Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunshine Sketches Of A Changed World

Deb: My husband and I are working on a film right now called Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town written by the great and iconic Canadian writer, Stephen Leacock (short bio and great quotes). The film is set in the year 1912.

We are shooting in a gorgeous setting by a lake in Gravenhurst, Ontario. As we shot yesterday in our beautiful lace gowns and tailored wool suits, I felt transported. We looked like we were right out of a Renoir painting. I glanced around at the various activities the actors and background artists were partaking of. Knitting and crocheting, Blind Man’s buff, swimming, tag, or just meditating on the beautiful surroundings.

My mind instantly went to a scenario from the other night at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). My husband and I went to a screening of Adrian Grenier’s film Teenage Paparazzo and we sat through the film surrounded by people texting, taking photos, talking full voice throughout, while snapping their heads around every five seconds to see “who else is here?” It became even more frustrating when Mr. Grenier got up to take part in a question and answer period. He took it very seriously and answered every question with respect and a good deal of thought. We marveled at the din around us as people declared loudly their love and adoration for him. Some of them were live chats and others were on the phone stating in booming voice things like, “he is so gorgeous ... yeah, he’s right here in front of me ... yeah he’s talking ... answering questions ... no, I haven’t seen the other guys yet, but Mark Walberg is here too ... oh hang on, people are applauding something he just said, I can’t hear you ... yeah, it is soooooooooo cool ... I’m going to try and meet him at the party after this.” My first thought was, “yeah, good luck with that, ladies!” and my second thought was, “Really? You love him, do you? Because you clearly do not RESPECT him. You have not shut your great gaping pie holes the entire time he has been talking.”

I looked around and only one out of five people was even trying to listen. The serious people had moved up to the front. When the talk was done and Adrian shouted out, “Let’s party!” I said to my husband, “Let’s go for a bite and go home.” He happily and gratefully agreed, which is saying something since my husband loves nothing more than good free food. But we had had enough of the rudeness and did not want to further subject ourselves to the shoving and the texting and the pushing and the ruding. I know this makes me sound like an old fogey and I know that I am saying nothing new with this, but I will say it once more. We have become a society of boors. Rude boors. No class.

At the time of the event I thought about blogging about it, then stopped myself because I felt there was nothing new I could add. But when I stepped onto the set of Sunshine Sketches, my mind instantly travelled back to the real place in time that we are depicting, and the contrast between these two events was staggering to me. I spent the day looking around and thinking how sweet, how innocent, how intoxicating it all was. This time in my mind’s eye, I could hear the ghosts of a hundred years ago,  “Glorious day today, Mrs. Dinton.” “Your flowers are exquisite, Mrs. Landry.” “I trust I am finding you today in good health, Mr. Aubrey?”

Despite my daydream back in time, I know there are inherent problems with every era, and I know it can be argued that they lived as simply as they did because they did not have any other option. And believe me, I am a big fan of technology. Love it. Find it miraculous. But I couldn’t help but pine for what they had. The lack of technology offered them the opportunity to sing and socialize and indulge in focused conversation. It’s why the children played in the sun, climbed trees, made swords out of sticks and tied love notes up with hair ribbons. I know the whys of it. But still.

I love the time I live in, but as I sat on that set, oh how I yearned taking just a moment’s rest in that world. I imagined myself popping into this picnic, on this day in time.  The film is as close as I will come to that. But it is good enough for a few days to erase the memory of the boors. This month I am a gentlewoman and it is sweet.

Barbara: Oh, Deb, you paint a divine picture. I can smell the grass, feel the sun, hear the quiet thrum of time slowing down and gentling, people communing with one another without cell phones in their hands and twenty social/work obligations queuing up in cyberspace behind them.

I have to tell you about the bistro lunch I had the other day with Phil. We’re sitting beside a table of three young women in their mid-twenties. One of the women is describing her recent experience working in London, England with underprivileged kids; she’s talking about how amazing it was, how amazing the kids were, how much she learned, how cool it was to live in London for six months, how it was hard leaving her new and potentially serious boyfriend…. Okay, you get the gist: interesting enough to prompt me to ignore my charming husband and blatantly eavesdrop.

