Good evening everyone! It is the last day of March, which means that we are done with book 3! How’d you enjoy it? I love this part of the story and it was great re-reading it! So let’s talk about Anne & Gil 🙂
There are some great conversations between Anne and Gil in this book. As much as I love the TV series, some of the real essence of their friendship is lost in the film adaptation. They were such buddies! Is there a scene in the book that you wish hadn’t been left out of the film adaptation?
Okay, so disclaimer of sorts: it’d been awhile since I’d read the book and I forgot there aren’t that many conversations between them in the book. However, I will say I love the scene with the apple tree in chapter 2. It’s a sweet, chummy moment between them and showcases Gil’s thoughtfulness and care in trying to cheer her up. I wish that hadn’t been left out.
The proposal. Ah! The proposal! Tell me, which do you like better? The film version or the book version? Mind you, I see Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie when I read the books so I’m not talking about the acting but rather the the scenes for their own sake.
This one is hard but I thiiiiiiiiink I might have to go with the book version. It breaks my heart every. single. time. I mean come on…
“Things can’t go on like this any longer. Anne, I love you. You know I do. I–I can’t tell you how much. Will you promise me that some day you’ll be my wife?”
And when Anne says she can’t, poor Gilbert asks,
“Don’t you care for me at all?”
Aggghghghghggggg!!!! Oh my goodness, at this point, I just want to give Gil Blythe a hug and tell him not to worry, give her some time and she’ll come to her senses. With every sentence you can just read his heart breaking and poor Anne knows that she’s inflicting pain of the worst kind on her best friend and she can’t help herself. She truly doesn’t know how much she loves the guy! It’s terrible. And yes, it makes me want to cry. A+ to Montgomery for a truly heart-wrenching marriage refusal scene.
Let’s talk about Roy Gardener, the man straight out of Anne’s dreams. Give three reasons why he’s so not the guy for her. And if you’d like, talk a bit about having an ‘dream man’ and whether or not we should hold out for them or eventually let them go.
Reason 1: He’s not Gilbert Blythe.
Reason 2: He’s not Gilbert Blythe
Reason 3: He most definitely is not Gilbert Blythe!
I think that about covers it!! Next question! Hahaha! Just kidding. Sort of. But for real, here’s what I have to say about Roy.
1: He doesn’t bring out Anne’s Anne-ness. I’m not sure how to describe this but you might already understand what I mean just by the statement. Gil brings out Anne’s Anne-ness–her joys, her playfulness, her dreams, her cares, her ambitions. And he cares for those things and delights in and shares them. Gil loves Anne’s Anne-ness. Not saying that Roy doesn’t enjoy Anne’s company but it’s not like Montgomery went out of her way too showcase Roy’s delighting in their relationship either. Anne is her true self with Gil cause they’re friends. I imagine she’s only a part of herself when she’s with Roy.
2: He’s not a chum. Gilbert Blythe is a chum, a best friend, a partner in crime, a buddy, a play mate, a cheerleader, a kindred spirit. It’s his friendship with Anne and builds the foundation for their romance. Granted, not every friendship turns into romance but good romances have a good healthy dose of friendship. Nothin’ against Roy but he’s not a chum.
3: Anne’s not completely satisfied. If Anne was completely satisfied in her relationship with Roy, she wouldn’t be concerned about Christine Stuart. She’d find a way to push through the awkwardness and share in Gilbert’s happiness in loving another woman. That’s what you do when you’re totally over someone and can remain friends. But Anne doesn’t feel right about anything having to do with Gilbert which means she’s not over losing him. If Roy was all that her dreams cracked him up to be, she’d be satisfied with her decision.
And as far as having a ‘dream man’, We all have one at some point in life. I did for years and then when I reached my twenties, my dream man wasn’t so much a fully developed character in my imagination as much as he was just a collection of ideas. There were certain things I knew I wanted and other things I knew I’d never desire. Then I met the BF-now-Fiance and well, yeah, I’m satisfied! *happy sigh* *giggle*
Christine Stewart. I get that TV has to be written so that the plot moves along smoothly and all, and I can respect that, but really? What do you think about what Sullivan did in the movie as opposed to how Montgomery wrote Gil’s relationship with her?
I get the whole TV plot device thing but I think it’s sooooooo much sweeter knowing that Gil never loved anyone else but Anne. Period.
Now it’s your turn! I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on this book!If you’re blogging your way through this reading challenge, leave a link to your post for Book Three in the widget below so I can visit! Or just leave me a comment at the end of the post :).
I hope you’ve had a lovely March and are ready for April 🙂
The last paper I wrote in college was a 20-something page piece on the reading brain and why it matters. I did 12 weeks of research only to barely cover the surface of a subject that I grew to love more as the term progressed. I’ve always been a bookworm and writing a paper on why it’s so important to read was extremely fun ( I know, really nerdy).
This blog is hardly the place for such a long paper but I do want to share some things I found out while researching this project. So, lister that I am, I came up with 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Reading Books.
1. Reading strengthens your brain.
According to Rita Carter, science writer and presenter of BBC’s documentary, Why Reading Matters, the brain doesn’t have a central reading system. Reading happens in, what she calls, a “cerebral internet”. In other words, it takes several regions in different areas of the brain to make reading possible. Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid, says that, unlike all other human behaviors such as vision or speech, reading has no direct genetic program that is passed from parent to child. We’re not born with neurological ‘reading tools’. Our brains form connections between regions designed to perform other functions in order to process and understand written language. Rita Carter interviewed Dr. Cathy Price of University College in London who gave a simplified explanation of how this works:
“There are no areas of the brain that only respond to reading. All the areas that are involved in reading are also involved in recognizing objects, in speaking. In order to read, it’s the connections between the visual inputs and the component sounds that need to be linked together. So this doesn’t involve any new brain regions. What it involves is stronger and more efficient links.”
