Friday, February 11, 2011

Back When Women Could Faint

I love watching English romance movies. I have watched every version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice at least 4 times each and seen most any of the screen adaptions of her other works. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is exquisite, and I just finished a BBC series called North and South. Lovely, lovely movies. There are so many thing I love about this genre. The tension between the protagonist and the antagonist, the serene setting, the fact that tea is taken, bonnets are worn, and handkerchiefs carried by gentlemen. (Insert sigh)

If I'm to be honest, which I think I am, it's because the women faint in these movies that I find myself fascinated. As a novice viewer the habit of swooning annoyed me. I felt embarrassed for the character. However, the fainting not only appeals to me but I relish the fainting scenes. Perhaps it's because as a mother of four I can seriously understand the urge to faint, or perchance it is because I, thanks to my firstborn status, relish being the center of attention. More than likely my fondness for fainting comes from the fact that I would like to check out for a bit every now and then only to have my husband rush into the room, put his arm tenderly around my waist and wave smelling salts under my nose. Then, said husband being devilishly handsome and strong, would carry me a chaise lounge and insist that I have quiet and tea. And possibly a servant fanning me.

Once this daydream dissipates and I realize that I am wearing pants and not a frock fit for an Austen gal, that there are no servants behind the scenes waiting to meet my needs, and that my life will not be put on hold for a mere 'impassion of the heart' I come to several conclusions all at once. They come as follows, although not in any particular order:
1. My pants are tight, but not tight enough to cause me to faint
2. I may very well lie on the floor for hours before anyone noticed, especially if the baby were napping and the dogs were out, the turtle had been fed, and the dishwasher unloaded.
3. If anyone were to notice me it would first be my youngest children who would then proceed to do strange things to cause me to wake. Envision my eyelids being forcibly lifted and stretched, my nostrils explored with foreign objects, and drool or the dog's water being splashed upon me as a last resort.
4. If the youngest of my clan did direct the older children's attention their mother's lament I think that the first emotion felt by my daughters would be relief that perhaps school and chores would be postponed for the day. Then, I am certain Hubby would be fetched.
5. Hubby, upon being fetched would come into a state of upmost panic. After all, I had never really answered him about exact plans for the evening meal! Hubby, diligent and dashing, would race into laundry room to grab the only substance sure to wake me from my stupor. Hubby would race to my side, lift my head and shake a bottle of open bleach under my nose.

At this point I would come to. Viewing the people who mean the most to me in this world peering at my overwrought face with concern, horror, and anguish, I would then be greeted with questions such as, "Where are my shoes?" "Is the dishwasher dirty?" "What's for dinner?" So much for my chaise lounge!

In truth I have not a doubt that hugs and kisses would abound AND that I would be able to answer every question with perfect clarity.

Phblttt. Who needs to swoon? I can fix my own cup of tea.


  1. Have you ever seen the fainting goats. Such an odd thing to breed animals to do.

  2. Kara!! That was so funny!! I was laughing out loud :)

  3. You are so funny -- I feel the same way.

  4. *snort* teehee! At least you were wearing pants!!!

    Once my mom went into a restaurant, pretended to faint, and had her friends carry her out.

    I guarantee that if I were to faint in my house I would just be labeled a "drama queen." *sigh*

  5. Love your post, Kara!
    (and yes, I now own the BBC North and South too. You must read it if you haven't.)

  6. Oh Lee and his bleach obsession. Love it. You forgot to mention dogs sniffing you and then blowing their snot in your face.

  7. This something you would put a lot serious thought into even as a kid..fainting always had a great deal of mystery and romance connected with it in all the trashy romance novels you used to read. I've seen the fainting goats. The rest of the herd completely ignores the one out cold or they just mull around stepping on them. it's not pretty. Does it sound like home? LOL Mom and Dad