Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stress, Books, & Swift's Scarlet Letter

I thought my 25th year was going well, and by well I mean stress-free. And then I got hit. My stress level went up. When I'm stressed I'm very irritable and I break out. So guess what's on my face. And one of them hurts like the dickens. Anyway...

I got some books from my lola. Got a brown leather bound poetry book that I remember from my childhood. Got a "Quotationary" because I thought it'll be fun to tweet obscure quotes. Now I have to get it out of my bookshelf in the garage. Yes, that's where my bookshelf is becauseI have no space in my room and I have too many books. The number of books I have rival the number of dvds I have, and I have over 200 dvds. I also got some classics, like The Odyssey and The Scarlet Letter. The latter book is really nice, looks unused. I got some short story collections and Greek myths collections and...I don't remember anymore.

I had this goal to start reading or re-reading my books. I own some books I haven't read. Yes, I realize I'm weird like that. Most people buy books to read them. I tend to buy them because. Because I don't have a copy of this classic tale...because it's on sale...because I saw a movie version and now I want to read the original...because Shakespeare is cool...because I want it.

That's a bad shopping mentality by the way. But to my credit, I've scored new hard-bound books for $0.50 and soft-bound books for a quarter each. Beat that!

A note on a popular song that referenced The Scarlet Letter:

"Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
But you were everything to me
I was begging you please don't go and I said"
- "Love Story" by Taylor Swift

I like this song, but that scarlet letter line always gets to me because I keep thinking about all the people out there, especially the young girls, that connect with this song and quite possibly think that they too are a scarlet letter. Only, they don't know what that means. They may think, from the content of the song, that being a scarlet letter means the same thing as being Juliet. Uh no. If you think "scarlet letter" you ought to think Hester Prynne, who wore a scarlet letter "A" because she was an adulterer. So taking that into consideration...I doubt that the many young girls connecting with this song can truly consider themselves a scarlet letter, unless they committed adultery.

On a personal note (like this post isn't at all personal), I have worn a scarlet letter "A". In Junior year in HS, my English class read "The Scarlet Letter" and had a trial afterwards. I played Hester Prynne, and had to wear the pilgrim dress with the pilgrim apron and the pilgrim hat and that scarlet letter, which I embroidered myself. After the trial, it found a home on the dashboard of my first car, which had a maroon cover on it. It worked because my name begins with the letter "A". Then I donated the scarlet letter to my English teacher, and then...well, the letter disappeared. Such is the story of Hester Prynne if the lawmakers behind our public education system keeps mucking up our schools.

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