Our brains possess what is called neuroplasticity, which means it is capable of learning new things and forming new habits by making and strengthening new connections. Reading is one of the best examples of this. The more you read and deepen those connections, the more you’re exercising and strengthening your brain.
2. Reading boosts your empathy.
BBC’s Rita Carter also brought up the fact that stories can help us become more empathetic. According to an article in Psychology Today, we were meant to tell stories, they provide order, and they connect us with others. Stories give us space to exercise our emotional responses to other people’s situations. John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns talks about this in an episode of Crash Course
“By understanding language, you will, 1). have a fuller understanding of lives other than your own, 2). will help you be more empathetic…Reading critically and attentively can give you the linguistic tools to share your own story with more precision. Reading critically gives us better tools to explain corporate profits and broken hearts and it also connects us to each other.”
3. Reading increases your vocabulary.
I especially like this one cause I love trying out new words that I find in books. It is true that we pick up words from television and conversation but the truth is, we don’t speak the way we write. Written word is much richer lexically than spoken word. In other words, we use better and more varied words when we write than when we speak. The same goes for syntax–we structure sentences better when we write. A great study done by Anne E. Cunningham and Keith Stanovich explains that children who read will have a richer vocabulary and better grasp of syntactical structure than their peers who watch television. Reading enhances their ability to process language, both written and spoken. And because our brains are plastic, it doesn’t matter what your performance was like in school, the same can be true for adults as well.
4. Reading makes you a better communicator.
This is points 2 & 3 at their best. A rich vocabulary isn’t the only pre-requisite of good communication. Effective communication is a two way street where both parties must take turns at being sender and receiver. Understanding and sympathizing with another person’s situation (empathy) and the ability to effectively express yourself verbally makes for a great communicator. Why? Because it’s not only about having something to say but also ensuring that what you’re saying is of value and how you’re saying it is thoughtful and appropriate. Because there is order, logic, brain connectivity, and emotion at play when we read, we are strengthening those areas that make us effective communicators.
5. Reading actual books is a unique experience.
This isn’t something I was able to add to my final paper but I still find it important so I’ll include it here.
I have a Kindle and I think it’s a great way to consume material on the go but there is something about reading an actual book that is unique and beneficial in ways that cannot be recreated by any other medium. An article in Medical Daily says that the tactile experience of holding a book, turning the pages, and moving from left to right aids in the ability to comprehend and remember the text. E-books, with often fragmented text and links to the net also disrupt focus and concentration. Your brain is going through a very complicated process in order to read and actual books facilitate this process better than e-readers.
6. Reading is the best way to relax.
I didn’t include this in my paper either but I think it’s also important. One article I came across in my research explained that a study showed that reading is a more effective stress reliever than taking a walk, listening to music, or drinking a hot cup of tea. Subjects of the research experienced lowered heart rate and decreased muscle tension. Reading helps us relax, and takes our minds off the day’s commotion which makes it the perfect thing to do before going to sleep.
7. Reading is super attractive.
Lastly, this also didn’t make it my paper but as much as this is my nerdy opinion, I’m not the only one who thinks this. You’ve heard it said intelligence is sexy? It’s so true. Why? Because readers are more emotionally and cognitively intelligent. A well-read person bolsters their knowledge base and that makes them better conversationalists. When you read broadly and smartly, you have more to offer in your relationships, your families, your careers, and your communities making you more interesting, useful, and, well yeah, sexy.
If you don’t consider yourself much of a reader, then I challenge you to change that. Reading is a privilege and something we shouldn’t take for granted. History tells us that the number one way people kept control of others was by keeping back the written word (think Dark Ages and American slavery). We know knowledge is power; take advantage of it.
In my opinion, I think a good percentage of the mischief people get into would vanish if they would just read good books. And while I’m all for good literature, I’m also an advocate for great non-fiction. If you currently read mostly novels, re-consider your book list and add a healthy dose of spiritual growth, history, social science, biographies, art, business and other subjects that will give you insight and help shape a healthy, well-informed worldview. It’s a part of good maturity which this generation could use more of.
There’s a lot to learn and even more books to learn from. Pick up a book and see what wonderful things you’ll discover within the pages!
I turned 25 last week. Still not sure if I feel different yet, lol. I’m so blessed to have reached the beginning of a brand new year of life and I’m thankful but I can’t begin to tell you how different my life is from the way I envisioned it when I was 15. Twenty-five was so old 10 years ago. Now I’m here and I realize I was wrong…and right. A quarter of a century is still young but it’s old enough to know a thing or two about life. Here is a list of 25 things I’m glad I’ve learned so far or am still..ahem..trying to learn now.
1. Life isn’t going to go the way you planned.
This is number one on my list for a reason. Realize that you may not end up where you thought you’d be by the time you hit 25. If you end up somewhere better, great! If not, it’s totally okay. Learn from any mistakes, do the best with what you’ve got and keep moving forward!!
2. Get your financial act together.
Know how to budget, do simple taxes, and be serious about your savings account. You don’t want to set yourself up to live paycheck to paycheck. Always have some kind of financial safety net. It doesn’t have to be big; even something small is better than nothing. We live in a crazy, uncertain world. Anything can happen and we don’t have control over much but take control of what you can and minimize the risk of unpleasant surprises.
3. You don’t need to ‘hang out’ all the time.
Even the most social of social butterflies need alone time to chill, re-focus, and hear herself think. Enjoy your friends but schedule time for a little solidarity. People who are constantly around people and can’t stand to be by themselves are the ones who need some quiet time the most. Light some candles, take a hot bath, read a book, do a crossword puzzle…be creative. Your brain will thank you. Believe me.
4. Know your way around a kitchen.
You don’t have to be a culinary artist but know the basics of cooking and baking. If you’re just starting out, pick a few recipes to master. These are the dishes you can bring to a friend’s house or whip up when you’ve got last minute guests. Get some cookbooks or actually read the food articles on your Pinterest boards. If your single and don’t wish to remain so, then cooking is definitely something you’re going to need to learn if you want to raise a healthy, happy family. Plus, eating in on a regular basis is always cheaper and healthier than constantly eating out.
