Saturday, January 09, 2016

"That lonely bald guy in the corner makes no sense."

 Wherein Jack hates a game, loves a book, and shares a New Year's Goal.

 Like most little girls I read Little House on the Prairie. I think I read it for school, but it lead me to the other books, which I read and reread over the next few years.

 Except I had a problem with romance. I don't know why I avoided it as hard as I did. Probably a mix of things. Romance meant growing up. It meant you spent all the time with your spouse and stopped coming over to build lego houses (this was an experience with my fun babysitter.) But worse of all...IT MEANT YOU KISSED ALL THE TIME. I didn't even watch Anne and Gilbert kiss for the first time, I hid under a blanket with my cousin.

 Things have changed some since then. I'm still not a romantic person persay. I still don't read a lot of romance books. I still might hide under the blankets when people kiss in the movies and the camera zooms in and makes it awkward. But I do have a few romances I like.

 All of that is to say it took me a long time before finished the Little House series because I refused to read the books where Laura and Almanzo began to court. I don't think I warmed up to their romance until I read the part where he went to get her from the school where she taught and brought her home in a blizzard because he was the only one in the world who knew how miserable she was there and how much she looked forward to her weekends at home.

 I think that was the point where I decided he was the best man ever. I also might have gotten a crush on him. (I guess this goes to prove I always end up fancying the dead guys.)

 I never forgot about these books, even though I've not read them for years, but before Christmas they somehow came up in a conversation with my friends. In an instant I remember how much I'd loved the books - how I felt like Laura and I would have been best friends if we had lived in the same time period. (I felt like we had a lot in common. A little awkward, wild, shy, but still wanting to be friends with everyone.)

 The conversation of the books brought up all kinds of other ones. Our dislike of the later TV series and how they ruined Almanzo and how he deserved to be better portrayed. My friend and I realized we both really loved Almanzo and we spent half an hour flipping through the later books and reading bits with him in them - in other words we shamelessly fangirled to the amusement of my friend's younger sister who has yet to get to the books with him in them.

 It also reminded me how I wanted to be a pioneer when I was little. It was a long phase which I actually studied. I went all out. I divided things in my room, setting aside a few things I'd take if I ever traveled in a wagon. I was very thorough. I even went so far as to decide if I would sew rocks in the bottom of my dress to keep it from flapping in the wind or if I would just let it flap. (I decided to let it flap.) I practiced running over rocks so I could walk barefoot during the warm days of travel and therefore still have my boots when we got to the snow covered mountains. I even watched for any wagons rolling past my house.

 When the Oregon Trail computer game came out I was so excited to play it. It wasn't like traveling in real life but I thought it would be the next best thing. That was until I kept dying, over and over again. And all of my deaths were stupid. I once shot myself in the foot, another time I was shot by a friend while hunting, for some reason I went to pick flowers and picked poison. I drowned in a river crossing. The game irritated me. It had no idea how much I'd studied for a covered wagon journey. I knew better then to shot myself in the foot and die from it. (Needless to say, I didn't play the game for long.) It didn't know that I had already traveled across country with Laura and lived through a long winter. It didn't know what it was talking about I decided.

 I'm not sure what the game has to do with this post, other than to solidify the belief that I COULD HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO OREGON!

 This year I plan to reread some of my favorite books - because what is the point of owning all of them and not reading them again? It is like having best friends and never dropping in for tea and a raid of their cookie jars.

 One of the series I am going to reread is the Little House books. I'm already nearly finished with Little House in the Big Woods, which I read almost all of yesterday. Last night actually. If we're going to get technical.

 Once I get to These Happy Golden Years I might have to do a ranty post about Almanzo.

 And now that I've slightly embarrassed myself over him I will go and finish reading. Maybe go for a brisk job because that won't end badly with a broken rib. (Fear not, I promise not to go jogging. At least not briskly.)

 I leave you with another Psych quote.



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3 comments :

  1. I loved those books to pieces growing up. While I didn't and still don't in most cases like romance. I remember that part about him driving her home in the winter, it was really sweet.

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  2. My favourite book in the series was always On The Banks Of Plum Creek. I think it was the Christmas chapter that did it for me, when Laura gets her beautiful brown cape with the red edging and her muff. I loved that chapter.

    I'm glad you had so much fun with us on Christmas! The snowball fight was ridiculously hilarious. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the smartest thing to do with a cold, but I'm glad we did it anyway.

    Jog quite, quite carefully, 'kay? Or maybe just walk. In fact, it might be better if you don't do anything at all, Peregrine Took. ;-)

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  3. I loved the Little House series when I was a kid! I probably read it about five hundred times. I think a ten year old me fangirled to a friend who had no idea what I was talking about. She didn't read books. I don't know how anyone can not read books, but she was one of those people. . .

    I played that game too. The Oregon trail. I think my team always ended up getting stranded somewhere because we'd always get lost. Interestingly I'm still directionally challenged. :/

    I hope your reread goes well!

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