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LizzieAnn
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Chapter 11 - Miriam

I see chapter 11 as a turning point for Miriam in a couple of ways:

1) There's the confrontation with Agnes Willis, particularly her comeback to Anges when Miriam says she'd rather being nothing than a something like Agnes. I see that as her beginning to shed that society shellac - rising about the shallowness and pettiness that's been so a part of her life.

I really liked when she returned Agnes's threat; I felt like applauding right along with Kevin. It was a terrific touch (on page 144), when the older woman at the hospital said she had known Agnes' mom and that she was a "b****, too."! :smileyhappy:

2) Miriam's turning to Charlie is further confirmation of her commitment (made in Chapter 10) to make their relationship work - both with Charlie and with Priscilla. It was very real when she told Kevin about Charlie & Priscilla's upcoming wedding definitively and matter-of-factly. It particularly rang true when she explained to him how cleaning out his room brought home to her the fact that she wanted Charlie in her life. It was up to her to effect a change, and she has begun.

The exchange between mother and son on the bottom of page 154 was especially touching. I love her thoughts - particularly the fact that the "mother-in-law thing was sure to present a challenge." At the same time she makes the decision to reacquaint herself with her other son, her daughter-in-law, and her grandchildren. She's already a different woman than she was in chapter 1.

3) Miriam also begins to care about Liz. While guilt may be part of her concern, as she feels that she may have caused the circumstances, her sincerity in caring for Liz and wanting to help her is apparent. It was also a positive sign to "hear" Miriam think about her mother - about telling her what happened to Liz and planning to call her to do so.

The last paragraph was a strong statement for Miriam. She sees the changes that have been made and is committed to making more changes to better her life. I like Miriam much better now than I did earlier.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam


LizzieAnn wrote:
I see chapter 11 as a turning point for Miriam in a couple of ways:

1) There's the confrontation with Agnes Willis, particularly her comeback to Anges when Miriam says she'd rather being nothing than a something like Agnes. I see that as her beginning to shed that society shellac - rising about the shallowness and pettiness that's been so a part of her life.

I really liked when she returned Agnes's threat; I felt like applauding right along with Kevin. It was a terrific touch (on page 144), when the older woman at the hospital said she had known Agnes' mom and that she was a "b****, too."! :smileyhappy:

2) Miriam's turning to Charlie is further confirmation of her commitment (made in Chapter 10) to make their relationship work - both with Charlie and with Priscilla. It was very real when she told Kevin about Charlie & Priscilla's upcoming wedding definitively and matter-of-factly. It particularly rang true when she explained to him how cleaning out his room brought home to her the fact that she wanted Charlie in her life. It was up to her to effect a change, and she has begun.

The exchange between mother and son on the bottom of page 154 was especially touching. I love her thoughts - particularly the fact that the "mother-in-law thing was sure to present a challenge." At the same time she makes the decision to reacquaint herself with her other son, her daughter-in-law, and her grandchildren. She's already a different woman than she was in chapter 1.

3) Miriam also begins to care about Liz. While guilt may be part of her concern, as she feels that she may have caused the circumstances, her sincerity in caring for Liz and wanting to help her is apparent. It was also a positive sign to "hear" Miriam think about her mother - about telling her what happened to Liz and planning to call her to do so.

The last paragraph was a strong statement for Miriam. She sees the changes that have been made and is committed to making more changes to better her life. I like Miriam much better now than I did earlier.


Lizzie,
I think thats why I saw the little bit before chapter 11 as leading up to a change in her. One, that she went home to her mom and got to "detox" from the city for a bit and she met Harrison who gave her the nickname Mellie. I think that is more than a sweet moment in the book,like i said, I think that it was what he saw in her that he was also helping her understand WAS in her, a nicer, mellower woman with feelings. Being there too reminded her how caring people can be to each other, even when they dont know each other well or have different "statuses". So she goes back to the city and the whole life changing explosion in her life happens, THE BIG SPILL. She really gets a look at what her life has been, who she has been. So now she is set to start to act, and you see that in these chapters that you are talking about here. I think until all this, Miriam was very active in the city but was not taking "action" in her life. She was lost in a sea where everyone defines your actions for you and what they should be and what they are worth and now the bottom has fallen out, so she can begin to act for herself, find herself, define herself. Its her turning point to start to try to make those things in her life that she is sad about or dislikes so, different. How draining it must have been to be Miriam with those women all the time. How freeing it is becoming to be Mellie! mellie=mellow maybe? But a stronger mellow than Miriam could ever be.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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LizzieAnn
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam

