05 November 2004 - 11:22 AM
Hobbits and Elves
Today, let's start with the fascination that hobbits have with elves. Tolkien of course established this interest fairly early in his accounts of Middle Earth, and various others have both picked up and occasionally parodied it. The Viking is willing to accept it as an attribute of fictional characters, but he does not and probably will not ever fully comprehend it. He also does not fully understand why, on the rare occasions when we indulge in Dungeons and Dragons, I prefer to run an elf or half-elf character to a halfing one. I'm as close to a hobbit as anyone he's ever met, after all, and why wouldn't I want to be the leader of a band of rampaging halflings?
I've tried to explain that it's to do with wanting attributes you don't have. No matter how secure you are (I will admit to being rather more insecure than some might think is reasonable), there are just times when you'd like to be different. And when what you are includes short, pudgy, and clumsy, there are days when it doesn't matter how cute and clever people find you. You'd prefer to be tall, slim, and elegant. And graceful. Let's not forget the graceful part.
I've never been graceful. Thirteen years of dancing lessons in my childhood (I started with ballet at the age of 5) could not make me graceful. I still walk into doors, put my foot down wrong and tumble down the stairs, misgauge where the chair is and fall off the edge of the seat. I try to do better, O Gods, do I try. But just as soon as I've got that book balanced on my head, I stub my toe on something and that's the end of that.
Last night, while the Viking was off at the gym, I was cleaning up in the kitchen. While I was loading the dishwasher, I needed to move away from the sink for some reason -- maybe to pick up a glass that was just out of reach or something like that. I truly do not remember. But for whatever reason, I did not close the door of the dishwasher, and smacked my shin into one of the corners. I didn't think I was moving that fast, or the door was really that sharp, or that I am really that fragile (one of the unpleasant side-effects of plaque psoriasis is that the plaques are more fragile than healthy skin), but I put a nice 1-inch gash in my leg. Ow.
I was trying to patch myself up when the Viking returned. 'What did you do to yourself?' he wanted to know, so I told him.
'You should be more careful,' he said, helpfully.
'I was being careful,' I growled.
The Viking, being the medical professional he is, determined that I didn't need stitches and helped me finish cleaning the wound. 'You know,' he said, 'some of the exercises the trainer at the gym has been having me do might help you out with this kind of thing.'
'He had me doing ladder exercises tonight, and something like hopscotch on crack.'
Thirteen years of dance lessons couldn't make me agile and graceful. Hopscotch is going to help?
You want to know why hobbits are fascinated with elves? The desire to walk across your own kitchen without tripping over your own feet is why this hobbit is fascinated with elves.