Friday, October 31, 2008

Blondes Having Fun

DGF: Are we allowed to discuss the wardrobes of the ladies involved in the campaign? Is that suitable for polite conversation?

Miss Grimke: Indubitably!

DGF: Well that’s too bad because I think talking about clothes is boring.

Miss Grimke: Well shut my mouth!

DGF: Just kidding! I think talking about my clothes is boring. I think Sarah has an excellent fashion sense.

Miss Grimke: I totally agree. I think you could learn a thing or two from her.

DGF: What did I just say?

Miss Grimke: Blah blah blah. Cindy McCain I think looked better when her style was a little less, you know, like she was trying too hard.

DGF: Trying too hard! That is the Southern Lady’s worst insult!

Miss Grimke: Well, really. Bless her heart, it is such a difficult thing to do: looking good effortlessly. Sometimes it happens just by chance and sometimes you can’t pull it off no matter how hard you try.

DGF: Michelle is like Sarah. I don’t think she has hit a false note yet.

Miss Grimke: I love her in purple. But you know Cindy has one advantage the other two lack.

DGF: What’s that?

Miss Grimke: Being blond. Being blond trumps a lot.

DGF: Ain’t that the truth!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tea Time

Miss Grimke: Is Barack Obama a Southern Lady?

DGF: Indubitably! I’d love to say that, but really, he is more of a Southern Gentleman.

Miss Grimke: I knew that, but really, he’d look good even in a dress.

DGF: It’s the slim. The slim look good in anything.

Miss Grimke: But not the really skinny. I don’t like to see bones, for heaven’s sake, except at Halloween.

DGF: Are we allowed to discuss religion or politics in polite company?

Miss Grimke: I was taught otherwise. Especially not over dinner.

DGF: Oh I’m terribly sorry. Are you hungry? I have some excellent goat cheese rolled in cracked peppercorns.

Miss Grimke: Delightful! I’d love to have some.

DGF: Specialty of the house!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Footwear for winter

New England winters can be hard on us Southern Ladies. It can be hard on anyone who doesn't have door to door car service. But hardship can bring out the best in us, and we do love the snow and an excuse to curl up next to a warm fire with a little glass of sherry or, really, a large bottle of sherry. In the event of an all-out Alberta Clipper protocol would call for Canadian whiskey, though a nice Kentucky bourbon would do in a pinch.

On a day when the sky was leaden but the Norway maples had not yet peaked, I slipped over to Elmwood for a little chit chat and I won't tell you what else.

Miss Grimke: I do love winter and yet I hate it.
DGF: Ambiguity is at the heart of it.
Miss Grimke: It's an excuse for cashmere and fur but there is absolutely nothing you can put on your feet to keep them warm and dry.
DGF: Duck boots are the only thing.
Miss Grimke: Duck boots ruin any outfit, I don't care how rustic.
DGF: I'm not meaning either to condemn or celebrate them.
Miss Grimke: Now that you are well into your sophomore year, how do you like your job?
DGF: Heavy is the burden of independence and automony.
Miss Grimke: Does it require ten thousand acts of domination per day?
DGF: No. One or two usually does the trick.
Miss Grimke: So being mistress of Harvard is nothing like trying to manage a hundred slaves while your husband is off whupping Yankees?
DGF: Of course not. It's more like trying to herd cats.
Miss Grimke: When your expertise lies in the herding of goats.
DGF: I think I've adapted.
Miss Grimke: I've never seen you in duck boots.
DGF: You've never seen me in a lot of things, and you never will.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Toad lilies, goat farms, and branding

Our dear Dr. Faust has suffered a set-back. Nothing major or serious, but truly a disappointment for her. She has had to abandon her dream of having a model goat farm at Elmwood. Even with me helping as project manager, running a dairy large enough to supply cheese for the dining hall would be too much of a distraction from her day job, especially now that the financial community is belly up in a ditch and even the World's Richest University has to sit very very still and take deep cleansing breaths.

So Drew has scaled back, for now anyway. She thinks of her goats more as pets than a demonstration of the Sustainable University. Sure we'll make a little cheese, but it'll just be for friends and family, and maybe we'll have a tasting as a fund-raiser for the Mathew Brady Memorial Darkroom.

The old 4-H-er has to get her hands dirty, so she's started a shade garden in a lovely spot at Elmwood. Her biggest delight now is tending a collection of toad lilies that surprised us by blooming a few weeks ago. We moved two plastic chairs to a spot of grass near the new flower bed and fell into what could pass for political discourse, or maybe not.

Miss Grimke: Do you consider yourself a maverick?

DGF: Perhaps. But a maverick is someone or something that has been not been branded. I'm afraid I've been branded.

Miss Grime: Branded what?

DGF: Feminist, for one thing. When I get depressed all I have to do is remember how the old boy Civil War historians got their boxers in knots over Mothers of Invention.

Miss Grimke: That cheers me up, too!

DGF: Here's what I don't understand, and I'm a highly educated individual. How can you be a maverick if you brand yourself a maverick and a maverick is unbranded?

Miss Grimke: Greater minds than ours will have to answer that question, Dr. Faust.