I think this chapter hit me more because these changes did take place in the city where it would have been very easy to fall into the "Miriam" persona. While it's apparent in the previous chapter that she's changing, to me it exploded within this chapter.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam

Vivico,

Your choice of words struck me as extremely appropriate- Mellie is Mellow! Love it.
Stephanie
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maxcat
Posts: 4,012
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam

Ithink that chapter was a turning point too in Miriam's life. She starts to shed all the big city ways of snobbery and impoliteness and starts to take care of Liz, starts to care about her son, Charlie and accepts his impending marriage to a Jamaican girl.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam


Stephanie wrote:
Vivico,

Your choice of words struck me as extremely appropriate- Mellie is Mellow! Love it.


Think that is what Dot had in mind? :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam



LizzieAnn wrote:
I see chapter 11 as a turning point for Miriam in a couple of ways:

1) There's the confrontation with Agnes Willis, particularly her comeback to Anges when Miriam says she'd rather being nothing than a something like Agnes. I see that as her beginning to shed that society shellac - rising about the shallowness and pettiness that's been so a part of her life.

I really liked when she returned Agnes's threat; I felt like applauding right along with Kevin. It was a terrific touch (on page 144), when the older woman at the hospital said she had known Agnes' mom and that she was a "b****, too."! :smileyhappy:

2) Miriam's turning to Charlie is further confirmation of her commitment (made in Chapter 10) to make their relationship work - both with Charlie and with Priscilla. It was very real when she told Kevin about Charlie & Priscilla's upcoming wedding definitively and matter-of-factly. It particularly rang true when she explained to him how cleaning out his room brought home to her the fact that she wanted Charlie in her life. It was up to her to effect a change, and she has begun.

The exchange between mother and son on the bottom of page 154 was especially touching. I love her thoughts - particularly the fact that the "mother-in-law thing was sure to present a challenge." At the same time she makes the decision to reacquaint herself with her other son, her daughter-in-law, and her grandchildren. She's already a different woman than she was in chapter 1.

3) Miriam also begins to care about Liz. While guilt may be part of her concern, as she feels that she may have caused the circumstances, her sincerity in caring for Liz and wanting to help her is apparent. It was also a positive sign to "hear" Miriam think about her mother - about telling her what happened to Liz and planning to call her to do so.

The last paragraph was a strong statement for Miriam. She sees the changes that have been made and is committed to making more changes to better her life. I like Miriam much better now than I did earlier.




Doesn't it do a body and soul good to see a person positively change. We see people all the time, we wish would change. We see traits in ourselves we know we should change. But the actual act of doing it, is such a satisfying view. Because the betterment of ourselves and others is what we strive on.
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dotfrank
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Registered: ‎06-13-2007
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut

Okay - here's my twenty-five cents worth of rant on "Stuck in a rut." How many of us grew up one palce and spent out adult years someplace else? And when you visit your childhood home and see your childhood friends there is an assumption that you are the same person you were in the sandbox? If you were a silly and loud little girl are you still thought of that way? If you were serious and studious, would anyone expect you to be funny or an interesting dinner companion? When I started writing in my forties I can tell you that my books surprised a lot of people. Have any of you experienced the same thing of old friends and family members wanting to keep you in a box?


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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut



dotfrank wrote:
Okay - here's my twenty-five cents worth of rant on "Stuck in a rut." How many of us grew up one palce and spent out adult years someplace else? And when you visit your childhood home and see your childhood friends there is an assumption that you are the same person you were in the sandbox? If you were a silly and loud little girl are you still thought of that way? If you were serious and studious, would anyone expect you to be funny or an interesting dinner companion? When I started writing in my forties I can tell you that my books surprised a lot of people. Have any of you experienced the same thing of old friends and family members wanting to keep you in a box?




I don't know, Dot, I always believe we are that same person, when you dig on the inside of our self. Maybe our expectations have changed but aren't the main characterics still there. Of course, life teaches us certain lessons that change us but basically if we laugh alot, have a pleasing personalinity, doesn't it last forever thru life. ??
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut


dotfrank wrote:
Okay - here's my twenty-five cents worth of rant on "Stuck in a rut." How many of us grew up one palce and spent out adult years someplace else? And when you visit your childhood home and see your childhood friends there is an assumption that you are the same person you were in the sandbox? If you were a silly and loud little girl are you still thought of that way? If you were serious and studious, would anyone expect you to be funny or an interesting dinner companion? When I started writing in my forties I can tell you that my books surprised a lot of people. Have any of you experienced the same thing of old friends and family members wanting to keep you in a box?