Thing is, it was like she was doing one of those one-women shows where the actress sits centre stage and looks into the middle distance while she gives an extended monologue. And why? Because her two lunch mates, her (apparent) friends who haven’t seen her lo these six months, spend the ENTIRE LUNCH TEXTING while inserting the requisite pseudo-rapt, “Uh-huh.” “Wow.” “So cool.” “Awesome.” I was this close to pushing my own lunch aside and leaning over so I could be the seriously engaged audience she so obviously deserved.

The only opinion I will add is the one you already mention: I do believe this boorish rudeness has always existed in big filthy cities throughout history; we’ve just changed costume and props. But the idyll you describe has to be kept sacred. We desperately need somewhere to escape to from time to time so we can remember––and re-engage with––our humanity. 


  1. Great post today. I totally agree. My cellphone is in my purse when I am around friends and even then in the silent mode. I rarely think about it and took off everything but email. That can be checked after the time spent live with friends.

  2. ooohh I would love to go back in time!!! I would love to see a slower, gentler world where people had time to really listen to each other, admire and smell flower gardens, pick up a pen and paper and put thought in to writing as opposed to firing off half baked emails.
    I love technology too, and it makes my job both easier and more hectic. Wouldn't it be great if everyone turned off their blackberries one day a week and gave themselves a "check"!!

  3. UGGGHHHH!!!!!!!! That's my first response.

    This is, I would say, one of the biggest annoyances I face as a student; the constant texting!! Now, mind you, I have recently joined the ranks of Texters of the World, but the second I sit down for class, my phone is put away in my backpack and it stays away! When I go to bed at night, my phone goes to bed too...that thing is OFF!!!

    Deb, you are not an old fogey, because it irritates me too and it is so rude!!!!!! Here I am, trying to be an active participant in whatever is going on, and person XYZ's fingers are flying away!!! As a professor of Kelly's once mentioned "You CAN be disconnected for an hour." And so many of my friends complain about how little sleep they get because their friends are texting them all night. I usually respond with, "Well...why don't you just turn your phone off?" Genius! It really is not that difficult to just put the phone away!

    I am convinced that if you took away the cell phones from my generation, they would royally flip out!

    All texting rage aside, I would love to go back to a simpler way of living. Would definitely make me appreciate all that I have.

  4. Loved this post! Can't wait to see the new flick...if we US citizens are able :/

    P.S. look out for my new blog post...coming sometime tonight. EEk. busy week...

  5. So interesting. At my grandparents lake cabin we didn't have any TV reception because it was a 'weekends in summer' place, and too far for anything except one very fuzzy Spokane station (only worth it if there was big news coming or you were TOTALLY dedicated to catching the Hardy Boys, even though it was Labor Day Weekend)--we played cards A LOT. We harassed grandpa to take us fishing. We hiked. We built forts. I love those.

    I think the instant access to ANYBODY has made us really rude to the people we are actually in the presense of and there is a new generation that completely doesn't get it. it really is baffling though, that people can be in the presense of somebody they admire and STILL be so rude.

  6. Madge you have clearly found the balance. Good for you.
    Mary-Jo you are right. Just one day off would be great. It isn't even the amount of time spent on screens, it's what it turns us into that concerns me. Holly I love "you can be disconnected for an hour"
    Kelly I will look for that post. Thanks.
    Hart time spent at your grandparents sounds so wonderful. And Hardy Boys...sigh

  7. I couldn't agree more, this inattention drives me nutty. Disrespectful, rude, annoying and just plain irritating. I posted about the same type of thing a couple days ago as this is a real big pet peeve of mine. I don't quite get why for so many people using technology means forgetting to use manners.

  8. Exactly Erin, Technology is a good thing. But many people are using it as an excuse to be rude.

  9. If good manners makes you an old fogey, than I am one too and may I shout, "Long live old fogeys and good manners!" How lucky for you to have the opportunity to go back in time for a little while. The look of 1912 suits you very well. You look perfectly elegant. Have fun!

  10. Thanks Molly. Other than the boned corset, I am good to go!!!

  11. Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty ... I just wrote a long comment and it disappeared! Mustabin a lie ....

  12. Grrrr Kate, that is so frustrating. Funny you should say that though. All my life when my Mum goes to say something to me and forgets she says "mustabin a lie". love it.

  13. I wonder how strange it would feel for me to be transported to a time, even if via a set, before "technology" took over. I doubt I would be missing the cell phones and texting, though. My cell phone is one step removed from having a dial instead of push-buttons. I prefer it that way, as its original intent was and continues to be for emergencies only. I want to be able to call triple A if/when I have a flat tire on 90E at two in the morning. Okay, "What do you want for dinner?" is sometimes an emergency, but not much beyond that.