5. Get your wardrobe together.
Every adult should have a wardrobe that represents either the lifestyle that she leads or the one she wants to lead. Know what wardrobe basics are. Know the difference between fashion and trend. The older you get, the more you want to steer clear of dressing too trendy. Build your wardrobe with pieces that are stylish, long-lasting, and still reflect your unique personality. Your tastes will probably change as the years pass but do take some time to really figure out what you want to say with your clothing. How you present yourself to the world is important. As much as we shouldn’t judge people from their appearance, first impressions make a difference. Use that to your advantage and dress yourself with purpose and class.
6. Know when to shut up.
Plato is quoted to have said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Mature adults know when to speak and when words are unnecessary. Don’t speak every thought that pops into your head. Don’t gossip or spread rumors. Think before you open your mouth and really practice listening to other people. You’ll develop better relationships, succeed professionally and get yourself in less trouble.
7. Be a student.
You may think that when you finish your formal education you get to call it quits on the pencils and books. Not so my friend. Graduation doesn’t mean the learning stops. The most important thing you should learn from formal education really doesn’t have anything to do with your degree or certification. Formal education should teach you how to be a student for life. Think about all the things you’ve always wanted to learn and figure out how to learn them. It may mean a free course online or a class at your local recreation center. Whatever it is, make time to immerse yourself in what you’re passionate about.
8. Have friends that are older than you.
I was one of the first children born in my parents’ circle of friends so I spent my early years around mostly adults. I’ve since learned that having older adult friends is one of the smartest things a young person can do. They’ve lived more of life than you and can speak wisdom into your life. Having friends outside your age demographic challenges your brain and gives you broader perspective in life. Develop some relationships with adults who are older than you–it’ll be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.
9. Listen to your parents.
Yes, you’re an adult. Yes, you need the freedom to make your own decisions. But listen up. Your parents have done this adult thing for a bit longer than you have–pay attention to what they have to say. That doesn’t mean they’re always right or that you have to agree with everything they say. But give them a chance, they’ve got experience and that counts for a lot.
10. Keep house.
Whether you’re in a dorm room, an apartment, or living with your folks, learn basic home ec skills. Remember, if you’re single and you don’t want to remain so, you’re going to need to know how to run a household. Period. Can you iron, do dishes, dust, vacuum and clean a bathroom? Great. How about change a lightbulb, put a piece of furniture together, hook up the entertainment system, talk to the cable guy or get the dry cleaning done? There is more to adulthood than keeping a job. The household you decide to set up will need your attention in every aspect from the houseplants to the rent check. Learn all you can about running a household during whatever season you’re in now so you’ll be as ready as possible when the time comes.
11. Unplug every once in a while.
It wasn’t so long ago that cell phones did little more than make and receive calls. You used to have to pay-per-text. Remember T9? And apps What’s an app? There was life before smart phones. There is an up and coming generation that won’t ever believe that but it is true. Put your phone down, step away from your computer, and turn off the TV. Log out, sign out, exit, shut down, and unplug. You won’t die. It’ll be there when you get back. I get it, there’s stuff going on and you need to be apart of it. But I promise, email can be checked later, the latest Vine craze can wait, and FB statuses don’t always need updating. Go and check out life beyond the screen. Some of you remember what that’s like, yeah? It still has it’s charm too.
12. Leave the drama in high school.
If I had a nickel for every time my parents called me a drama queen…well, I’d have a lot of nickels. Some people are born dramatic, some learn the art, and some have drama thrust upon them, to borrow from Shakespeare. I think I’m a little of all three, if that’s even possible. It’s not an endearing quality and I’m sloooowly learning to keep it in check. There are times when drama can’t be avoided, it just happens. When it does, keep your reaction and involvement at a minimum. Don’t be remembered as the one who made the biggest fuss. Remember all the junk that went on in high school? Yeah, don’t repeat all that nonsense. Leave high school drama at high school, grow up and act like an adult.
13. Kids are awesome.
I love kiddos and we’ve got lots of them in my extended and church families. If you’re single and or childless, you’ve got the opportunity to be the ‘cool’ auntie or uncle. You may be paying school loans or rent but you’re not paying for diapers, school tuition, or pediatrician bills. Spoil the kiddos in your life a little. Even in this tech-crazed world, a box of crayons and paper will still occupy the modern child. And when your budget won’t allow even the simplest gifts, your time and attention means a lot. Kids remember more than we give them credit for. Make friends with them and their parents now and you may be the trusted adult they go to when they need someone to talk to later in life.
14. Go to sleep.
You learned how to pull all-nighters in school and a parent-enforced bedtime is a thing of the past. Just because you know how to sleep late and function during the day doesn’t mean you should. This is one that I really struggle with. I love the solitude of the night and I’ve done some great work during late hours. However, the truth of the matter is the best work is done when the mind is rested. So go to sleep at a decent hour, rise early and hit the ground running. Sleeping late is a bad habit that’s worth breaking and your 30-year old, 40-year old, 50-year old self will thank you profusely.
15. Take care of your body.
Just like it needs sleep, your body needs good nutrition, hydration, and exercise to function best. Eat lots of fruits and veggies and drink lots of water. Find an exercise you enjoy and do it at least a few times a week. Limit your sugar and fat intake and don’t eat late at night. You will age more gracefully when you take care of your body when you’re young.
16. Know what you believe.
You should be able to have an intelligent conversation about what you’re beliefs are. Don’t subscribe to beliefs simply because your parents or friends believe them. Own your what you believe. Form opinions on purpose and be able to back them up. It’s okay if you’re not sure what you believe about something but don’t stop there. Ask questions, study the subject and come to a conclusion. The world is noisy with sound of a million different philosophies, ideas, and opinions. Start with God and His word and you’ll have the best framework with which to build your worldview.