My ten year reunion was a really good shocker! A lot of my classmates stayed in our hometown, never moved away. I did, and I grew up outside the abusive home I was in and I think I became a better person. Yes aspects of Vivian are always there, always, but where I grew up, you also had to know how to fight in that town,and I do mean physically fight! I did, when I had to. I never started them but was never put down by one either. I was very protective of my friends and thats where most of my fights happened. I really didnt fight much about me cause nothing anyone could say to me could make it worth it to me lol. They had no idea I had heard worse in my home so I really didnt care what they said about me, but dont hurt my friends who cant take care of themselves.
Well, I not only looked much different (for the better actually lol) at my 10 year reunion but some of them still had the same feuds going on, just maybe not physically and I had mellowed way to much to get into it with them. Some girls/women at my ten year, the night of cocktails and socializing only, came to me about so and so and this and that and I just didn't want to hear it anymore, or they wanted me to do something for them about it all. I just said, hey, if you guys are still that way, work it out, get out of each others way and stay out of each others way, or just take care of it however you want, I am just here to see old friends and have some fun and they were shocked! LOL, I actually wound up hanging out with some people from high school that I never really knew that well back then and we had a blast! I also saw my dream boy from high school that I never got to date or tell him so. We kinda found each other and well....nice reunion LOL :smileywink:.
Actually, reunions are shockers to most people, the guys hated it the worst cause if you had left and came back, WHERE were the teenagers you knew?! These were all older people! Then it soaks in, that you are older too. One guy at our table said, no way in heck am I coming to the 20 year one, I feel too old right now, this is depressing. I enjoyed it, probably more because I was somewhat different and out of that crowd that had been so oppressing in high school.

Going back to a place in your life that you left many years ago, can make you realize changes in you. The nice thing tho is when they bring back some special feelings too, like when I visited the place I had spend my years from ages 3-9. The town had not changed much, but to me it looked so much smaller than when i was a kid lol. But I even found old paths I used to take to get around town and walked them and that was a marvelous feeling. Things looked smaller, including the paths lol but the sights and smells and few people I found that I knew was marvelous. I grew up, but for the most part, I like the person I grew into :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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KathyS
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut

When I started writing in my forties I can tell you that my books surprised a lot of people. Have any of you experienced the same thing of old friends and family members wanting to keep you in a box?

Ok, you gave your 25 cent point of view....I'll raise you half....:smileyhappy:
In this sentence alone, you just told me what's happened. People have no idea who you are, until you start to write. You change their perception of you by a mile! They look at you differently; they talk to you differently...they expect you do be something other than that same person you've always thought you presented to them....did you change because you don't live in the same world you once knew? I don't have a clue. Is your world bigger now? Do you see and view life differently....? We all do change, that's a given.

Dot, if you want to break out of that perception of feeling like people want to keep you in that box.......do what I do....carry a box cutter, and hand them out at your book signings.....and give them to family members ---with your signature, *Dot's, still Dot, and that's a fact*! (or - sit and spin...which ever turns your fancy)
(I almost forgot - don't forget to keep a well stocked supply of Band-Aids with you)

Kathy S.
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut


KathyS wrote:
When I started writing in my forties I can tell you that my books surprised a lot of people. Have any of you experienced the same thing of old friends and family members wanting to keep you in a box?

Ok, you gave your 25 cent point of view....I'll raise you half....:smileyhappy:
In this sentence alone, you just told me what's happened. People have no idea who you are, until you start to write. You change their perception of you by a mile! They look at you differently; they talk to you differently...they expect you do be something other than that same person you've always thought you presented to them....did you change because you don't live in the same world you once knew? I don't have a clue. Is your world bigger now? Do you see and view life differently....? We all do change, that's a given.

Dot, if you want to break out of that perception of feeling like people want to keep you in that box.......do what I do....carry a box cutter, and hand them out at your book signings.....and give them to family members ---with your signature, *Dot's, still Dot, and that's a fact*! (or - sit and spin...which ever turns your fancy)
(I almost forgot - don't forget to keep a well stocked supply of Band-Aids with you)

Kathy S.


Dang KS you must be one of the people in my high school I was talking about, carrying a box cutter ROFL!!!

