The True Heroine of Gone With the Wind

People who know me really well know that there is one book I read over and over, in fact I have read it once a year, every year, since I was sixteen years old. It is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, I read the book way before I saw the movie. I didn’t see the movie until I was 21 years old. By that time, I had already read the book 5 times. Before I get started, I would like to state, once again, this is my opinion, remember, you are in Angie World now.

I, like everyone else assumes that the heroine of the story is Scarlett, it shows her perseverance in the face of war, adversity, depravation, starvation and utter destruction of her homeland. However, the past few years I have seen her differently, she is stubborn, childish and selfish, everything Scarlett does is to benefit her directly and then her family.

The past few years I have been reading it from Melanie’s point of view, from her experiences and the reactions to what is going on around her. She is steadfast, loyal, survivor and has a grace and dignity that cannot be matched.

Take for instance the part where Scarlett is told specifically not to drive through shanty town by herself, it was dangerous, especially for a woman. In her stubbornness and headstrong view, no one would dare harm her, she was an O’Hara of Tara. So of course off she goes, and of course something happens, she is attacked. Saved at the last minute by Big Sam, before anyone could do serious harm to her.

Big Sam takes her home; he cannot go back to shanty town as he killed a man to protect Scarlett. So Frank, Scarlett’s second husband, gives him money and tells him to hightail it to Texas.

Let’s stop and take a moment to count the consequences so far, a man a dead and one is on the run, all because she didn’t want to listen to reason.

Ok, so back to the story, then Frank tells her she is going to Melanie’s because he is going to a men’s meeting. She is livid, shouldn’t Frank stay home to take care of her, make sure she is alright. Of course she’s alright! She is over it the minute it happened. Anyway, this is the only time Frank puts his foot down and off she goes.

She is really the only wife there that is ignorant of what is really going on, Melanie reads from David Copperfield while everyone does their mending or needle work. Scarlett is fuming because she would rather not be in the company of any of these women. Especially with India making snide comments all night.

Then they hear it, their men coming in the door apparently drunk, with a Union soldier hot on their trail. They enter, Scarlett really believes they are drunk and immediately starts complaining, never once asking where her husband is. To add insult to injury to the women they are with Rhett Butler, read the book to find out why that is an insult. The soldier demands to know where the men were, Rhett says they were with him at Belle Watling’s. The women are aghast, Melanie is as cool as a cucumber. The soldier leaves and then it is revealed that Ashley has been wounded.

Melanie takes full control, ordering those women around, and they obeyed without hesitation. Selfish Scarlett doesn’t remember to ask where her husband is until Rhett reminds her.

Then she finds out he is dead and he died trying to protect her honor, all of the men went out to find the second man who had attacked her.

So, let’s do a body count shall we, Big Sam, exiled, a stranger is dead, her husband is dead and one man is wounded. And all of the men have risked their lives and their reputations and now they owe Rhett Butler.

Melanie is the heroine of this story and all throughout GWtW we see her bravery, her calmness, her loyalty, her steadfastness and her belief in the good of all around her. Melanie was a true Ruth, Scarlett was not her true relative, Scarlett was married to her brother and her brother died. Melanie could have very easily stayed with her aunt or followed her when she left Atlanta before the burning of said city.

My mother was a Melanie, quietly going about her business, making sure all around her were taken care of, her home, her family and most of all her husband. She did it all without fanfare, without expecting anything in return.

We should all celebrate the Melanie’s in our life, they are a rare breed, Scarlett’s are very common and we see them everywhere, especially in today’s society.

With the advent of the internet and social media we see more Scarlett’s taking over every day. Scarlett didn’t appreciate Melanie until she died, then she realized what she had lost. Most of us don’t appreciate the Melanie’s in our lives until they are gone.

If you are lucky enough to have a Melanie, tell her you love her and recognize what she has done for you in your life and that you see how she quietly goes about doing for her family and the ones lucky enough to be in her life.