    My daughter and her best friend hang out frequently, and her friend is CONSTANTLY texting. I've asked my daughter if it bothers her, and she said sometimes. What kind of getting together is this? It bothers me beyond belief. I just don't understand it.

    It puts a whole new spin on "live in the now." Too many people are in the wrong now.

  14. Dawn I loved when you said "what kind of getting together is this?" So true. Do you ever wonder if this generation will get overloaded? That they will start to pull back on it and live in the now? I wonder because after all they are still human, with a deep need for human connection. It has got to turn around for a degree. We can live with technology and still live well and connected in the flesh can't we?

  15. Couldn't agree more with this blog. Technology is great, but more people need to find a balance. I get the most irritated slowly following people as the try to text and walk simultaneously whether it be at a mall or usually when I'm working (I work for Target, sometimes it takes me forever to get around if I'm stuck behind someone texting all the while being completely oblivious to their surroundings. My phone is usually turned off, with a few exceptions. I have a feeling it'll only get worse with whatever new technology comes out in the future. I shall do my best to maintain a healthy balance. -Apey

  16. Yes Apey, those of us who are aware must keep the balance and maybe, just maybe it will swing so far one way that it will just have to swing back. Manners will rule the day once more.

  17. This bothers me to no end, too! People are forfeiting real connections for the sake of so-called connectedness.

    The other thing that's a huge pet peeve of mine is facebook obsessiveness. 1. I am bothered by real life friends who don't bother to share news (e.g. daughter in the hospital, job change, birth of a nephew, etc.) in a real world way but only by making a facebook posting of some sort. Their answer to, "I miss you. Haven't heard from you in a while," is, "Well, I'm on facebook." Well, I'm not, and I'm not going to be. So, if you don't value me as an individual friend but only as someone you could "friend" to read your status changes and posting wall, I guess we aren't really friends, afterall, despite having been quite close and CONNECTED for years before facebook. 2. To all facebook gaming addicts: Quit rearranging your real life to harvest some damn imaginary crops.

  18. Hello, all! We have two more pics from set. Take a look. Deb, can I just say again how lovely you look (and okay, Colin's handsome and stuff). That dress is unbelievable! Did they make that just for you?

  19. "Do you ever wonder if this generation will get overloaded? That they will start to pull back on it and live in the now?"

    Deb: I'm not so sure they will, because I don't think they realize what they're missing. They've been "plugged in" almost their entire lives, and "conversations" now take place in 140 letters or less.

    I know they have no idea of the value of a face-to-face conversation. I've seen some of them have entire relationships through Facebook, despite the fact that they go to school with each other. Zeus help them when one of them changes their relationship status to "single." I could go on for paragraphs about the damage this technology is causing.

    As I was typing this, my daughter (17 in December) came in with her sister (1 in November). Now's the chance to teach her the value of face to face, instead of facebook to facebook.

  20. I hear you loud and clear on this, Deb! Being in my mid 20's, I'm right on the edge of the technology boom we've had the past 10 years. I mean, when I was a senior in high school (in 2003), not even half of my classmates had cellphones. I received mine as a graduation present, by the way. Now, even my eleven year old cousins have them! And, I'm like, why?
    This whole world of technology is a battle I deal with at work, as well. Not only with customers who continue to use their cellphones while I'm cashing them out (which is rude, FYI), but the kids with whom I work. We have a rule- no phones at the registers. Which is a good rule- when it's followed. Honestly, it's like some of kids would rather be texting than working. To me, it's like, why are you even here, then?
    Obviously, this discussion has really gotten me going. Technology is not bad- I'd rather use my electronic scanner over manually entering prices ANY day. And, I love using Facebook and texting to chat with my sis who's 900 miles away. However, there are rules and etiquette that should be followed, you know?
    I think it would be fun to go back to the early 1900's for a bit. Well, perhaps except for the clothes, lol. By the way, Deb, you and Colin look so great in your costumes (and Colin's rocking those fake sideburns). :)

  21. Rigel I do know what you mean and I totally agree that we should not let any one thing rule our lives. I have found FB a wonderful tool for reconnecting me with old old friends and for connecting me with people I would not normally see but it has not replaced my socializing or my friendships so I hear you there. Barb, thanks, other than the big smiles on our faces,we could be out of another era couldn't we? Dawn, how did it go with your two daughters? Did they get what you were trying to say or were their eyes on the ceiling? Beth this is what I am talking about. I know that there are tons of young men and women out there who feel the same way you do. Human's need human contact. I still have hope.