17. Know your limitations.
Youth is a great time to try new things, have adventures and step outside of your comfort zone. But know your limitations. It’s okay to say ‘no’. Don’t do things just cause your friends are. Maybe now isn’t the best time for that. Check in with your instincts. If you don’t feel ready, capable, or comfortable, pay attention. Be smart about your choices and don’t stretch yourself too far.
18. Sleeping around isn’t cool.
I know this is so not PC but sleeping around isn’t cool. You’re only stealing from your future by shacking up with people you’re not committed to. Treat yourself with more respect and dignity than that. It may feel grown up and mature but you don’t have to sleep with someone to have a great relationship. And if your partner doesn’t think so, then they’re not worth your time. Believe me, there are so many other aspects of a great relationship than sex. Work on those things and have fun without jumping into bed. Your future spouse will thank you.
19. If you want to get married someday, act like it.
Having said that, think about whether or not you really want to get married. If you do, then act like it. Don’t give too much of yourself away to too many people. Focus on being friends first before deciding to date exclusively. And friends don’t get benefits if you know what I mean. Move slowly so you can decide if the other person is worth moving forward with. Anything worth having is worth waiting and working for. Relationships need time to develop and mature, give them that time. Ever after is a looooooong time and real love is too sweet to settle for cheap imitations. No need to rush. Your future husband or wife is a real, living, breathing person somewhere out there. Are you living a life you’d be proud to share with him or her? If not, it’s about time you did something about it.
20. Singleness is a gift.
There is nothing wrong with being single. In fact, it’s a necessary season in life to figure yourself out. When you don’t have the distraction of a significant other, you can get to know yourself, your passions, and your goals. So what you have to play third or fifth wheel again. I can almost guarantee you that even the happiest couples miss bits and pieces of their singleness every once in a while. When we enter a new life season, there is often a trading something for something else. Enjoy and make the most of your singleness before you have to trade it in for being apart of a team.
21. Life isn’t fair and it doesn’t owe you a thing.
I’m sorry if this is news to you but life don’t owe you a thing. It’s your responsibility to make something of yourself and you’ll only get as much as you put into it–and sometimes, you won’t even get that much. Entitlement isn’t a luxury you can afford. You are going to get used, betrayed and stabbed in the back, I’m sorry. Sometimes the mess and hurt will be your fault and other times your best efforts will only earn you disappointment and heartache. But God is gracious and life will always be worth living no matter how hard things get. Take responsibility for your actions, work hard, take the bad with the good and learn how to get back up when you get knocked down.
22. Give a care.
I’ve met people who truly do not give a care about other people’s situations. They may care about the things that relate to themselves but that’s it. These people don’t go very far. Oh, they may succeed professionally but they miss out on so many other things that matter more. Take genuine interest in the people around you. Ask real questions not just the polite, small talk niceties. Don’t be nosy or get into people’s business but show that you care about and value them. Smile. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Give up your seat. Offer to help when it’s needed. Go out of your way. Relationships are about what you can give not what you can get. Care enough to give your best to others–your co workers, your family and friends, the elderly couple in the grocery store, the teller at the bank, they all deserve your care. Give it freely and without condition. You’ll be a much happier person when you do!
23. There is a difference embracing your inner-child and acting childish.
There are some things that shouldn’t change when we grow up like enjoying an afternoon at the park, a favorite childhood story, or a game of Candyland with your nieces and nephews. There is a part of childhood that every adult should hold onto or else we run the risk of over-working ourselves and taking the wrong things too seriously. Children value the simple things, they’re not complicated and will tell it like it is. Take the best of childhood and pair it with the wisdom that should come with age.
That’s not the same as acting childish. Don’t run around doing stupid things, not thinking of how it’ll effect other people. Don’t throw tantrums, toss around people’s feelings, or be careless with other people’s things. That’s childish behavior and you should know better than that. Be responsible, say what you mean, and don’t sulk when things don’t go your way.
24. Stick to your commitments.
You said you’d have lunch with a friend. Don’t ditch just cause something else came up and it sounded like more fun. You said you’d participate in a group project. Don’t flake cause you decide you don’t feel like doing it anymore. It’s one thing to forget, get sidetracked or over-booked. It’s an entirely different thing to choose to skip out on something because you don’t feel it’s worth your time. Don’t be wishy-washy, flaky, or unreliable. It’s childish and rude and you’ll only frustrate people.
25. Know how to give a good handshake.
One of my biggest pet peeves is a fishy handshake. It’s weak, limp and you have to hold on to the other person’s hand or it will just slide past your fingers. This is especiallyannoying with guys. Know how to give a good, firm handshake, complete with a friendly look in the eye. No need for a death grip but don’t shy away either. Good handshakes will vary depending on the setting and the person but don’t miss out on mastering this piece of social intercourse. People will believe you when you say, “Hi, it’s nice to meet you.”
If you’re going to turn 25, then take the opportunity to learn as much as you can before you hit the quarter-life mark. If you’re past 25, then take the opportunity to look at what you know and what you probably should know by now. Life is a cumulative journey and there’s always more to learn and more ways to improve. Embrace the best and live life to the fullest!
Before I posted it, I wanted a guy’s opinion – someone who could read it without any prior knowledge of Anne of Green Gables and make sure that I was being fair in my assessments. So I let the BF read it. He said that it was good! Yay! But then reminded me of something: it’s not just on the guys to be upright dudes – girls have to pull their weight too.
Ladies, we talk about, dream about, and wait for our knights in shining armor, our Prince Charming, our Darcy, Knightley, or Wentworth. We wonder where our Boaz is and why is God making us stay single for so long!?!?!
We want a guy like Gilbert Blythe. But have you ever stopped to consider if a guy like Gil would want you?