A Common Theme

I saw this video on Facebook, that was shared by a friend, of course, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it. It was a woman that never viewed herself as beautiful, never viewed herself as worthy. A makeup artist and a photographer took her and gave her a makeover, and even though, yes, the makeup and clothes were nice. It was the light in her eyes that gave her the real beauty.

My mother used to say that true beauty, real beauty, starts on the inside and works its way out. The say is said for ugliness. I know I have shared that thought before, but this video really reminded me of my mother and the mental image I have of her telling me that.

Granted she told me that due to the fact I was an incredibly vain and self-centered teen at the time (is there any 16-year-old girls that aren’t that way?). At the time I really blew it off, thinking what did I need inner beauty for when I obviously had outer beauty.

The older I became the more the words resonated with me, especially as my looks begin to fade. Also as I meet women who are not beautiful on the inside, and you can see it forming on their faces.

I also see the real beauty of the women who are truly beautiful on the inside and it does shine out of them. It radiates, beyond the physical, when you look at someone and see who they are on the inside it defines who you are.

I am not perfect on the inside, however, the thing I strive for is truth, morality, justice and the American way, sorry had to add that in. No, seriously, always doing the right thing, even when no one is looking is tantamount for me. It always has been, my entire life, I was taught that at a young age.

My grandfather, who was my constant companion from birth to the age of 5, talked about always doing the right thing. He talked about biblical truths, he talked about men and women who had fought for our country and had done the right thing. He talked about the first of our people to come to America and how he had done the right thing.

He talked about his parents, his grandparents, he extoled their virtues and even told of their weaknesses. Our family has an awesome temper, by awesome I mean fearful, and we want justice when we are, what’s the phrase, oh done wrong.

My mother taught me that you have to rise above the anger and the getting even phase, you have to work your way through it to the other side without actually exacting vengeance. That’s a tough one.

But having true beauty from the inside out means not exacting the vengeance and allowing God to take care of it. No, that does not mean pray God will smite the other person, it means allowing God to work in your life and praying He works in theirs.

That is the hardest lesson of all, praying for people that have done horrible things to you. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it, I tell God all the time, I really don’t know how sincere this is, but….

I believe He laughs at my words, but He knows I am working on it.

I really want to have the same light my mother had in her eyes, the same radiating joy and love for all things.

The video shows that woman had that light.

Sleep Aids

 

Ok, so, everyone who knows me well, knows I love my sleep aids. I have loved them for a long time, as soon as they invented night time Tylenol I was on board. I have tried many sleep aids over the years and right now I actually take a prescription sleep aid.

Well, last night, I was super tired and decided one would not do, so I took two of the little pills.

Apparently it did knock me out, however, I was still “awake”.

I awoke to an Instagram post that I have absolutely no memory of posting. I not only posted I hastagged the living daylights out of the thing. Correctly.

After finding that little surprise, I decide to have a look at Facebook. Well, apparently I was content with posting on Instagram, I also posted a video on Facebook.

Once again zero memory of looking the video up, zero memory of posting it, zero memory of writing about it.

In light of finding these things I will not be taking two of the pills again. Or, if I do, I will hide my phone first.

Today was an odd day, I found out a man died, not only died, he died in his car.

Ok, so this did not happen in my building, it was another building. The man left work yesterday, got in his car, started it and died. He just died! With his car running and the driver’s door open.

And he stayed there, dead, for over 10 hours! No one discovered him for over 10 hours! There is security in that building, they are supposed to make rounds, walk around the parking lot.

No one noticed a car, with the driver’s door open, with a dead man for over 10 hours?

This is what is going to happen to me, I can just sense it, I will die and just sit there. Until rigor mortis sets in.

This is truly horrifying; I cannot begin to imagine what his family is feeling.

Of course this brings back the thought that if I died, who would find me? How long would it take them to figure out I was dead? Would it be days? Would I sit there? Or, what if I died in my sleep. Would work notice? Or would I just be written up for no call, no show? Then fired in absentia.