  22. Ok so I'm old fashion and yes Deb , I totally agree I do love the technology that we have, in fact as I am writing this I am setting here using my iPod 4G and love it, but I do think that at times it would be better to just go back and not have all this fancy technology that we do today. Honestly I think that the one main reason that I would mostly prefer just going back to the no tech days, is because I think now that we have these tech things people dont use their words any more . People honestly I think forget to use their words and how to talk face to face instead I
    Of through a cell phone. Ok so I am not saying that I don't use my cell or iPod to txt but most of the time I use face to face. . So when It comes right down to it I would just rather have non tech day, well some times

  23. As far as the going back into time stuff, I have to say no thanks, if only on the basis of the smells and dental hygiene. I'll take deodorant and unrotted teeth, please. :)

    Furthermore, I wouldn't want to have been a woman back then. And, if I had been, I'd've been a rabble rousing Suffragette!

    I'm reading an EXCELLENT book right now called _Life Is So Good_ by George Dawson with Richard Glaubman. It's the autobiography of a black man born in 1898 in Texas who didn't learn to read until age 98. He told his story for this autobiography at age 101. Mr. Dawson literally lived through all of 20th century history, and the stories he tells of pre-Civil Rights Movement life are heart breaking. And, I'm loving his take on his first encounters with airplanes, cars, and baseball. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book:

    Nope, 1912 (the year of the Titanic's sinking) does not appeal to me. No, thank you. What I want of an old fashioned life, I am working toward for my Life 2.0 -- being as self-sufficient as possible on a small acreage. But, I'll stick with modern revolutions in women's rights, racial rights, and gay rights.

    BTW, one of my favorite family pictures I have displayed is my Great-Grandmama Geiger's Sweet 16 photograph from 1912. She was so lovely! And, now that the nights have become chilly, I have put extra blankets on my son's and my beds, including blankets she sewed for me years ago. When I tucked him in the other night, I reminded him that the patchwork I had just spread over him was made by his great-great-grandmama. She also made many of my church dresses when I was very young. When I was a little girl, I was always fascinated by the fact that Great-Grandmama had been born in the 1800's. She died when I was in the 10th grade.

  24. Yeah Lyndsie you share my conflicted view. I love my technology and would not want to be without it, but because I was born in the fifties, I know how to live without it. I think balance is the key, don't you? Rigel you are so funny. Yeah all the things you mention are true. I would not want to live there full time but yeah sure, visit for picnics and church socials, weddings and needlepoint? You bet. But I would take deodorant and lysterine with me.

  25. Great blog! Oh and you look so cute with Colin all dressed up in your finery. :) I looked at him and thought "Beauregard, fix me a mint julep and bring it out to the veranda. Good gosh but I have the vapors today!" lol
    Seriously though, I totally agree with you. I don't so much think we agree because we were both born in the 50's. I think it's more that we were taught manners. It's been a long time since I've seen anyone teaching a child manners. If you're not taught when you're little then it usually doesn't just appear in you out of nowhere. You hardly hear anyone under the age of 40 saying please and thank you, excuse me, or anything like it. It aggravates and annoys me to the point where I have become boorish about trying to teach these youngsters manners. Usually I do it through example, like ignoring my cell phone when it rings and I'm with my younger friends. They all but totally freak out that I just let it go to voicemail. LOL. They can't comprehend doing it. Then I explain, with more patience than I thought I had, how it makes me feel when I'm with friends and they ignore me for their phone. I feel abandoned and sadly alone. Some have ignored my message but there are a few who are coming around. I think of more of us "seasoned people" (ha) take the time to explain it to the "unseasoned people" then the seeds of knowledge might sprout out and spread. Wow, I felt just then like I should be sitting on the floor with my legs crossed, burning incense, and tinkling little bells like some guru on the mount. Whew, okay, getting over myself now. :) Okay, sometimes I'm NOT so patient about it and will just flat out tell the person I'm with that it is rude to interrupt our conversing to answer the phone. Nobody has punched me in the nose yet....yet. If they do I'll have to give them the speech about it being rude to punch people in the nose.... I'll cross that bridge ....yada yada yada. :)
    As for living way back then...not without my air conditioner, and indoor plumbing. My grandparents and various aunts and uncles didn't have either of those. 95 degrees without a/c is miserable. Outdoor 'facilities' are especially not fun in the middle of the night when you have to take a lantern to the outhouse walking through grass...with snakes...and a cow that doesn't like you...and black widow spiders in the outhouse. Oh, and there's also that monster granddaddy used to tell me was lurking out there waiting for me to go outside by myself. Yes, little things like that make one appreciate the technology we have now.
    Uh oh, I've blognapped you. lol Okay, tying up my fingers now so I can't type any more. Long day. guess I needed to talk thru my fingers.
    We now return you to the previously scheduled program, already in progress. :)

