Well... Tomorrow I finally hit the road to get to the place I've been preparing to go to for a year. It's been a wild scramble on my part, ironing, sewing and buttonholing, reading up and saving up. And with luck it'll all come to fruition next week!
I've seen the preview videos of Southern Belle, and as a northern Illi girl (heck, we have Abe Lincoln on our license plates) I can't say that I'm particularly endeared to the underlying racist/misogynistic undertones that the documentary implies the Rectory has. I suppose that I'll just have to bear that in mind when I go... Yes, Lincoln was racist (but he still did more than 99% of the population to end the horrors of slavery) and yes, free blacks did own slaves (almost always for the purpose of manumission or reuniting families,) and the list continues. Just got to keep that in mind and keep my mouth shut.
I've been doing a bit of research, on my part, as to the revisionist nature of the 'southern belle' image. Even the very wealthiest plantation women didn't sit around drinking tea - they, by most accounts, ended up being the plantation manager in their husband's frequent absences. It was hard work, and many women were miserable and lonely. And above all, southern women showed a remarkable LACK of the so-called 'virtues' - they spoke their mind, took control and did other such 'unbecoming' things that the instructors were telling the students not to do.
But maybe I'm just overthinking this, you know. I watched half of GWTW on a 9 hour layover and it sickened me (and bored me near to tears,) but there are those that want to reenact that sort of life, that gentility that never existed. And hey, who am I to tell the kid at Disneyland that Mickey Mouse is just some guy in a suit? So I'll have their tea and eat their crumpets and do their bowing (I'm gonna have calves of steel by the end of the week) and try not to think too deeply about the 1890s revisionist lense.
In the interem, HAPPY 4TH!
P.S: expect the mother of all picture posts once I get back..