So I decided to write a list for the girls. I’m not a relationship expert but I think there are some things that we girls need to understand or remember, otherwise, we won’t deserve the guy we want. It’s not an extensive list because that would probably look more like a book. These are just a few things that got me thinking and maybe it’ll do the same for you too!
Here we go!
1. You’re not always right.
I have a confession to make: my family calls me a know-it-all because I have a hard time listening. *sigh* I’m not proud of it and I wish I could deny it but…I like being right. There, I said it. This may seem rather elementary but it’s worth pointing out because knowing something in our heads isn’t always enough – translation into life is where it matters.
So listen up: YOU’RE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. Sometimes we need to just shut up and listen every once and again. And again. And again. As women, we like to make a point and sometimes, we come in with that bullet point list of why we’re right. But just because you have something to say and it sounds right in your head doesn’t always mean it has to be said. Think before you speak. It’s a hard thing to learn but it’s a necessity for maturity. We’ve all been in the presence of people who’ve stuck their foot in their mouths and we’ve all probably done it ourselves one too many times. It’s not cool.
I get it, it’s hard – I’m a chatterbox who’s majoring in Communications! But believe me, you’ll get more done in your relationships when you listen with open ears, an open mind, and an open heart. The man of your dreams deserves someone he can communicate openly with, who will take him seriously, and will work together with him to solve problems as a team and love all the great things he has to offer.
2. He’s not here to fix all your problems.
You may have seen this woman before. She’s the woman that got into a relationship with a guy because, for whatever reason, she needed him to fix all her problems.
Maybe you’ve been that woman. Maybe you are now.
Ladies. No man is going to fix all your problems. That’s between you and God.
If you rely on a man to fix your emotional issues, you’re going to fall apart when he fails to empathize the way you want him to. If you rely on a man to fix your abuse issues, you’re going to fall apart when he has a season of weakness. If you rely on a man to fix your spiritual issues, you’re going to fall apart when he messes up. If you rely on a man to fix your trust issues, you’re going to fall apart when he betrays you. If you rely on a man to fix your self-esteem issues, you’re going to fall apart when he forgets to compliment your new haircut or the success of your project. If you rely on a man to fix your financial problems, you’re going to fall apart when he’s struggling to find work.
No man is perfect and he is going to fail you somehow, sometime just as you’re going to fail him. You have to be a whole enough person to be able to understand that and not put that kind of pressure on him. You’re sense of worth can’t be built on a man – that is not a solid foundation and never will be. Sure, relationships are about being supportive and working together and being emotionally available and all that wonderful stuff but there are things in your life that you can’t expect a guy to fix.
Pain is for real and there is a lot of it out there. If you have hurt or anger in your life that you haven’t dealt with, simply having a man isn’t going to fix that. That’s where prayer and counseling come in, that’s when you join a support group or take time away to recover and deal with what’s going on. A man isn’t a fix-it-all and he doesn’t deserve to be.
Your dream man deserves a woman who is doing everything she can to be a whole person and not waiting around for a guy to sweep up all the pieces and figure out how to put them together. Are we talking perfection with every hair in place, lipstick un-smudged and nails manicured? No. I’m talking about a woman who knows what her weaknesses are, knows the areas where she’s struggling, is honest about her needs and does the necessary work to grow, mature, and progress.
Life is messy, it’s hard and it’s painful but a man doesn’t deserve to clean up a mess in your life if you’re not willing to get a bucket and a mop yourself.
3. He needs your respect.
We want a man to be this that and the other for us. We want manly-man who will work hard, solve problems, take the high road, be romantic, wear a clean shirt, spoil us, and tell us we’re beautiful every now and again…
we come short on the respect.
Men need respect. That’s how they’re wired. And I’m not here to talk about gender roles and argue about whether or not men and women are essentially the same, and all that, this isn’t the post. All I’m saying is that men need respect.
Well, duh, Elyssa! Everyone needs respect.
Okay, yeah, so you agree with me. Men need respect and in the context of this post, we’ll keep it here.
Don’t throw him under the bus in front of people. Don’t constantly question his judgement calls. If you have a question, ask him about it later and don’t make him look a fool in public. This goes back to being right all the time. If something is truly concerning, then address it at an appropriate time and be open to conversation. But needlessly arguing in front of people because you have something to say isn’t respectful. Constantly correcting him isn’t respectful. Constantly questioning him isn’t respectful.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying keep your mouth shut at all times and never have an opinion. And I’m not saying agree with everything he says or does. But have enough respect for the guy in your life to think before you speak and listen to what he has to say. You don’t want to be known as the girlfriend or wife who’s constantly harping on her man, who’s giving all the directions and never let’s him get a word in edgewise. And you don’t want to be the girlfriend or wife that’s constantly rolling her eyes and making snide remarks about whatever ‘dumb’ thing he just said or did. You can’t expect to win a strong man and have a successful relationship while you emasculate him, it just doesn’t work like that.
The man of your dreams deserves the woman who is going to stand beside him, not in front of him or behind him. A woman who values his opinion. He’s not going to get it right all the time and he knows that but he deserves a woman who will be there even when everything comes crashing down and instead of saying, “I told you so!” she says, “It’s alright, baby, we’ll do better next time.”
4. He deserves your very best.
Every woman deserves a guy who will treat her like the wonderful she is, yeah? Well every guy deserves a woman who will treat him like the wonderful person he is. This is basic but it’s worth mentioning.
Ladies, he deserves your best. I’m not talking about always having your hair and make up done whenever you see him. I’m not talking about always having dinner on the table when he gets home. If you can manage that, great, but that’s not necessarily what I’m talking about. I’m talking about your approach.
We often put our best foot forward for people outside our homes and then kind of let things drag when we get behind closed doors. I’m still kind of in that stage with the BF. We’re just dating so a lot of that best-foot-foward stuff is still there. But it’s been several months now and he’s seen Elyssa get upset, he’s seen her cry, he’s seen her frustrated, fed up, and irritated, fall behind schedule, be late for appointments, and go around without hair done or makeup applied. And he’s still here.