  26. Deb -

    There was a British project that aired on PBS here in the US back during the big Y2K hoopla. Hopefully, y'all got it up there, too. It was a several weeks long documentary miniseries called "1900 House." Did you see it?

    I remember watching it during the time my son was a baby/toddler and we lived in a suburb of LA (a time I refer to as The Exile). As a history buff, I was completely fascinated by the series but aghast at what it meant for the women.

    BTW, the mother of the family found that, over time, wearing a corset took quite a physical and emotional toll on her. Not being able to breathe properly messed her up.

    If you haven't watched the series, you might really get a kick out of it.

    (P.S. Karen - I literally choked on my ice water when I read your first 3 lines. LOLOLOLOL!!!! Do they even have mint juleps in Ontario? Yes, Deb does need a mint julep and a rocking chair on the front porch where she can sit and watch the lightning bugs blink at sunset. Why, I bet she's never had occasion to drink Coca-Cola from Mason jars either! Or, had a crawdad boil! And, sadly, I bet Deb's never savored a Moon Pie with a cold RC. Now, that's a shame. Moon Pies and RC are good stuff. Mmmmmmmm... Dang it, now I'm hungry.)

  27. Karen I love that term "blognapped" but on the contrary my dear, I love when people spew. Love a good spew! You make good points. I forgot about the outhouse. Hmmmn. Used to have one at my Grandparents cottage. Scared the poo out of me. It struck me when you said "I feel abandoned and sadly alone". I agree. The only time I pick up when I have a guest, is when I see my parents number come up in case it is an emergency which I always explain to my guest. Thanks Rigel I will check it out. And yes a mint julep would have been just the ticket. It was a beautiful day and we were out on the lake in an old steamship. It was heavenly.

  28. I find it very funny, that you both complain about rudeness of the technology these days, but you both proved to be very rude yourselves.

    Deb: You were there to see a show and listen to this man, but instead you were listening to the people chat on their phones. I know when I am trying hard to listen to someone over noise, I don't actually take in what they are saying let alone remember it weeks later. I would have understood being annoyed by the chatting going on. It would have annoyed me also. But instead of kindly asking then to keep their voices down as you were trying to hear the man speak, you decided to listen to them intently enough to be able to write 5 lines of what they wrote, so you couldn't have even been trying to listen the man. That seems very rude to the man you were suppose to be listening too.Why not step up for the other people in the area. Yes, they should have thought about you as they were rudely speaking so loud you could only pay attention to them, but if it bothers you that much, you could have thought about others and stood up and ask them to keep their voices down, or at least ask someone else to ask them. Chivalry isn't only for men.

    Barbara: You complain about how rude it was of her friends to be texting while she was talking to them. Well, how rude is it of you to be listening in on their conversations, and not only that, but to not be paying attention to your lunch partner while paying attention to another table. Now, you're telling people on your blog WHAT she was talking about so her and her friends can easily be pin pointed to anyone who is reading your blog in the same area.

    Very rude indeed! To coin a phrase of the old days you so lovingly yearn for... "Step off your high horses"!

  29. By the way, most of us 30 something crowd were well versed in manners. But manners are learned, and it seems the "under 40 crowds" have parents mostly in their 30's, 40's & 50's. I cant tell you how often I have to remind my grandmother about her manners. Respect goes both ways. The race to the beginning AND end of a happy, satisfying life isn't on a one way street.