These are the things I think of in my spare time, and sometimes not spare time.

In the advent of my death, I am happy to say I have done nothing I am embarrassed for my children to find out. Online or in life. I know several people that is not the case, I wonder if they would do things differently if they had a moral compass. If they thought before they acted. What if they died in a car and no one noticed? Would they be embarrassed by certain emails, Facebook messages or text messages?

Probably not, those people don’t have a thought for others, so their children probably don’t matter them much either.

So if I die in a car, please come find me, if I don’t call and don’t show up for work, please come find me.

FA Cup and other stuff

So today is the FA Cup Final, I am not even going to pretend I know what that is, however it is important to the Irishman and he wants me to go with him. So, go I will, to Vickery Park Bar, where I am sure I will have the most amazing breakfast.

Not sure about the special today, it has curry and I am not a huge fan of curry, but we shall see. I’ll report back on that.

This week at work was rough, tough, rewarding and at times touching, I got to speak to an 85-year-old widow who told me after many years of being alone she now had a special friend. They have dinner together then watch old movies she has recorded. Her receiver was down and she didn’t want to miss her dinner companion. I was able to get it working and she was so happy, she asked where I was, I said Dallas, she then told me her husband had gotten his doctorate at SMU. He had been a Methodist preacher, we exchanged a few more pleasantries and I ended up telling her the story of the time my mom caught me calling her Sarah.

Whenever people would ask me what my mom’s name was I would say Sarah, with a straight face. One day she happened to hear that, later on, she told me that was really funny, but stop doing it.

I later overheard her telling my dad about it and they both laughed and he then asked well does that make me Abraham? And they laughed and laughed.

Some parts of my job are incredibly rewarding, helping elderly people with their services is my favorite part. I love getting them on my line, I treat them the way I would want someone to treat my parents. I go at their speed and tell them if I go to fast just tell me and we’ll slow down.

So many things happening in our country, real threats of terrorism, homeless veterans, homeless families, children going hungry. Elderly not being able to afford basic things like food and their medications. We are on the brink of annihilating one another on a world level and the only thing people are posting about is where people pee.

I am going to leave you with that.

Oh and I found Tarzan from 1968 with Ron Ely on television this morning, I honestly never really appreciated the costuming on that show until just now.

 

 

Gladys the Conquerer

I have a friend, ok, I have more than one friend, but today I would like to tell you about my friend Gladys.

When I first met Gladys she had just moved here from California, she and her new husband had transferred here to create a new life to go with their new marriage.

As soon as I met her I knew we would be friends, she is funny, smart, quick witted and willing to laugh at her own mistakes. She was also the kind of person who was not complacent about where she was in life.

She continued to learn and grow, well at one point she grew a lot, she grew a baby. Yes, she and her husband expanded their family, I got to see her grow not only as a person but as a parent. Believe me, she is an exceptional parent, planning not only around her child, but carving time out for date nights with her husband and also herself.

She is a fireball, always moving, always learning, she took this passion to keep moving in her life to learn new things. To move up in her career, I watched her go from being a call-center technician to a different kind of technician. Taking classes and moving to a new position, we were no longer in the same office, however, our friendship endures.

After years of different diets and different things, I watched her take charge of her physical health. She inspired me so much I followed her lead (I really thought me being older, I should be in the lead, however, I have learned that is not always the case) and took control of my own healthy.

Now I have the great pleasure of watching her grow even more in her career. I was beyond thrilled when she sent me a text telling me she had accepted a new position within the major telecommunications corporation that we both work for. A brand new challenge that will put her in a completely different environment. I don’t know how much I am allowed to say as this is her job, not mine.

But I will say this, she is going to be downtown in the big city now, and in my head I see her as Melanie Griffith, a total working girl, tennis shoes on for walking to the office. Switching to heels before going in the building and then taking the world by storm.

Gladys I am so incredibly proud of you for all that you have become and for what you will become. I treasure our friendship and know without a doubt you will keep inspiring me to become better at things in my life.