We definitely need to be real with one another but I think that when it comes to the relationships that we hold dear, we should take better care to be our best for those people. We put on our best selves for strangers because of what we’ll get from them: acceptance, service, business, friendship, etc. We should offer our best selves for those we care about because they deserve it. It’s not about being fake. It’s about an honesty that says, “This is who I am, it’s not all beautiful, but I’m going to give you the best of what I have.”
A good guy will get that and accept that and love that. The man of your dreams deserves the best of what you have and as the years go by and you grow and mature as a person, that best will just keep getting better.
So what do you think? Are there things you wish girls understood? Maybe not about relationships but life in general. Sometimes we get so focused on what we need, want, and deserve that we forget that other people rightfully need, want and deserve things from us too.
Let me know in the comments, I’d love your thoughts!
Gilbert Blythe. The name alone is enough to make hearts swoon!
When I heard that Jonathan Crombie died two weeks ago, I cried. Call me sappy or too sentimental but I did, for real. Not only was he just too young, he brought to life literature’s most beloved boy-next-door and I felt like a tornado swept through my childhood and the memory of those sweet, sweet years will never be the same.
So, what’s the big deal about this guy, Gilbert Blythe? Why do girls fall for him so easily? While women everywhere have swooned over any number of literature’s leading men over the years, from Darcy to Rochester, it is my humble opinion that L.M. Montgomery’s dear Gil is the best.
So, if you’ll allow me, I’m going to indulge in a bit of sentimental fan-girling. I write this for Green Gables fans, of course, but I write it first for the little girl who grew up with Anne & Gil and will always cherish the memories of movie marathons and worn paperbacks.
That is to say, this post is for me.
But, you will have, of course, noticed the second half of my title: Why Guys Need to Pay Attention. Yeah, this one is for the guys too – if they can sit through it. Ladies, pass this on to the gentlemen in your life and see what kind of conversations it’ll start. If you’re a gentleman and you’re reading this, I have five things to say to you:
Excuse the profuse sentiment.
You’ll notice a Guy Tip at the end of each item – that’s for you. If you want to just cut to the chase and read those bits first, go for it!
If your girlfriend or wife made you read this, suck it up, read it and then give her a hug and ask her why she thought you should and reallylisten to what she has to say. Be open to a new conversation.
You’re about to find out why, if you didn’t yet know, the lady in your life had has such a huge crush on a fictional character.
NOTE: If you haven’t read the books, you won’t recognize some of the references. If you’ve never watched the movies or read the books…well, you decide how you feel about spoilers!
So, here’s my list in memory of Jonathan Crombie.
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1. He lets Anne be Anne.
Oh, Anne Shirley! She’s a wonderful mess of imagination, goof-ups, temper, drive, and dreams – and Gilbert loves all of that about her. He never tries to make her something she isn’t. He lets her be herself and admires her for it.
This most definitely does not mean that he’s a pushover! If he has a differing opinion, he’ll state it and stand by it. (You may recall their discussion about Leslie’s husband in Anne’s House of Dreams). These two chums-turned-lovers don’t always agree, and their lives aren’t free of struggle – they’ve got issues just like everyone else. Gilbert doesn’t think she’s perfect but he loves her for the person she is and the person she’s becoming.
Guy Tip: If you really like a girl, let her be herself! Great relationships aren’t about what you’re going to get out of the other person, they’re about how you bring out the best in that other person. Bring out the best in your lady and if you’ve got a keeper, not only will she shine, she’ll do the same for you too!
Gentleman, if you’re married, this is even more crucial. We all change over time and I’m sure that if you’ve been married long enough, both of you can say that, in some ways, you’re not married to the same person you stood next to at the alter. And that’s okay!! That’s the way life is and it’s a good thing as long as we’re growing and learning and progressing. Let her grow and learn. Let her mature and change. Let her thrive. Again, if you’ve got a good girl, she’ll do the same for you and the two of you will have a good thing going.
2. He works hard.
Gilbert works hard for what he has and isn’t showy about his successes. He simply shows up, does his best, and lets his work speak for itself. You see this all through his years in school and later as a doctor. He doesn’t let obstacles throw him and he pursues excellence. And Anne knows this. Even before she falls in love with Gilbert, she knows her best guy friend is somebody who chases dreams and does the hard work. She knows that he’s not flakey and she can trust him cause he’s proven to be dependable.
Guy Tip: If you haven’t already, figure out what you want to do in life and then work hard to make it happen. It’s not about having all your ducks in a row right this very minute but rather doing the best with what you’ve got and always pursuing excellence. That may mean sacrificing stuff you used to enjoy when you were a kid. If you find yourself having to decide whether or not to study or work longer on an assignment for your job rather than hang out? Congrats, you’ve entered adulthood. If you have to start at the bottom again even though you know you’re worth more? Congrats, you’re entering a new season of life.
Working hard means paying your dues in the pursuit of what you’ve deemed important. We’re all old enough to know that we don’t realize success overnight – it takes work. Life is a cumulative journey; we learn by and build on experience. Embrace it, work with it, and then let your successes speak for themselves. And, I assure you, the good girls will pay attention and they will applaud you because that kind of work ethic is attractive. I promise.
3. He’s patient.
This is evidenced in the TV series but so much more, I think, in the books. How incredibly patient this guy is! He fell in love with Anne long before the thought ever occurred to her that he could. And he waited. And waited.
The second book in the series, Anne of Avonlea, ends with Anne and Gil walking home from the wedding of a dear friend, Miss Lavender, who had married her sweetheart from years ago. Anne comments on how sweet their story was and how happy she was that the bride and groom came “together again after all the years of separation and misunderstanding.”
“Yes, it’s beautiful,” said Gilbert, looking steadily down into Anne’s uplifted face, “but wouldn’t it have been more beautiful still, Anne, if there had been no separation or misunderstanding…if they had come hand in hand all the way through life, with no memories behind them but those which belonged to each other?”
