, "Daddy made a fortune in railroads and so now mama's going to buy me my very own duke!". I've noticed the current Duke of Somerset and the Duke of Argyll are both very handsome, if anyone is wondering what I would like for Christmas. JK they're both taken :( ....


      Betty von Susie

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    2. Betty Magdalen, I hope you're doing fine, no, make that great. I never knew...
      You may not have all the retainers you would like to have, but I think you are triply blessed.
      #1: For being you.
      #2: For having your very own RichBritishbyBirthNaturalizedAmericanCitizen smoking-hot CrosswordExpert (with the dreamy accent).
      #3: And then there is Betty Henry. Not a faithful retainer, but by all accounts a faithful friend.

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    3. Thanks! Yes, I'm slowly recovering from the surgery, although I have plumbing that still needs removing. (My fault: I will insist on calling surgeons "body plumbers" so of course I end up with flexible tubing...)

      Yes, I am blessed. And boy, is Betty Ross bucking for Saintly Human of the Year status. The stuff that man has done for me in the last month!

      Betty Henry is coming this weekend and Yoo-Hoo to Betty Susie: We're going to eat your yummy chocolate chip cookies! (Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day...but still I'm saving the extra-special ones Betty Susie sent for this weekend.)

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    4. Sorry to hear you had to have surgery! I totally missed this somehow.

      Betty AnoninTX

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    5. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? The other day a lady at the supermarket had chocolate chips. I had completely forgotten - they sell them in ridiculously small boxes over here, 75 grams or 100 grams, depending on the brand, that's 2.65oz or 3.53oz. So if the average recipe for chocolate chippers calls for 1½ or 2 cups/9 or 12oz/255 or 340 grams chocolate chips... Betty A. getting out her pencil, doing rather inaccurate sums on the back of an envelope...

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  3. I agree with the bilingual idea, Betty Magdalen, but how nice would it be to have someone devoted to feeding me in the kitchen? Perhaps I'm looking at it from the wrong viewpoint (giving up my job at the hospital - er, dock - not being an option upon my marriage, I could just be tired of cooking after a long day of work) but having someone who knows how to cook spoiling me by whipping up tempting concoctions of hearty fare, picnic lunches, and French food I can't pronounce? Yes, please.

    (And yes, still Betty Beth... with a new last name!)

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  4. Welcome back, Betty Beth! We want photos.

    Also, I would really, really, really like someone who makes sure there is never feline waste items on the living room hearth. This is just not a strong suit of the Jonkheer's.

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    1. Thanks for the welcome back! I've missed my fellow Bettys, but work took me north out of phone and internet range right after my wedding for quite a while... luckily my husband is understanding! I have some pictures, but no Betty in the Wilds... though I can promise that at least three or four books were read while I worked in Dutch Harbor - does that earn a distance award? :P

      I also have quite a few Betty Neels books around my house which I will email you about - I've replaced several with Kindle books for travel and was hoping to send these off "free to a good home", or perhaps you lovely founding Bettys would rather use them as prizes for various events? I'll email you a list, if you'd like.

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    2. Did you see the Deadlest Catch boats/crew?

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  5. Ooops, I also meant to say Uithuizen.

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  6. Food, glorious food, without fear of weight gain! And Jolly to prepare, serve and clean up! A downstairs maid (because I don't have an upstairs) to do the rest of the cleaning. Time, energy and funds to do all the crochet, sewing and quilting I dream of!

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  7. If the RDD with the unpronounceable name and the knack for knowing exactly where I am when in trouble is not an option then I am going to choose the faithful retainers. Does it matter if the kids are well behaved if Nanny is giving them supper in the nursery, washing them, dressing them and all other things while I get my hair done, shop, have lunch and tea and all of things of great import? If the cooking cleaning, childcare is taken care I suppose I could be one of those horrid female doctors to support the lifestyle.
    Nah, just kidding that fantasy only works with a RDD to bankroll the whole lot.
    Betty Delia

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  8. Incredible food and a house always clean would be my dream. I'd want to spend more time with my kids than what I think most Betty heroines do, however. I'd have more time with them if I didn't have to do laundry or clean. Big clothing budget and a house in the country would be awesome too. Basically less worries than my real life.