One other thought about people wanting to keep us in a box, aren't the boxes we are in, the ones we usually made to begin with? People saw you one way because thats who you showed them...until you showed them the other side of you or the rest of you. People saw me one way, everyone's rock, even my family and I know I must have perpetuated it by being it all the time..until i wasnt anymore. Until I let them know, I needed someone to lean on too. Some of that change was choice, I was tired of being the rock when I really wanted someone to lean on myself and some of it was forced upon me by illnesses and injuries that I then became one that not only wanted but NEEDED someone to be my rock, someone to help me, at least till I could help myself again but you would be surprised how many people couldn't handle that I couldn't or wouldn't be their rock anymore and walked away. I know now, it was me who let them all think I never needed anything before then so yeah oh boy did they want to keep me in that box where it was more comfortable for them. With the friends I have now, I hope anyway, they see someone who will always be there for them but can also let them know I have needs too, and sometimes one of those needs is to just be able to cry, and they will loan me their shoulder too. This is a much better me to be I think.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Liz1017
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut

I have a great friend who is stuck in a rut! She is so in her rut that she would be more at home with her barbie dolls than out on the town for a night of fun! Her idea of fun is a nice, quiet evening home watching romantic comedies or strange Sci-fi movies with her brother or mother and father. If she does go out, it's to Applebee's or a sushi resturant (shocking!). She's 28 years old and has never been kissed... or anything else for that matter! She believes that things need to be prim and proper and reminds me of a grandmother....!! She has never removed her shell and is still scarred from events that occured in high school. But she is the sweetest, most caring person in the whole wide world. She understand me, which besides my husband only one other person gets me. I've tried in the past to get her to change and open up and experience life a little more, and she does, but at her own speed. Everyonce in a while, I can see a glimmer of what she would be like if she was more at ease with life. She can be wild, to an extent (like Miriam putting on jeans) and daring (like Miriam not wearing a ton of makeup), but she is not comfortable enough with herself to let it all go and dance like a whirling dervish until her hair lights on fire! But, then again, how many of us really are that comfortable with themselves to do that?!?!

- Liz
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Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut


Liz1017 wrote:
I have a great friend who is stuck in a rut! She is so in her rut that she would be more at home with her barbie dolls than out on the town for a night of fun! Her idea of fun is a nice, quiet evening home watching romantic comedies or strange Sci-fi movies with her brother or mother and father. If she does go out, it's to Applebee's or a sushi resturant (shocking!). She's 28 years old and has never been kissed... or anything else for that matter! She believes that things need to be prim and proper and reminds me of a grandmother....!! She has never removed her shell and is still scarred from events that occured in high school. But she is the sweetest, most caring person in the whole wide world. She understand me, which besides my husband only one other person gets me. I've tried in the past to get her to change and open up and experience life a little more, and she does, but at her own speed. Everyonce in a while, I can see a glimmer of what she would be like if she was more at ease with life. She can be wild, to an extent (like Miriam putting on jeans) and daring (like Miriam not wearing a ton of makeup), but she is not comfortable enough with herself to let it all go and dance like a whirling dervish until her hair lights on fire! But, then again, how many of us really are that comfortable with themselves to do that?!?!

- Liz




It sounds like she is very lucky to have a friend like you who appreciates her for who she is but also gently encourages her to live a little. Is it serious enough that she should get some kind of counseling? If she is open to it, I would think that suggesting more things is a good step. She may be like Miriam and may just be unable to do it herself.
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KathyS
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 11 - Miriam and The Rut

Debbie, sound advice.

K.

Wrighty wrote:

Liz1017 wrote:
I have a great friend who is stuck in a rut! She is so in her rut that she would be more at home with her barbie dolls than out on the town for a night of fun! Her idea of fun is a nice, quiet evening home watching romantic comedies or strange Sci-fi movies with her brother or mother and father. If she does go out, it's to Applebee's or a sushi resturant (shocking!). She's 28 years old and has never been kissed... or anything else for that matter! She believes that things need to be prim and proper and reminds me of a grandmother....!! She has never removed her shell and is still scarred from events that occured in high school. But she is the sweetest, most caring person in the whole wide world. She understand me, which besides my husband only one other person gets me. I've tried in the past to get her to change and open up and experience life a little more, and she does, but at her own speed. Everyonce in a while, I can see a glimmer of what she would be like if she was more at ease with life. She can be wild, to an extent (like Miriam putting on jeans) and daring (like Miriam not wearing a ton of makeup), but she is not comfortable enough with herself to let it all go and dance like a whirling dervish until her hair lights on fire! But, then again, how many of us really are that comfortable with themselves to do that?!?!

- Liz




It sounds like she is very lucky to have a friend like you who appreciates her for who she is but also gently encourages her to live a little. Is it serious enough that she should get some kind of counseling? If she is open to it, I would think that suggesting more things is a good step. She may be like Miriam and may just be unable to do it herself.


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