Get’s me every time. Here’s what happens next.
“For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways…perhaps…perhaps…love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.
Gilbert wisely said nothing more; but in his silence he read the history of the next four years in the light of Anne’s remembered blush. Four years of earnest, happy work…and then the guerdon of a useful knowledge gained and a sweet heart one.
In our culture of hook-ups, shack-ups, and split-ups, it’s all the more satisfying to read about a patient guy. Gilbert decided to bide his time and work hard so that he could offer Anne a future. So the two set off for Redmond College to pursue their academic dreams.
Enter Roy Gardner. You book readers will remember Roy from Anne of the Island. Anne fell for him because he was the epitome of perfection she had conjured up in her dreams. Poor Gil!! But he still held out. Oh, it hurt him to see is best girl going around with another guy but he waited. He knew he couldn’t ever love anyone the way he loved Anne but he never pressured her even when it seemed like he was going to lose out all together. That my friends, is not just patience, but good, ol’ fashioned, long-suffering love.
Guy Tip: You can’t force someone to love you or be with you. The whole time Gilbert was waiting for Anne to come to her senses, he went on with his life, pursuing his goals and working hard. He didn’t pine, he didn’t stalk, and he didn’t guilt-trip, tease, gossip, or gripe. By the time she came around, he was a whole individual with a full life to offer her. Yeah, it was incredibly tough because he didn’t know if she’d ever accept him. And what would have happened if she never chose him? His heart would’ve taken an unbearable hit, yes, but he would have still been a whole person with a full life to offer whoever his Mrs. Right would turn out to be. That’s called quiet strength and gentlemen, I promise you, it speaks volumes! Be patient, let things happen naturally, and don’t put your life on hold in the meantime.
4. He’s a class act.
Roy Gardner may have been Anne’s ‘perfect man’ but Gil more than outshines him as a class act! He’s sensible, grounded, and not silly or self-absorbed. Think young Gregory Peck or Jimmy Stewart. I consider a person to be a class act when they just go about their business responsibly, graciously, and unselfishly. They’re humbled when you compliment them, they don’t make a lot of fuss about themselves and they’re not out to toot their own horn. That’s Gil. He knows how to have a good time with his friends but he’s not all that concerned with the latest fads and trends. He doesn’t get involved in things he knows he shouldn’t. He’s not perfect but he’s prudent. I know, it’s not a sexy word but it’s an invaluable trait. As he grows up, he tucks into the pocket of his adulthood those things that make a real man – integrity, honesty, loyalty, and real love.
Guy Tip: Yeah, yeah, girls want a guy who’s good looking but she also wants one with a stand-up character. A sensible girl doesn’t want an immature airhead, a clingy boy, or a self-absorbed workaholic. Seriously consider those things you know you need to work on and, that’s right, work on them. If you don’t know what your character flaws are, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook – ask someone you trust and who will tell you the truth! You want a good girl, gentlemen, you gotta be a good guy. You gotta be a class act.
5. He’s secure.
Remember when Anne and Diana beat Gilbert and Moody Spurgeon at the three-legged race? And remember when Anne beat Gilbert during the spelling bee by correctly spelling ‘chrysanthemum’ (and best better believe that, to this day, I spell that word with Anne’s voice in my head)? The beginning of Anne and Gil’s relationship was purely competitive. They worked hard to outdo one another in school. When they became friends, they helped each other in their studies and when they became professionals, they supported each other in their respective fields. All the while, Gilbert was never threatened when Anne succeeded. He didn’t have to prove himself and he didn’t always have to be right. He worked hard and was secure in who he was. That security allowed him to genuinely rejoice in others’ successes even if he was the one who lost.
One more thing worth pointing out – remember, in the third movie, when Anne was busy ‘co-writing’ her book with Jack Garrison and didn’t have as much time for her dear, fiancé? Gilbert knew she was working on something that mattered a lot to her and gave her the space to do so. He was also secure enough in their relationship that he wasn’t threatened by her professional relationship with Jack.
Guy Tip: Develop your talents and celebrate hers. If you’ve got a keeper, she’ll support you and push you to be the best you can be but you have to do the same for her. Both Anne and Gil are dreamers and doers, that is, they both figured out what they wanted to do and they worked hard at pursuing their passions. Have fun, throw in a little friendly competition to keep you both on your toes. Hold each other accountable when appropriate. Ask her about her latest project, be interested in what she’s doing. Give advice and ask for her opinion on whatever you’re working on. And if she beats you at your favorite game, just give her a wink, congratulate her and say you’ll get her next time!
6. He’s a romantic
Okay, so we know that Gil pulled Anne’s hair in school and called her ‘Carrots’ but we find out later that he really was a super sweet guy and just as romantically inclined as Anne. You movie watchers will remember when Mr. Phillips made Anne sit by her nemesis, Gilbert, in school one afternoon, but it’s the book readers who may recall that Gilbert, who was truly sorry for teasing her “took from his desk a little pink candy heart with a gold motto on it, “You are sweet,” and slipped it under the curve of Anne’s arm.” (Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 15). Anne promptly crushed the candy with her shoe without glancing at the gift-giver but years later, she was reminded of that incident. One Christmas during college, Gilbert sent her “a thread-like gold chain with a tiny pink enamel heart as a pendant. On the accompanying card was written, “With all good wishes from your old chum, Gilbert.”” (Anne of the Island, Chapter 37). Sweet, yeah? But get this: she was already going steady with Roy Gardner.
It gets better. In the midst of finals and graduation preparation, Redmond was buzzing with the gossip of Roy’s impending proposal to Anne. And then Gilbert sends her flowers for Convocation. But not just any flowers, these were lilies-of-the-valley like the ones that blossomed at Green Gables. Gilbert knew that even though Roy Gardner was her chosen man, he still had something that Roy didn’t have: the history of a beautiful friendship. So he capitalized on it and sent her flowers on the day the two of them had dreamt about for years. The sentiment touched Anne’s heart and whose flowers do you think she carried that day?