I can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures!

Happy Mother’s Day

Well, today is Mother’s Day and I know I am supposed to write about that, but my head is so full of Captain American: Civil War. But I can’t really talk about that because I know I will give spoilers and BBFF hasn’t seen it, so I can’t! Yeah I gotta say I don’t care about spoiling anyone else, he and I have an unspoken agreement not to spoil movies or shows for each other. Or, maybe it is spoken, often, I can’t say, it’s a Best Friend thing.

So here we go, I know I usually talk about my mother today, however, since I talk about her a lot, I am not going to today. Except to say I was so incredibly fortunate that God decided that Odela Mae Allen Testerman would be my mom.

Today, for the first time ever, I get to have Mother’s Day lunch with all four of my living children. I cannot even begin to describe the joy in my heart that God has allowed me to have this in my life.

It will be Mexican food, of course, because I could eat Mexican food every day of my life.

Even though I am not Stacy’s mother, she is my daughter, and no I don’t feel bad she is not with her real mom today. I will relish this day as though I have earned it, well, to be honest, I feel like I earned at least one Mother’s day with her as I gave birth to her.

Selfish? Maybe. Unapologetic? Totally.

So, for today, I will be the mother of 4 children at lunch, I will enjoy it, I will relish it and I will leave it there.

Because Stacy’s real mother deserves all the credit for her upbringing, I don’t, I get to take credit for the other three.

Although, this nature vs nurture thing, I really am beginning to think nature trumps all, because it is scary how much she is like not only me but her siblings as well. It’s really eerie at times to see it.

To all of the mothers out there, whether you mother two legged children, feathered children, furry children or mooing children. Happy Mother’s Day!

Blessings

Everywhere I look these days I am seeing posts and memes that say something about blessings. Count your blessings or they are blessed or your blessing is coming.

I fully admit I have been in a very dark place lately, where I can’t see anything in my life that would count as a blessing.

So, I decided to take the advice of the Internet and take a hard look into my life and find what God has given me, that I didn’t deserve.

Before I start, I want to say that I am incredibly happy for all of my friends that have so much going for them in their lives. Every time I see an accomplishment or a new acquisition I am beyond thrilled for you! I love it!

Now, back to me, I went back to the beginning, yes, birth.

First off, I was wanted, by my grandparents and several aunts and uncles and cousins. I was blessed.

I had a grandpa that fostered my curiosity and intelligence above everything else. It has stayed with me. I try to honor him in educating myself continually.

I had a grandma that taught me to argue like a southern woman. Highly useful.

I was blessed with teachers that encouraged my love of reading and writing. A true blessing.

Next I acquired parents, real ones, I wish I had appropriate words to express how that changed the trajectory of my life. Gods hand, totally.

I became an Owassoan, not by birth, but by adoption, the way my parents adopted me.  Owasso gave me a sense of belonging in a lot of areas and a sense of security that I had never really had.

I went on to have the biggest blessings of my life. Jeffrey, Elizabeth and Alex. Then Tessa.

I didn’t count Stacy as a blessing for me, because she was a blessing for someone else. For many years.

Now, I am going to claim her, she and her children as mine. Having her move to Texas and getting to know her and her children is like a miracle to me.

I don’t have material blessings, or a career that is brag worthy, nor do I have any talents. I’ll never be a supermodel or even passably pretty.

But I have had many things in my life that count as blessings. So, those I will focus on, not the things that want to drag me into self-doubt or darkness. No more morose posts, oh don’t get me wrong, happily ever after still doesn’t exist. Fairy tales are crap, I still love them, but they’re crap. However I will not be discussing in-depth my feelings on true love.

Oh and my job, is an amazing blessing, no putting that down. It came in a time that literally saved my family. I was working three jobs, going to school full-time and raising three kids.

With that one job I replaced the income of all three of the jobs. I will be forever grateful to God for that particular blessing.

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