If I Did Cos-Play, I'd Be Half-Pint

This week, Alex and I are participating in the "Speak Out with Your Geek Out" movement. A quote from the organizer, Monica Valentinelli:
Let's show the world why we're awesome and why there is nothing wrong with being a geek.
We are sharing some of our geekier sides in the next few posts. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog might find this amusing considering we don't normally hide our freak flag. (i.e. the Misc. tab above) Hopefully, we can even outgeek ourselves this week!


I love Little House on the Prairie...and I just can't hide it. I know, I know. It's a paradox to most. (Hence Alex's suggestion that this be my geekout today!) This is the equation they concoct in their heads:

Me (snarky and more than a bit jaded)
Little House (sweet to the point of saccharine)

Oh, but no. That's not how I see it. It makes perfect sense to me. Why I am so drawn to Little House is because those Ingalls worked so hard (they get my respect), they were honest as the day is long (I admire their humility), and they...especially Laura...were never going to let someone make them feel second best (I see that as loyalty to themselves and their family). On this deeper level, they don't seem as two-dimensional as some may imagine.

We might look sweet...but don't tread on us!
 I also think that their "make-do" and "waste-not-want-not" philosophies touch my heart in this modern, throw-away society. I am sickened by the packaging and the gross waste of our times (i.e. individually wrapped precooked bacon strips). These stories are a reminder that the world doesn't have to be sacrificed for the sake of human convenience. Slowing down is better for the environment and for us as people.

Granted, most people have the experience of the 70's TV series as their point of reference to all things LHOTP. But, the books are really where it's at. They are an amazing chronicle of a way of life in America a century and a half ago. The stories are chock full of peeks into the domestic life of a pioneer family with detail on things from making straw hats to butchering a hog. They contained thrilling adventures of life and death - that were TRUE! Sure they were written from the point-of-view of a small girl, but they were written by a woman who knew exactly how and what she wanted to tell you. Laura Ingalls Wilder was brilliant.

The real Laura.
My crafty side gets really geeked out by all the skills Laura's mom passed down to her girls. Reading through those pages makes me want to chuck the corporate grind and go churn me some butter. And seriously, how the hell did she sew dresses or knit sweaters and mittens without a pattern? Laura never mentions that her mom was referring to some Time Life Books series on being a pioneer. I think Ma Ingalls was a magician. Sure, Pa was awesome too...but he didn't make beauty on the prairie like Ma did.

As I mentioned last week, when I was a kid, the Little House TV show was on the "can't watch" list at my house. The show featured women doing nothing but domesticity and that wasn't to be tolerated. (I'm pretty sure we were watching Tony Orlando and Dawn at that time slot.) As a consequence, I got to experience this show with adult eyes. Maybe this was better because it became a happy surprise when I did finally watch an episode. It was not the women-oppressing waste of time I assumed it would be. Ma and the girls were tough as nails...with a smile and a kind heart. I aspire to such dignity and I admire their sensible natures.

Laura ain't takin' no sass from Nellie.
So yes, if I were going to do cos-play...I would braid my hair, strap on a bonnet and slip into a calico prairie dress. No sexy cat for me either!



  1. Great post! I love Little House for the same reasons although I have not read the books. I'm putting it on my list now. :)

    I also watch The Waltons for some of the same reason. I love that show so much.

  2. God bless that Hallmark Channel programming, huh?

  3. I don't know if I would like the books/the show, but I know what you mean about geeking out about skills. Robinson Crusoe was one of my favourite books as a child and I used to love the descriptions of how Robinson goes about making stuff, planting his fields ect. I decided that if I ever was marooned on some island, I would want the complete John Seymour with me - another favourite read of mine.

  4. @Jedediah: Oh, I totally get what you're saying! Thanks for tipping me off to John Seymour. I love the link that you enclosed. Totally reminds me of the (quite popular) book Radical Homemakers. And, if you ever get a chance to see a documentary called "Alone in the Wilderness" (google Dick Proenneke), it will blow your hair back.