Guy Tip: Romance has less to do with flowers, chocolate, and expensive dates on special occasions and more to do with remembering shared moments and making much out of the small, simple things in life. And romance isn’t just about how to talk sweet to a girl either. When we say a guy is a sweet talker, we’re usually referring to a guy who knows how to use his words to get what he wants from a girl. That’s not a man, that’s just a boy with a decent vocabulary. A real man can treat a woman with love & respect regardless of whether or not she reciprocates it. Gilbert didn’t give Anne flowers in an attempt to win her back. He was being a friend and saying, “Hey, we made it! Congratulations and good luck!” No shooting stars, no candlelight, no touch, but oh, how very romantic. Why? Because he cared.
Girls want to know you truly care and it’s your job to figure out how to best show that you do. For some girls it’s flowers, for some it’s good morning texts or a handwritten note, for others it’s a copy of her favorite book or a well-planned date. Actually, I can almost guarantee you it’s a combination of many different things and those may change over the years! Find out what’s important to your girl and do those things even if you don’t get it. Why does it have to be that brand of chocolate? It doesn’t matter. If she means that much to you, you’ll take note and buy her that brand of chocolate. She can open a door and she can hold her own in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter, hold that door open and ask if you can help out whenever possible. Yeah, it takes effort, but if you’ve got a keeper, guess what? That’s right, she’ll take the time to do the same for you. And if she forgets or is going through a particularly busy season, that’s okay, hang in there. You’re going to want her to understand when you’re going through a crazy phase and forget the anniversary of your first date!
And gentleman, if you are already married, this is even more important! Just because you said “I do” doesn’t mean you don’t continue to put your best foot forward. You have to work twice as hard keep her happy now because the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever but romance must always stay alive. There’s no magical age where we stop developing and changing. Like I said before, we change as the years go by. If you’re married, you’ve committed yourself to a lifetime of studying your wife. Be a romantic by doing your absolute best to making her happy and bringing out the best in her.
7. He loves her
I would be completely remiss if I didn’t highlight Gil’s simple love for Anne. Yes, this whole list has demonstrated how much he cares about her but I have to spell it out just a bit more.
You can see it on the screen when he looks at her. Jonathan Crombie did that look so well. It wasn’t anything creepy, seductive or even particularly charming, it was just pure love and adoration. He was completely smitten. It started out with a boy’s fascination with the new girl in school.
“Gilbert Blythe was trying to make Anne Shirley look at him and failing utterly, because Anne was at that moment totally oblivious not only to the very existence of Gilbert Blythe, but of every other scholar in Avonlea school itself….
[He] wasn’t used to putting himself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. She SHOULD look at him, that red-haired Shirley girl with the little pointed chin and the big eyes that weren’t like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school.”
And then, finally, after years of her implacable hostility, their fierce academic competition turned comradeship, and lots of hard work, and sacrifice on his part, Gilbert finally won.
“[It] was a happy and beautiful bride who came down the old, homespun-carpeted stairs that September noon–the first bride of Green Gables, slender and shining-eyed, in the mist of her maiden veil, with her arms full of roses. Gilbert, waiting for her in the hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won after years of patient waiting. It was to him she was coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was he worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as he hoped? If he failed her–if he could not measure up to her standard of manhood–then, as she held out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other’s keeping and both were unafraid.”
Guy Tip: If you’re a guy and you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I’m writing this not knowing if any guy is going to take the time to wade through this fan-girling but I couldn’t write this any other way – it flowed so naturally. Here’s my last guy tip:
I’ve been talking about how Gil was patient and waited for Anne for years but I need to add a very necessary caveat. This is a made up story and I get it. Gilbert Blythe isn’t perfect and I get that too. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all Gilbert Blythe Formula and I’m not trying to say that there is. However, the traits that make women swoon over him are very real and you would do well to consider them if you’ve never done so before. BUT! That doesn’t always mean you’re going to get the girl you’ve got your eyes on right now. Montgomery knew how to spin a good story but as we all know, the guy doesn’t always get the girl no matter how much he may ‘deserve her’ or how ‘good he was to her’ or how ‘patient he was’. Sometimes, she’s just not the one.
‘Getting the girl’ may mean wading through some heartbreak, some loneliness, and some frustration before it all works out. I don’t believe in soul mates but I do think that you should wait for someone who loves you for who you are, and is willing to spend the rest of their life with the good, the bad, and the ugly both people will most definitely bring to the table.
There’s always talk about girls saving themselves physically and emotionally for Mr. Right, but guys have hearts too. So don’t be in such a rush when you see a pretty face. I think that a lot of times, guys really mean well but y’all don’t give it enough time. Sometimes, even if she is the girl for you, you’ve just gotta wait. But a good woman is always worth waiting for, guys, I promise.
Be a hard working, patient, class act dude who’s making himself a whole person with a full life and you’ll be worthy of a keeper. And when you get her, take the time to be romantic and love your sweetheart for who she is and I guarantee you, she’ll be one lucky gal!
I went on longer than I originally intended. I was even considering a Part 2. But here it is and while I don’t know if Marilla Cuthbert or Rachel Lynde would have altogether approved of such fan-girling, I’ve throughly enjoyed it!
If you’re a die-hard Green Gables fan, leave me a comment and add to my list. Why else do women love about Gilbert and what other guy tips can the gentlemen in your life benefit from our favorite boy-next-door?
If you’re a guy and you finished this post, I have two more things to say to you:
I hope you’ve gained some insight into the female sentiment.
Y’all have a great day 🙂
P.S. For all y’all movie watchers:
“Christine was engaged to somebody in her home town. I knew it and she knew I knew it…I knew college gossip credited us with being in love with each other. I didn’t care…There was nobody else–there could never be anybody else for me but you.”