Ethan Frome aka Bad Times with Sleds

Our novel for next Monday is Wharton's Ethan Frome. Finished it last night and was very irritated by the cruelty of the ending and also distraught be the fact that I could not imagine anyone else as the character of Ethan except for Liam Neeson, who played him in the movie version I have never seen. But anyway, poor Ethan! He's in love with the beautiful, innocent, blond, crooked toothed in a cute way, mirthful, whimsical, delicious Mattie (as imagined as Patricia Arquette). However, he is also married to the stern and silent woman who could not be described any more unfavorably by Wharton unless she had added warts and chronic flatulence. Zeena, the wife, is a sickly, pale, hatched-faced, brooding woman who breathes loudly. Seriously. Wharton cannot let her have one good attribute. This is how she describes Ethan's experience of lying in bed next to this creature. Oh, darn, the book is at home, but it's something like, "After leaving the warmth of light in Mattie's blue eyes, he retired to the bedroom where he slipped between the cold sheets with a shiver and lie next to the rigid, corpse-like disgusting, smelly limbs of his wife whose breathing was labored and filled with phlegm." I think I might have to do some outside reading to speak intelligently about the book; maybe it's a reaction to all the romantic drivel being written during that time period? Because, though this book is romantic, it's ending is darkly cruel and the women are fairly one-dimensional.

Tomorrow, we're going to Oktoberfest for a while or all day. Please, please, please let it be fun. I also need to buy a strapless black bra for the gala which I may be uninvited to given that I've already spent too much money on this party where I will likely stand around awkwardly with aching feet, worried that my boob will fly out at an inopportune moment (remember: no waving enthusiastically to people).

Tonight, there's this art show at Slought in West Philly and so I tried to dress a little more artistic this morning. Then it struck me as I sashayed up the subway stairs that I might actually be wearing a costume (blood red corduroy skirt with three tiers of ruffles, long brown boots, chaps, a straw hat, and a piece of hay clenched in my teeth). Oh, well, at least I'm feeling better this weekend and not going home to sniffle and whine.

All is fine with the house and the animals except for the usual which includes the occasional frightful reaction to me from Henri, though I can never figure out what it is that he's responding to with such trepidation. I have never once hit or tortured him, but sometimes, he just bolts away from me like he's moments from death...As if I might unexpectedly stab him through the heart with a bobby pin, or grab him by the scruff of the neck and drown him in the toilet or twirl him over my head by his tail until he flies out of the window. Maybe he's been staying up late at night to watch The Shining over and over and over again.


julie said…
omg - i was laughing out loud at your outfit description. you are HOT!
Aimee said…