Friday, July 1, 2016

Silver or stainless steel

Rosemary MacLane has just announced to her grandmother, her mother, her sister Barbara, and Aunt Josie that she will not be choosing a silver pattern. So what will she and her husband use to eat? Stainless steel.

Beverly Cleary, Sister of the Bride (1963).

Remember: for Rosemary and Greg, the only important possessions are books and records. Rosemary goes on to explain that Greg knows a couple with a potter’s wheel who can make dishes for the newlyweds — “in warm earth tones.” And Rosemary will be making place mats out of burlap. The kids these days!

And speaking of the young, or the younger: this passage is a good example of how sixteen-year-old Barbara has begun to see her eighteen-year-old sister’s wedding as her own event to manage. Like the protagonists of Beverly Cleary’s other First Love novels, Barbara will move toward greater self-knowledge, and she’ll come to understand that the difference between eighteen and sixteen, like the difference between silver and stainless steel, is pretty vast.

Related reading
All OCA Beverly Cleary posts (Pinboard)

[Yes, Rosemary is eighteen, a college freshman. Greg is twenty-four, a graduate student getting a teaching credential.]

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