  30. Angela you seem to know a good deal about rudeness as witnessed by your comments. I have no idea if you are a writer yourself but if you are then you know the concept of poetic license. I was using just that when I quoted the things I heard around me. They were not exact quotes but rather the flavour of the snippets I heard. I was quoting a faceless mass of people that day. Our blog is not documented fact and you clearly missed the point of the post. You also assume that I did not ask politely people to quiet down. I did. Many times to no avail. But the blog was not focused on my actions. It was focused on the atmosphere around me. As for generational manners, I am afraid you are barking up the wrong tree. If you have to remind your grandmother then I would say she is solidly in the minority of that generation. Your level of anger indicates to me that you may just be one of the people I am speaking about. I have no way of knowing this. If I am on my high horse Angela then it would appear it is a miniature pony compared to the one you rode in on.

  31. Deb, the little one is not mine. My ex got remarried and, brave soul that he is, had another daughter. The only credit I'll ever give him aloud is that he's an excellent father.

    Basically we just oooh'd and aahhh'd and watched the look of fascination on her face when she discovered our cats.
    No serious conversation has taken place yet, but I do have a feeling I'll have to pull my daughter away from her facebook chats to have it. :) Or maybe we'll just talk in the car. No technology available in there.

    I just thought of one of the rudest things I've seen re: cell phones. It bugs the crap out of me when people are in the do-it-yourself lines at the grocery store and are on the phone. Waiting for them to remember they need their wallets in order to pay and fish that out WHILE THEY'RE STILL ON THE PHONE... I want to throw something heavy at them. And I'm not even going to get into watching them trying to bag.

    By the by, I'm coming to you for lessons in tact and class. That response above is a thing of beauty.

  32. Rigel:
    I just want to share my views about Facebook. It has turned out to be a very positive thing in my life. I have reconnected with people I've known for 40 years, who live five blocks from me. We NEVER would have known without facebook. We caught up on the last BIG chunks of years and time stood still. It was a beautiful thing.

    It's the reconnection with people I knew from kindergarten, or high school, or from the 2 weeks every summer we vacationed at the same place. It's become a class reunion for all of us, except that we hear from each other much more frequently, and it doesn't matter that some of us never left MA, and some are in NY, NJ, CA, and everywhere else.

    PS The farming has also allowed me to talk to these friends' parents in a way I never thought would happen, either. It feels good to know that I was right about them, and they were right about me.
    Plus, the farming is fun. :)

  33. PS for Deb:

    Thank you for sharing the pictures. You both look like you stepped right off the plantation and are now awaiting the mint juleps Karen mentioned. Beautiful.

    I do hope no one's cell phone rang during a scene. ;)

  34. Is there anything like the fascination on the face of a child when they are discovering something new? And yeah funny you should mention the take out line. My thing is, fine that you are on your cell phone, I don't care. I have done it myself. But if it slows down the line, step away. I think that's fair. Thanks Dawn regards the comment. Barb and I have been spoiled with the loveliest and most supportive bloggers. Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. That's what happens when you put yourself out there. People have the right to their opinion. I pride myself on my fairness and my manners so to be lectured by a thirty something did get my back up.

  35. Dawn that is so funny. It happened this summer on a set by accident. The poor guy on the crew, who's cell it was, stood mortified. Usually does not happen. Sometimes people forget after lunch but not too much.

  36. Deb -

    I remember seeing an interview once with one of the Mythbusters where he said the rule on their set is whoever's cell phone rings during shooting is the person who has to buy a case of beer for the others. :)

  37. *glares at Angela* Oh, I don't think so...

    You want rude? You wanna go slamming Deb and Barbara about rudeness? You want RUDE? You want immaturity and rudeness out of a thirtysomething?


    I just got home from work. My feet are sore.

    *unties laces and takes off shoes*
    *pulls off sweaty, stinky socks*
    *throws the highly offensive socks such that they land directly in your sniffing range*

    There. That's rude. Now, come rant in my direction. But, leave Deb and Barbara alone.

  38. Hmmmmm. After considerable thought, I've decided that I'm not done. I'm gonna forfeit dignity and go on the attack.

    Angela, you loathsome little troll, from which village have you been recently banished that you must now skulk into this precious circle of people and drool curdled bile from your slackened jaw? Differences of opinion are fine. Actually, some really interesting discussions arise from just that. And, disagreement is not an unknown concept in this forum. But, I cannot allow such a poor quality, ill-informed, ignorant, blatantly bogus attack upon two of my Beloveds to stand without challenge. The truth is that Barbara Radecki and Debra McGrath have more class, integrity, honor, intelligence, caring, decency, warmth, talent, genuineness, benevolence, patience, kindness, honesty, power, beauty, and love in one strand of hair each than you are capable of wrapping your closed mind around. I'm surprised Deb even deigned to waste a few seconds to respond to your comment given that it was barely more intelligible and certainly less intelligent than the moans of zombies in an old sci-fi B-movie.

