Friday, August 7, 2015

Medium Lucy's Middle-School-Era Literary Crushes

Dear Friends,

I did a post a week ago about my literary crushes from my early years. Someone asked if I was going to do an updated edition with my more recent crushes. So, today I think I am going to do Medium Lucy's Middle-School-Era Literary Crushes. Whew. Long title.

Clarification: Most people are a little younger when they are in middle school. I was in middle school for forever (screams internally), because of weird Missionary Kid things like the European school system and repeating a grade to learn Czech. For me, middle school lasted from age 12-16. Yup. Sad. So, when I say middle school it is basically like middle school plus early high school.

Here are my middle school crushes:


Character: Walter Hartright
Author: Wilkie Collins
Books: The Woman in White
My Age: 14
"My manner seemed to influence her more than my words. She made am effort to grasp the new idea...Slowly the purpose of  my words seemed to force its way through the confusion and agitation of her mind, Slowly her features relaxed, and her eyes looked at me with their expression gaining in curiosity what it was fast losing in fear."
-Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White

Attractive Qualities: Oh, Walter. He is so lovely and has many qualities which made my young heart soar:

1. He is an artist. Sigh...
2. He is kind. He is so caring to the poor deranged Woman in White and the poor captive ladies Marion and Laura. He is a night in shining armour!
3. He is very calm and collected. He is balances tenderness with rationality. Sexy.

In 2005 my family and I went to England. While we were there the West End was showing the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Woman in White. While we did not actually see the show, because we are poor slobs, we were curios and we explored both reading the novel and listening to the music. I love the music of the musical, even though the show did poorly. I was enamoured of Walter from the first. I do have some problems with the fact that the character who actually gets Walter, Laura, was nothing like me (waif-y, weak and sweet) and the character, Marion, who is like me (intelligent, witty, brunette), is ugly and has no chance.


Character: Zachary Taylor
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Books: The Secret Life of Bees
My Age: 14-15?
"He moved like a person with a genuine love of bees. I could not believe how gentle and softhearted he could be. One of the frames he lifted out leaked honey the colour of plums."
-Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Attractive Qualities: This guy is gem. Not only is he super kind, but he is also just plain cool. He is a cool guy and I usually don't go for those guys.

1. He takes care of bees. Somehow that is a sexy thing. Nurturing?
2. He is OK with dating a white girl.
3. Smart and funny. What more could you ask?

I read this book early in my middle school years and instantly fell in love with Zach. I was consternated that the girl who gets him (Lily) is a pain in the butt. But I loved this novel and wished a handsome guy would fall in love with me while we took care of bees all summer.


Character: Matthew Duncan
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Books: 44 Scotland Street
My Age: 13-14?
"She had seen the discreet, hand-written notice in the window of the gallery a few streets away. 'A bit of help wanted. Reception. Answering the phone--that sort of thing.' The wording had been diffident, as if it was almost indecent to suggest that anybody who read it might actually be looking for something to do. But when she had gone in and found the tall, slightly lost-looking young man sitting at his desk--the wording had seemed perfect. "
-Alexander McCall Smith, 44 Scotland Street

Attractive Qualities: This guy is not the stellar specimen of manliness that Zach or Walter are, but somehow I thought he was pretty great. I think there is like a lost-puppy attraction going on here. Would I actually want to be in a relationship with someone that vague and wishy-washy? No. But I do like the thought of a sweet, shy man.

I read this book as a young teen and enjoyed it enormously. I have a great capacity to read books again and again and to do the same thing with films. This book was on hard rotation. I loved it so much. It rotates between several different stories and plot lines. Some of the characters are less interesting to me, but some I love. It is the same author as The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but I sometimes like this series better. This one is a little more wry and biting in the humour than No. 1 LDA, which is so sweet and lovely.

Hope this illuminating. Or enjoyable. Or something productive.

I just realised something. One thing that all of these hunks have in common is the ability to accept and respect people who are different. Walter makes a long lasting friendship with an Italian man and is very accepting of his culture. Zach dates a girl of a different race...during the Civil Rights Movement! Woah. That's gutsy. And Matthew is just kind and accepting of all weirdos.

I think that is something that I am really attracted to. It may have something to do with my own, personal history of being a cultural outsider and my experience of generally being the odd-man-out and totally confused. That experience makes me hyper-aware of the people who can manage crossing cultures with grace and love.


Here is a post about a time I got lost at my grandparent's house.
Here is another one about the time Sheldon and I did a personality test together.
Here is a random one about an early day of college.

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