Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Help - "Law...that's a good book!"

"What was the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." - Kathryn Stockett

This is a quote from Kathryn Stockett's bestseller The Help. But, if you missed it, that is because it was in the "Too Little, Too Late" section after "The Acknowledgements". Not even a part of the novel, but this quote from Kathryn Stockett's own words, spoke to me the most! It is so true, on so many levels! Although Mrs. Stockett was speaking of the difference in White and Black Women in the South, while I was reading this amazing manuscript, I could not help but analyze my own relationships with my friends and other women in my little world and wondered what separates us?

Then, I started asking myself some questions. Do I treat everyone equally? Or, do I only care about my own little group of friends? Who is really important to me, who makes me feel as equally important to them (no matter the social status, income level or neighborhood they live in)? Do I support my friends as much as I should or do I tend to show my selfish side a little, yet unintentionally? Are some people really not worth my time anymore or do I continue to try to keep up the friendship (even though they aren't putting up the effort)? What am I really worth to them? Do the people in my life share the same ideals and goals? Am I being the best possible person, daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend that I can possibly be and who is helping me accomplish that? Am I helping them accomplish that same goal? Because isn't that really what is important in life? Or, am I asking all these things because I hear other women asking these questions?

Although I would not consider myself a Hilly Holbrook (and there are several in our area who need to eat a slice of some "humble chocolate custard pie") but are there some Hilly's in my life that I need to get rid of so that I can be my best possible self? Am I an Elizabeth who
seems to be a pushover to people, like Hilly, and just longing to be accepted for who I am (homemade slipcovers and all!)? But, what about Skeeter who is a strong woman who just sits back, analyzes and wants and decides to make a little change in the world (or maybe just her little world!) no matter the consequences. As for another character we unfortunately did not hear much about, Lou Anne Templeton, who I believe just could not take the pressures of life anymore and attempted to take her own. I wish we could have heard more of her story! This all sounds a little too familiar...even almost 50 years later!

Then there is Abileen and Minny! Both of these women are amazing and have been through so much! I don't want to go in to too much detail for those of you who have not had the pleasure of soaking in this amazing "must-read". But, Abileen has so much to say, a little afraid to do it, but aren't we glad she finally got the strength and brought it! And, then at her "early retirement" decides to reinvent herself! Women in Hollywood always try to reinvent themselves and succeed, so why can't we? (Maybe I am trying to do it through this little blog?) As for Minny gotta love her because she just don't give a shit!! Literally!!! And, I truly respect her for being Miss Celia's friend when no one else would. Oh Miss Celia...just another
woman trying to find her place in this world. All Miss Celia wanted was a friend (maybe one who is not quick to pass judgement) and maybe someone to take her shopping! How hard is that?Which brings up another question... Are we all a little too judgmental?

Mrs. "Bestselling Novel" Stockett, please write us a sequel to The Help!! I know these characters were fictional, but I fell in love with them all! Except Mrs. Hilly Holbrook! She can kick it for all I care! (I may just decide to kick out all my Miss Hilly's, as well!). I even liked Elizabeth in some ways, because she was vulnerable, as we all tend to be, given the occasion, but she really needs to step it up in the Mommy Department!!! I would really like to know how she survived with out her Help or if she kicked Hilly out of her life and had the privilege of hiring Abileen back with the condition that she (Elizabeth) had to treat her with some respect (and not make her wear those stockings!)? I wonder if strong-willed Miss Skeeter survives in the big city (her way of re-inventing herself and with all that shopping she probably won't be doing) and what her next book will be? Can't you imagine how much money her first book would have made (I guess Mrs. Stockett has a good feelin!). I also wonder what Minny becomes without that deadbeat husband, if Miss Celia is unanimously voted in as the new president of the Junior League and the sad issues behind Lou Anne Templeton! I even wonder what happens to ole Stuart. In a way I liked him for Skeeter, but cheered when her mother said, "Don't let him cheapen you!"

Ok, maybe, I have now told you too much! Maybe this is Mrs. Stockett's way of telling us there will be a sequel?! Let's all hope because I cried when I finished this beautifully written Southern novel...I did not want it to be over! (Law...someone could write a book about our little slice of life, too!)

Do we compare ourselves to these women (no matter black or white, good or bad) or have we been like them at some point in our life? Maybe...just a little...or a lot?! No matter the color of our skin, the price of our house, the size of our jeans, the brand of our sunglasses (we hide behind) or the schools our children go to, if we can take anything away from reading this book, for me it would be that we are all just God's equal children and not that much separates us (not even for the Hilly's!!!) Thank you Miss Skeeter (and Mrs. Stockett) for trying to make a change and giving us permission to re-invent ourselves!!!

"We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." - Kathryn Stockett


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