03 February 2012

The wisdom of Deirdre.

Like Jane Austen, herself another sagacious, solitary Sagittarius woman, Deirdre is prone to philosophising, drawing conclusions from her own experiences and perceptions and attempting to relate them to some greater truth of the world universal.  Whether she knows it or not, some of her snippets of wisdom are actually spot-on and worthy of remembrance and emulation.  Here are a few, fully ready for application to any intelligent girl’s real-life trials-- complete with section, chapter and page for citing the text!


  • I’d come to hate the idea of work like that, an ‘occupation’, you know, the kind of thing you do every day because it’s your life.  To me the idea is exactly the opposite– you use the job to support what you want to do; and for adults that’s supposed to mean taking care of your family (I, 1, 2)
  • The only thing your average guy wants is to get into your panties (I, 1, 3)
  • … you always hear these stories of stupid runaways who get picked up nearly freezing to death on the streets of Manhattan or whatever.  I’m sorry; but being homeless in a place like New York is just stupid (I, 1, 4)
  • School was never very difficult for me and I truly wonder why so many people think it’s so awful.  Most of them should instead count their blessings that they even have a home life that lets them attend it (I, 1, 7)
  • Lies can come in handy sometimes (I, 1, 7)
  • There’s something weird about the idea of peeling down my shorts in front of grown men, even when I’ve got a perfectly legitimate swimsuit on underneath, that never appealed to me (I, 4, 34)
  • This is the islands’ caste system– Black locals working in service jobs for White tourists from America.  Up in comfortably liberal Connecticut one might have thought this was horrifically bigoted, some form of segregation deliberately perpetuated by rich racists.  But the locals in the islands didn’t think of it that way.  After all, once you get past the fa├žade of tourism, you realise that ninety percent of the islanders are Black.  So there isn’t really anyone else do the actual labour round here.  The other thing is that the people doing this menial servitude don’t feel exploited at all.  Practical young guys like Theo crave tourism jobs.  They aren’t concerned with what colour everyone is.  They’re clever and recognise that this is the opportunity to make money, especially in tips, and you don’t get tips working at a fixed wage for some government-regulated equal-opportunity employer.  You get tips by working for rich White tourists from America.  If anyone in the islands didn’t appreciate that because of some high humanistic ideals, he’d be considered an idiot.  And he’d be poor.  And meanwhile everyone else would be dropping four figures’ worth of cash into Barclays Bank each pay period (III, 4, 111)
  • For the first time I realised how Black people up in White, middle-class Connecticut had felt.  And I know it sounds arrogant of me but I began to feel proud to share that feeling of being considered worthless for no good reason.  The pride didn’t earn me a pay cheque, didn’t provide a roof over my head, didn’t increase my sense of independence; but in a way it was far more valuable than any of that, because it strengthened me, and the strength of it would never be taken from me (IV, 1, 125)
  • The whole issue of sexual harassment always made me a little mad– guys will be guys, you know, and it’s a pretty feeble chick who can’t deal with it even before it starts (IV, 4, 144)
  • ‘You’re only as poor as you feel.’ (V, 1, 159)
  • In spite of what I’d seen of marriages I really believed most people would honour one (V, 2, 164)
  • I’d never been much for lip gloss, normally– only the really good stuff, which no-one ever buys, is safe for kissing and if the dumb girls in school only want it to look so ‘kissable’, why put it on if it’s only going to come off all over the guy’s face? (V, 2, 164)
  • I’ve always noticed how most older men seem to believe whatever they want to be true, even when all the evidence is against them (VI, 2, 211)
  • When a woman realises her potential for self-fulfillment nothing but lack of opportunity ever stops her from experiencing the whole thing… (VI, 4, 237)
  • Honesty is only a virtue if what you’re being honest about is virtuous in itself (VII, 3, 285)
  • They were middleaged American businessmen on holiday and seemed agreeable enough, and I almost felt sorry for them; but they were obviously too eager to have a teenaged chick to share amongst themselves and one can hardly sympathise with that motive (VII, 4, 292)
  • University guys in the ‘States are coddled.  Down [in The Bahamas] young men mature more quickly– they have a lookout on life that sort of demands responsibility and they work their tails off (VII, 5, 296)
  • Any suggestion of sadomasochism between girls arouses men– for some reason… (VII, 6, 307)
  • Every girl can use a little help, you know– especially when she’s built like me… (VIII, 1, 318)
  • I think every man of a certain age… must fancy getting with some cute teenaged chick and having his way with her, no matter what the law or society might say.  I suppose in some ways it might be only natural (VIII, 1, 322)
  • … there is no security like cash when you are on the go (VIII, 3, 335)
  • ‘No self-respecting woman would spread her legs for a picture like that unless she needed the money.’ (VIII, 4, 342)
  • … the almost-legal ‘seventeen’ seemed more credible than the just-legal ‘eighteen’– anyone who would lie about her age would lie enough to get something more out of it (X, 4, 420)
  • If we do love, truly love, then we really must put the one we love first, even if it means inconvenience for ourselves.  Because in the end all that matters is that we do what’s truly best for the people we love the most (X, 5, 439)

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