Monday, March 22, 2010
Monday With Marple- “There is no detective in England equal to a spinster lady of uncertain age with plenty of time on her hands.”
My hero is a little different from that of today's idols. She is never on Us Weekly, has never had a scandalous affair (that we know of), and has no children in rehab. She always wears underwear, and comes equipped with manners and a sharp mind. My hero is Miss Marple. Yes, perhaps she is fictional. I would argue though that half the celebrities we put on a pedestal are fictional as well.
For those who have never had the good fortune of meeting Miss Marple, let me introduce you. Miss Marple (or Jane to those of us who know her well), lives in the English village St. Mary Mead, and is the brilliant creation of Agatha Christie. She is an elderly woman who enjoys knitting, gardening, and crime solving. She is very much a busybody old spinster, which is why she is often overlooked as the crime solving mastermind she is. Miss Marple is extraordinarily intelligent, looks fantastic in tweed, and rocks a bun like no one else. She is a total dish.
In today's world there are a couple things we value above all else. One is youth, the other is beauty. Miss Marple has neither, nor does she appear to desire either. It's incredulous by many standards that a woman should be content being single, childless, and old. Who is this strange creature that unapologetically moves through life fulfilled by her own company and own pleasures? She's an inspiration for those who have no desire to live life as a to-do list carefully outlined by society. She is a beacon for feminists. Ah, yes. I dare to say the F word. The F word, which has become synonymous with man hater. She is indeed an empowering figure. A force of nature. A diamond in the rough. An extraordinary woman, leading an ordinary life.
As someone who aspires to be an old busybody one day, I adore stepping into her world. I have no qualms about old age. I even have the perfect candy dish for my scotch mints when the time comes. The thing about old age is, if we're lucky we get old. Whatever we are before grey hair and wrinkles, we will be after. So instead of our continued investment in the superficial, we may want to ensure that life after our youthful glow has faded be filled with something even better. Most of us will spend our lives in the realm of the ordinary, so maybe we should be looking for the beauty that resides there.
I don't believe brilliance is born into this world wrapped in gold, and covered in stardust. I believe remarkable minds are hiding among us. I believe remarkable people fill our everyday lives, and it just requires more investment on our behalf to really see them. I believe like Miss Marple, they often fly under the radar due to our shortsighted nature. Unnoticed, because we believe we can spot special a mile away. Special is beautiful. Special is under 40, and has great legs. Special is married, has 2 cute kids, a fantastic career, and a designer home. Sadly, we miss a lot of special.
Miss Maple is comfortable within her own skin and own circumstances. No, that's not quite right. She is more than comfortable, she is happy. She possesses an air of satisfaction most of us search our whole lives for. She has more wits about her than most, and despite being an octogenarian (I learned a new word today), she's highly productive. She may simply be a character in a book, or movie, but to me she is an important life lesson and dear friend.
Perhaps she said it best...
“We're all very ordinary in St. Mary Mead, but ordinary people can sometimes do the most astonishing things.” Miss Jane Marple