Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A "Meg" Winter

Imagine my thrill after reading Little Women at age 10, to be told that the March sisters resided a mere 20 miles away in Concord, Massachusetts.  But then, Orchard House was not open in the winter and I had to wait until spring to visit their fascinating abode.  It was the first of nearly annual jaunts to my favorite 19th century historic site.

I love the 1994 movie version of the Louisa May Alcott book and watch it faithfully each Christmas season but two years ago, Mom gave me "her version" of the film, the one starring June Allyson. Now I view them back to back.  Most girls identify with outspoken, fun-loving, tomboy Jo, but I've always been a "Meg" and proud of it.  She was the March girl I most wanted to get to know, be like, emulate.  Pretty, older, wiser than Jo, she was traditional, wanting home and marriage over adventure.  Perhaps it is because I had such wonderful homecaring role models in my mother and grandmother, or perhaps it is because like Meg, I covet lovely things, which was such a hardship for her during the March's hungry years.

"Meg Goes to Vanity Fair" is my very favorite Little Women chapter because although Meg laments about not having the proper clothes, much is described about the delightfully modest wardrobe her sisters put together for her to take to Annie Moffat's party. It may not have been the most stylish but they were fine garments embellished with love from her sisters' sewing baskets.

This winter, my plan is to return my home to its organized "well-oiled machine" splendor.  I've been neglecting some things and I need to purge.  I will also take a gimlet eye to my closet and update and fix some items in a Meg-like way.  I'll find new ways to put things together - will my faux fur collar look nice with that oldish caramel cashmere sweater?  Can I polish my classic black leather platform pumps back to just-bought splendor?  I'll have a care, take time, embrace frugality, and settle in for the long winter spell.

And so now I must ask, which March sister are you?


  1. Oh, one of the topics dearest to my heart: my name is Amy Laurie and I was named after Amy and her husband, Laurie.

    Despite this, I'm a Beth at heart. I love staying at home, tending the fire, while other people are out and about. I'm deeply introverted, and shy. I know Beth had a tragic end, but other than that I relate most to her desire to be hidden away, tending to her family. I feel rather blessed that my husband honors this counter-cultural desire of mine.

    1. I'm a cross between Louisa and Beth, being a writer, having a bad temper and having ambition, but I also very much relate to Beth's quiet ways and the good she does in everyday life. Louisa, the real life woman is my guide and Beth is my favorite March sister.

  2. Dearest Amy (or should I say Beth?),

    I've never known a Beth before! In a world that tips and twirls in all directions, you are blessed to know yourself so well and honor it! As does your hubby! Happy Christmas!

    Emily (Meg)

  3. I think I identify most with Jo. I was quite tomboyish when younger and Lord knows I certainly had (still have!)the fiery outbursts! There is much fun to be had by not following the herd.

  4. It's funny, as a kid I was totally Jo...outspoken, boyish, bookish and a writer, loud, and frank to the point of shocking. But after having 3 children and raising them sans husband, I feel I've come to embrace the Marmee in me. Her wisdom and deep love and caring resonate with me, as does her capacity to see the best in others and rely on their good hearts to come through. I have 4 "daughters" now, thanks to marriages,..and there are at least 2 Jos in the mix...yikes!!!

  5. I LOVE that you are a Marmee!


  6. Hah, me too! That's cool.

    I'm a cross between Jo and Beth. Temperamentally I was more like Jo when I was young with the anger/mood issues but I always had Beth's shyness. The creative fire though runs deep. Now in my 50s, I'm more like Beth and want to be like her. She is so kind, truly giving herself to others.

    I love your ode to Meg! I have met other "Meg" people and they are lovely. I think you did a wonderful job of presenting Meg in such a positive way. Most people tend to dismiss Meg (and Beth too) when in fact, ALL FOUR SISTERS were tremendously important to the story.

    I blog about Louisa May Alcott if you want to come and visit: http://www.louisamayalcottismypassion.com

  7. What a sweet and delightful post! My real name is Meg, but I'm a Jo. Maybe we should all switch to our real names, eh? I'm a writer, a Civil War buff, have a temper, and can't cook to save my life. But the story ideas keep coming, as they always do. :)

  8. Meg, you are a Civil War buff??? That's so interesting and Little Women as you well know was set during the war!