    Might I suggest a trip to the pharmacy? Surely being such a tight ass must be causing you intestinal distress. Or, perhaps you are so backed up that the shit has permeated your body and is now oozing from beneath your fingernails as you type. That would certainly explain what you typed above. I suggest you seek emergency treatment for sepsis.

    I will absolutely step up to have Deb and Barbara's backs here, as I would for Ruth, Madge, Apey, Dawn, Lyndsie, Holly, Katie, Hart, et. al. Who has yours? Isn't it lonely up there perched upon your perfect pole? Doesn't self-righteousness lend itself to isolation? You want to know the amazing thing? I may be being presumptuous here, but I'm willing to make an educated guess that by sunrise Sunday, Deb will have already begun giving you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you were venting after a really bad day. Maybe something about this blog post pushed some buttons in your head from some old baggage. Maybe you were raised by the Wicked Witch of the East. Who knows? Point being, Deb and Barbara are capable of incredible love and forgiveness. They always choose the light. And, this entire The Middle Ages community is one giant, warm embrace. Perhaps, if you climbed down from Mount Holier Than Thou, you might find living here among the messy muddiness of humanity with the rest of us rather nice. There's a lot of laughter. There's a lot of caring. There's a lot of support. And, there's a lot of love. If you choose to attack and hurt and hate here, that is your loss. And, it is sad, sad loss. If your presence brings a stench, it will in no way sully Deb and Barbara. You can't do it. You just can't. They are out of your league. But, if your presence is a perfume, you could find yourself in the midst of something so much softer and buoyant than hardness of heart. And, we're really fun to come over and play with. The Middle Ages is a rocking awesome ball park.

    But, don't hurt my friends.

    (Sorry if this is out of line, Deb and Barbara. I half expect this comment to be deleted ASAP. Just needed to blurt out an electronic bitchslap because I love y'all too much to have left it alone. Sorry. End of rant.)

  39. Rigel- excellent well stated rant. I've got your back, too. Btw. -Apey

  40. Forgot to mention, I very much enjoy the pics Deb! Sort of makes me want to venture back to that era (even though I'm not one for dresses or corsets). You both look great! (Nice Mutton Chops, Colin. -Apey

  41. Great post Deb! It really made me stop and consider my own habits. I'm entirely to attached to my cell phone and I fear I can sometimes be rude without meaning to...something to work on. :)
    I agree that it would be wonderful to be able to take a step back into that era, just for a little while. I'll keep my indoor plumbing, thank you! I love the technology we have, but sometimes it can create a whole new set of problems. This idea made me think of a couple times when I have gone on quilting retreats for a weekend. It is wonderful to be able to spend a good 48 hours devoted to whatever project I am currently working on, and I really enjoy the socializing that takes place. But the best part is this retreat is held at a camp where there is basically no cell phone reception and no internet readily available. It's fantastic to be able to step away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life and just live in the moment.
    By the way, I LOVE that dress, Deb! You look great!

  42. Rigel you gave me a huge morning laugh. I would NOT want to be on your bad side girl! First off, any use of the word troll always kills me, but your rant was a riot. Bless your heart Rigel for standing up for us. As I said, it was bound to happen sooner or later. My thing is, that she was so off base. I would rather be called out by someone disagreeing with me. But there you go. Thanks Apey for having our backs too. And yeah Apey you are sooooooo right about the corsets. I can't even bend over and tie my own shoes while wearing one. Wow. The other ladies on the set and I were discussing how tough it must have been to do even simple tasks in them. How did they bend over and pick up their toddlers? The little gloves I am wearing are over a hundred years old.We were doing a scene where I got wet and the gloves barely touched water and simply started to fall apart. Tomine, believe me I am NO saint in this department either and sometimes have to remind myself. But I am aware always and work on it constantly. What I marveled at in this post was the acceptance of this behaviour, the norm of it. The camp sounds amazing. We are all wired up, aren't we? And we all love it. But...