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  9. A home in England and a home in the Netherlands, with the Jollys and Hans & Bep running them beautifully. A dog or two stretched out before the fire, and a cat curled up on one of the chairs. A garden, complete with gardener, to do some pottering in when the mood should hit me.

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  10. A spacious townhome in London and an unlimited charge account at Harrods. Then off to RDD's family castle in Holland, surrounded by acres of land, huge kitchen garden (fresh veggies to offset all that rich food you ate in London), with roses and tulips everywhere. Inside, a spacious kitchen with the biggest Aga ever made, basket next to said Aga with long haired calico mommy cat and adorable fluffy kittens being spoiled by Mrs. Jolly. Two beautiful Alsatians to guard me and the four pledges on long walks in the countryside, and I would always look like Suzy Parker, hair glossy, cashmere sweater and tweed skirt spotless, nails painted and unbroken. Also, three meals a day plus a lavish tea and I would never weigh over 7 stone, except when pregnant, much to RDD's relief.

    B von S

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    1. Never weigh over 7 stone? Errrrrrrrrrr... Last time I weighed 7 stone was as a kid (9 years old?) But then I grew too tall for that weight to be realistic/healthy.
      Betty Anonymous

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    2. Pfft. I always think of a stone as 17 pounds, which would put me at 119, but it's 14, isn't it. Okay, I'll go as high as 9 stone. This is my fantasy - I want to have my school girl figure back, instead of this school BUS figure that I have somehow acquired.

      B von S

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    3. "School bus figure" made me snort milk up my nose!

      Elegant Betty AnoninTX

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  11. I've pondered the whole "what would I want" and can't put my finger on just one thing. I think it is the whole lifestyle. A husband who adores me and my splendid figure. Plenty of money. Nice home/s. The Jollys to clean house and cook for us. Animals including a horse, which in real life I can't afford but have always wanted desperately. I reckon I can't gripe. I have a nice husband and a cozy little house filled with books and cats. But the sense of being taken care of forever would be nice.

    Betty AnoninTX

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  12. Thank you, Betty AnoninTX, for putting it into words:
    "The husband who adores me" and "being taken care of forever" - which implies sufficient means to live on. That's it.

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    1. My aforementioned four pledges were the result of implied adoration, wink wink, or should I say, applied adoration? I hope to see you snorting elegantly someday Betty AnoninTX.

      B von S

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    2. "applied adoration" would have made me snort milk up my nose, but I've only got water, and wasn't drinking at the moment I read this.

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    3. Here's hoping Betty von Susie's house is OK... Horrible storms in that area tonight.

      It would have been Horlicks, not milk, up my nose, but I'm out. :-)

      We must set up our tea party date. What about Saturday, September 14? Betty Caroline, Betty van den Betsy, Betty von Susie, Betty AnoninTX, who else?

      Betty AnoninTX

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    4. I am on my lunch break at home. I will run back to work and put my request for the day off on the schedule. Storms were south of Fort Worth and I am north of Dallas, noisy up here but no damage, thank you for checking on me!

      B von S

      P.s. I had varkensribbetjes, zuurkool, and aardappelen for lunch. Yum.

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    5. Hello to Betty from Hoogland, Utrecht!

      So far, Sept. 14 is clear on my calendar. :D

      Betty Caroline

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    6. I knew the tornadic storms were south of you, but there were some nasty red/orange/yellow storms on the radar going over the metroplex. We had some desperately needed rain yesterday. It smelled so good. The PRT, like it or not, is cleaning out our cellar tomorrow. I'm sure every inch is coated in dirt from the dust storms.

      Betty Caroline in TX, mark your calendar!

      Betty AnoninTX

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  13. I think it's the absolute freedom of the lifestyle Betty depicts that keeps us coming back for more .....husband is very busy, but doing noble things, and wants you happy so you can pursue whatever genteel pleasure you wish. No worries about money, about anything except doing what has meaning for you. The idle rich are mean, vain, and unhappy (as they are in real life), while the rich folk who pursue their passions are happy. Notice how many of the wonderful MILs are avid gardeners?

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