on 31 July 2007

So. I saw that very neat film Marie Antoinette made by Sofia Coppola. It was quite good. Sad, but in a good way. And, me, Queen Dork that I am, promptly went out and bought the book she based the film on.

Now, I'm not being Miss Fancypants here, but I know a bit about French history (have minored in history and studied French for 4 years in school) so I was pretty sure that I knew what I was getting into with Marie Antoinette.

Not so much.

Antonia Fisher's take on her is really interesting, and I (at least) have never encountered it before. Being a little girl, and having grown up in the U.S., I had a bit of the "Princess" fixation. As in, I wanted to be one. And not the crappy Disney variety, I wanted to be a real Princess. (In direct opposition to what I actually was, a peasant in a democratic country.) I thought if I was a Princess I would have everything I could ever imagine that I would want. Beautiful clothes, jewels, horses to ride, personal trainers to make me look good while riding said horses, a huge house with beautiful gardens etc. etc. etc.

What I have learned from reading Marie Antoinette: Sometimes it's good to be a peasant in a democratic country.

The poor woman was badly educated, if educated at all. She was bred to be auctioned off by her mother to the most powerful bidder. She was never taught to think, she was taught to please royalty and reproduce. That was her job. She was essentially a well-dressed horse. She was taught only those skills necessary to be beautiful and the result was that she was very beautiful and very alone. She had no friends. She was sent to France to be married to a boy, she was expected to understand politics and social customs when she could barely read and had never been exposed to politics.

(One moment please, I myself have no interest in politics, but that is because I am a well-educated cynic who firmly believes that all politicians sell their souls to the devil and have no interest whatsoever in representing the people foolish enough to elect them. And yes, I think this about very nearly all politicians, and no, I haven't voted in years.)

Here's my problem. I feel sorry for her. The woman can't have known what it feels like to be really loved for who you are and not what you represent. She can't possibly have known how gratifying it is to achieve something really great, because let's face it, she never did. She was a token pretty girl. She had the diamonds, the clothes, the homes, the prestige, but for all that, she really had nothing. She had children she wasn't allowed to raise, a husband who was not interested in her, no real friends only power-hungry courtiers. She lived this pointless life filled with Versailles and Paris and clothes and jewels and yet...

Sometimes it's better to be a peasant than a Princess.

Amazon dot com: MegaInternetBastard

on 23 July 2007

Here's the story:

I pre-ordered HP7 on Feb. 6th for Chris' birthday. The poor man was working a job he hated for crap pay and knew that he wasn't going to med school and was scrambling for a back-up plan so seeing the pre-order for HP7 was the one bright spot for a good 6-8 weeks there. Besides the fact that i had been listening to him ask when 7 was going to get here for the past YEAR (basically since he finished 6). So, I pre-ordered and kept saying that it would be delivered BY UPS on Saturday the 21st.

So we stayed at home. and we waited. and waited. and Chris watched Babel. and we waited. And the mail came. at 6:30pm. And there was a parcel notice saying that our copy of HP was delivered to the office via USPS. and the office closes at 5pm. Chris was LIVID to say the least. I haven't seen him that enraged in a long time. And frankly, when he gets's best not to be the subject of that rage. So, I go on-line, I pull up the order, and I call the customer service number. I sit on hold. I wait and wait and wait and all the while, Chris is pacing and RANTING about the injustice, how we could have gone at midnight for all this hassle, OR we could have just bought it while we were at Sams Club that morning and on and on and on.

Finally this woman, Anita (bless her heart, poor unlucky soul) answers the phone and I shush Christopher and begin to lay into the poor unsuspecting woman about how this is not the first time that amazon has screwed me over for my naivete, I apologized in advance for my RAGE but I have a very ANGRY husband to live with at the moment and it is the fault of her HATEFUL organization! I don't exactly remember everything I said, but I'm pretty sure I made my case stating the deception of listing delivery BY UPS on Saturday when in reality it had come BY USPS the slowest mail carrier KNOWN TO MAN!!! I went on to assure them that i would be pulling ALL of my business from their organization--amounting to thousands (sadly I wish this were an exaggeration) every year, in addition to telling every living soul about how HORRENDOUS their total WANT of customer service is and that they take unnatural pleasure in SCREWING over their customers. I went on to insist that she forward any recording of my call to the board members and executives so that they could hear the $$ draining from their bonuses and retirement funds. 20 minutes of ranting later, I was hoarse and told her that I felt much better and that if she should choose to leave her current DEMON-ORGANIZATION she could pursue a successful career as a therapist. I think I also told her that she should enjoy sharing this story with her co-workers as I have had a job similar to hers in my past and know exactly what kind of stories get told about calls like the one I just gave her. She chuckled and assured me that the amount of HP7 would be refunded and that I could just write return-to-sender on the package and I wouldn't be charged anything. She was actually a very nice person...but we hate Hate HATE now. I'm switching to B&N permanently.

So, there you go. How Melissa Opened up a Can of Whoop A** on

Posting the First

Hello, Love-of-my-Life:

Since you're the first reader, I can address this directly to you.

I think that part of the motivation behind The Blog is to eventually share information with our families. But the other part of it goes back to that moment when my dad asked me why I don't write what I think, why I always quote others. I don't think that I lied, I do think that others have said...well, everything, better than I can, but I also think that...well, there are just some things that we need to say ourselves, regardless of how...inelegant it may sound.

Thank you for being my first reader.

Nearly all of my Love,

The Wife