Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Indomitable Anne Shirley

Vincent and I had lunch in the Downtown Shopping Centre foodcourt today, looking out over the square where the big, ridiculous digital Countdown To The World Cup is, criticising the hundreds of people milling past, posing for photos, and gearing up for the game later. My favourite was the Australian guy in his long-sleeved Wallabies jersey who stopped by a pillar to take it off, revealing some awesomely terrible arm tattoos, and his spare ute tyre when his singlet came up, and put on his short-sleeved Wallabies jersey. Aussies are A1. Anyway, sitting and criticising while looking out into the sunny, windy square reminded me of when Anne wheels Mrs Harris out and tells her she can "creeticise" to her heart's content, and then I thought of Anne, and what a wonderful role model she was.

Anne made it okay to be a bit vain. She appreciated beauty; she was always so quick to admire it, and her attempts to achieve it were so sincere. Who could judge someone who would try to dye their hair black with dye bought from a tinker, even if it ended up green? And that was another thing. She didn't want to be blonde, which every tv show and movie said we were supposed to want. She wanted raven black hair, like Diana. It may be because of Anne that I love red hair so much. She was theatrical. Her apology to Marilla for (not) losing her brooch was mistressful, as was her cracking of her slate over Gilbert's head. And her temper; wonderful. It was righteous anger; railing against injustice, or personal injury. She was clever, and she occasionally used it for evil. She made mistakes in front of everybody. She said she could do things she couldn't do. She dreamed, all the time.

I have to go now, but I'm glad to remember and acknowledge someone who had a profound effect on me. To you, Anne. Man I love you.

I tried to get my friends to do this with me when I was eight, but they weren't into it. I obviously don't have Anne's powers of persuasion... and just as well.

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