  43. I have to just echo Deb here and say that I was cracking up reading Rigel's reply. Love you, girl, but man, when your mama bear acts up, look out!! :D I do believe it was called for, though, and I personally think troll is a very appropriate term.
    I am one of those people in the tail end of the pre-cell phone generation (as in, most of us DID NOT have cell phones when we were thirteen) - those not very much younger than me walk around with their noses to their phones, texting away. I, too, have witnessed scenes of a group of people completely ignoring someone else as they text or talk on their phones. And I am young enough to appreciate and understand Facebook, but also not be stupid with it....although there are plenty of people older than me that are constantly posting Farmville crap and useless information on FB. It has been a blessing to me as I am a great distance away from my family and a good deal of friends. My recent pregnancy announcement (baby #5, ladies!! Yipes!) was met with twenty or thirty responses, but I'm sure that most of the people commenting say the same thing every time they read it.
    Anyway, I feel as though I'm in the middle, where even my mother-in-law and my dad are texting along with the teenagers, and here I am, still not owning a cell phone. I have texted one time on hubby's work phone, to get some late night news of a friend's labour and delivery.
    And for the record, I'm a champion eavesdropper without even meaning to be. I can pay attention to my meal companion or children and still catch large parts of two or three other conversations. I don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as you don't turn around and tell people what so-and-so was saying about so-and-so. Usually I don't know the people whose conversations I hear, so I figure, big whoop. :P
    And one last thing, I LOVE those photos, Deb! Loverly. ;)

  44. Hey Katie! And another congrats on baby number 5!! I have grown to love FB -- the quick check ins with people I would never otherwise hear from, especially those far away is fantastic. I use it in a way that suits me and my life. As for the Farmville stuff, I just press "hide" for those and you never see them again on your feed.

    Two things I do want to say, 1. is that I usually don't blatantly eavesdrop on people, this was also a "poetic license" description (and no one in a million years could guess of whom I speak since the details could apply to about a thousand people in this city alone) and 2, and most importantly, if anyone believes that we are pointing a finger from our middle years to those who are younger and painting them with one big boorish brush, nothing could be further from the truth! We adore our young readers, our young friends and our grown children. They are paradigms of class and manners. Boors cross every age boundary, class, sex and race. And "manners" sometimes fluctuate through the eye, ear, and mouth of the beholder.

  45. Deb, that looks like so much fun to escape into the past through the film set. I'm such a sucker for costume pieces anyway.

    I must admit as I read this, I took real umbrage at the lack of respect for Mr. Grenier. Here's a guy who worked hard on something and so many viewers were more interested in being part of the expeience, in bragging about it instead of just experiencing it.

    You remind me that I need to make sure my children understand there's a time and a place for texting and informing the world of one's fabulous life. I may not be able to change the behavior of clods like the ones you had to put up with, but maybe I can make a difference with my own kids.

    And you and Colin look wonderful. What great photos.

  46. Yes Katie congrats on number 5! What a lovely family! And I have to agree with Barb that I never ever meant to imply that this was just a younger generation thing. There was rudeness representing every generation beautifully! But the snippets that were loudest in our ears were the younger people around us. Plus I figured for the purposes of the blog that it would not be interesting to recount conversations about Viagra!

  47. Lisa I must be honest and tell you that we spent many hours teaching the boy to be polite and respectful. Hours I will never regret. You will not regret them. I watch him now as a man and his grace makes us proud.

  48. I'm sorry if I upset you all. I was simply stating my opinion. But I guess it was too harsh. I apologise. All your words have put me in my spot and and you aim was great and I feel like crap, although it was all far more hurtful then anything I said. I don't even remember commenting on this post, but found it in my links, which leads me to believe I was "out of my mind at the time (bipolar, ptsd, anxiety disorder, complicated grief, psychogenic seizures and an all around messed up person I guess). I apologise. If I was in my right mind, I'm sure I would have just passed on the blog and leave you all to your own opinions.

  49. Angela please don't feel badly about your comments. You had an opinion and you stated it. End of story. I was just taken aback as you seemed to kinda hate us and we have never dealt with that before. WE all have days like that when something gets our backs up. I just felt badly because I felt you had misunderstood. I also felt you thought I was targeting your generation too and believe me there was tons of middle aged rude there too! :-) Please Angela come back whenever you want to my girl. And state those opposing points of view or agree. Whatever strikes you. But please don't feel bad. I am over it now and I ask you to join me in that! You are welcome here anytime!!!


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