06 October 2011

countdown to anne of green gables

Next Tuesday night, I'm leaving for Prince Edward Island.

Enter squeals of delight about Anne of Green Gables.

Or maybe you're squealing in delight yourself, in which case I hope you're somewhere private and not at work or in a library or on the train. If you are, pull yourself together. Think of Marilla giving you a stern look; that always works.

I have wanted to go to PEI since I was a very little girl. I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time when I was eight or so {I'm looking to my mother for corroboration here}. We were on vacation out West somewhere, and so in the middle of the desert and in the mountains, I spent my days reading about this charmed Canadian island and a girl who used words that were too big for her.

And by "spent my days reading" I clearly mean "spent my days pretending to be the girl who used words too big for her."

I acted out conversations with Diana Barry, aka my/Anne's best friend.

I sat next to a stream and tried to come up with a fairytale-inspired name for it, just like Anne would've done. Dryad's Bubble? Excluding the fact that I just stole that from the book, I thought it was a rather perfect name.

I made plans to memorize "The Lady of Shalot" and potentially act it out if I could talk any of my real friends—not just imaginary Diana Barry—into it.

I thought way more than I should have about puffed sleeves and pinafores. It's hopeless to think about clothes like that when:
  • a1a) it's the late 80s. Shoulder pads are not the same thing as puffed sleeves.
  • b2b) you're in Utah or Colorado and you've been camping for 2 weeks straight, changing clothes only every third day or so. Why bother? was the family motto. Get one set of clothes as dirty as possible; it's not like you're taking a shower every day when you're camping in a place with just pit toilets. Or no toilets at all.
  • c3c) it's 100 degrees in the shade. I managed to focus all my energy on the puffed sleeves and ignore the rest of the clothes requirements that come with wanting to pretend to be Anne of Green Gables, ie, wool stockings and petticoats and collars up to way-too-high and corsets. Basically, I just wanted to wear a pretty dress and go to a dance. Or maybe recite "The Lady of Shalot." And have Gilbert Blythe clap for me.

After I read Anne, I gave the book to my mom to read. We then had a now-famous* conversation:

*I mean famous in the "we tell this story at family functions" kind of famous. Clearly not famous in the Justin Bieber kind of way. OMG, I can't believe I just mentioned Justin Bieber on my blog with Jane Austen in the title. Now there's a mash-up.

Little Mia: Mom, why are you crying?

I should, before going on, point out that I remember this conversation taking place in a field of poppies. That may not be correct, although I do know that on one of our trips, we stopped in a field of poppies on our way back from an attempted space shuttle landing.

No, not like we were landing the space shuttle. Like—it was supposed to land in California, but high winds or something diverted it to Florida or perhaps Texas. We were not there, in Florida or Texas; we were in California, and my mama had thought it would be cool to show her nerdy daughters a space shuttle landing. And it clearly would've been; by that point in the trip, I obviously needed something to pull me back to present-day America, and nothing says America like space, the final frontier.

So I'm pretty sure that we stopped in a field of poppies on that trip, although now that I think about it, poppies have opioid-like properties, don't they? For all I know, I was drugged by the poppies and now have incredibly muddled memories. Or maybe I'm thinking of The Wizard of Oz.

Let's just assume we were, in fact, in a field of poppies having this conversation.

Mama: [holding a Kleenex to her nose] It's because of this book.
Little Mia: That book? The Anne book? That's not a sad book. There's puffed sleeves! And a little girl with a temper, just like me!
Mama: [pulling Kleenex away from her nose, staring at her youngest daughter with something like, "I'm not actually sure you came out of me" on her face] She's an orphan and no one wants her! That's sad, don't you think?
Little Mia: Yeah, I guess. But that's nothing to cry over, is it? It's not like you're an orphan, and besides, she gets to live in Green Gables in a room with a big window that looks out on to a tree, just as if she were sleeping in the tree.

I should also point out that it was my dream to have a room on the second floor of our house. I was on the first floor, and while it was all right, I felt that I belonged up high. After reading Anne, I was sold even more on the idea of having a tree right outside my big window.

Mama: Well, I'm still sad about it.
Little Mia: Do you think the Wicked Witch of the West is flying over us in this field of poppies?

And that, friends, is when my family figured out that I'm not really a "crier." And started to worry a little bit about the state of my emotions.

Next week at this time, I'll be in Anneland, preferably wearing puffed sleeves and making overly-dramatic statements. Heck, even if just one of those things turned out to happen, I'd be thrilled. My money is on the puffed sleeves thing coming true.


  1. I wanted puff sleeves soooooo badly, and I remember making a half-hearted attempt at memorizing that poem too. I think I may have to get the movies and re-watch this weekend.

    Also, I have missed reading your blog! I'm glad to back to the internet and your humorous thoughts! :-)

    Have fun in Anne-land!!

  2. Oops, and I should spell-check my posts. I meant to write that I was glad to have the internet back, so I could enjoy your humorous thoughts. Sigh...maybe this jet-lag is still hanging around. :-)

  3. So here's your mama's recollection - I read the book on a day we were sitting in the campground at Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument. The poppies were in Antelope Valley CA. Do you remember the wind when we got out of the car? Anne was not with us on that trip & thankfully, you were not wearing puffed sleeves or you would have been blown away!



Related Posts with Thumbnails