Hexwood -- Catchup

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Fri Feb 1 01:17:24 EST 2002


On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 21:59:21 +0000, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:

>>On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 18:20:27 +0000, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:
>>
>>>Which led me to think of F&H (all roads ...).  It's interesting that
>>>Polly *is* very pretty, is aware of it, and even goes on about how
>>>she wanted to look like Nina.  Anybody have any idea what was going
>>>on with the eye-squashing, biscuit stuffing bit?  Maybe it's just me,
>>>but it seems a bit unusual, and I can't recall its being explained.
>>
>>I think the implication is that Nina is overweight, and Polly wants to gain
>>weight to look like her.  The eye-squashing thing made me think that Nina
>>probably had small eyes, or that her face was plump enough to make her eyes
>>look small by comparison.  Apparently she's not fat enough to feel insecure,
>>and by the time she hits puberty it's not an issue any more, because she is
>>attractive to boys.
>
>Yeah, but that's what I meant was unusual.  I mean, the narrative 
>says that people might have thought Polly chose to be Nina's friend 
>to make herself look even better - because Nina was a "big, fat girl 
>with short,frizzy hair," while Polly was "an extremely pretty little 
>girl".  So I thought it interesting that DWJ set these two 
>descriptions up as strongly contrasting, and then had Polly envying 
>Nina's being fat and "the fat, pink staring look" Nina had without 
>her glasses.

When I was in college, I went through a period where I wondered if I was
subconsciously choosing friends who made me look really good by comparison.
What I discovered was that I believed that the girls who were traditionally
pretty and wore nice clothes and makeup were also going to be very boring.
I *did* deliberately seek out friends who were less attractive, because I
believed on some level that they were the interesting ones.  I don't know if
I thought it through to actually think "if they're not pretty they must have
had to develop a good personality and a clever mind" but that might have
been in there somewhere too.  So while I don't think Polly necessarily had
this in mind, it's certainly possible.  My actual theory is that Polly found
Nina fascinating, but her child's mind wasn't subtle enough to figure out
exactly why.  So she attributed Nina's compelling personality to her unusual
looks.

(One of my favorite parts of F&H is where Fiona admits that she had a huge
crush on Polly back in their school days.  There was this one girl in
college I *desperately* wanted to be friends with, but I never had the nerve
to talk to her--what if we had nothing in common?  Anyway, it just struck
home.)

>Maybe there are tons of you out there who WERE extremely pretty 
>little girls, and did desperately envy less attractive ones, and it 
>just seemed unusual to me?  I make no apologies for leaving the guys 
>out here - blame DWJ, not me. :)

Nah, I traded on my good looks all the time.  I was even in a beauty pageant
in high school.  (This was in Texas, which explains a lot if you're an
American, and if you're not, let's just say that Texans are by and large a
competitive bunch.)  The only time I envied the less attractive girls was
during my drama club phase, when I was constantly passed over for the
character roles I lusted after, because I looked like an ingenue, which I
absolutely could not play.  I agree with what Ven said in another post--you
want whatever you don't have, and imagine your friends are much prettier
than you are.  My gorgeous elfin daughter, with her huge black-fringed brown
eyes, confided to me two days ago that she wished she had *blue* eyes
because they were prettier.  I hope she doesn't ever obsess over it.

Melissa Proffitt
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