Cord and PDAs

Christina said this in a comment in the new beginning thread, and I’m bringing it out here for discussion since it’s not really part of that subject.

“By the time I could remember friends/family were doing PDAs here in KY. Perhaps the South was not as rigid on that score. I really don’t know, but that was why it surprised me so much especially that barn scene right after Ann backhanded Rob. I could not wrap my mind around Cord not even wanting Marty to see him embracing his own wife.

“I am not familiar with the treatment of the Apaches. Being part Cherokee myself I do know the story of The Trail of Tears quite well. It was disgraceful.”

First of all, for anyone who wants some insight into the whole sorry saga with Native Americans, I recommend Dee Brown’s (non-fiction) book, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” It’s a real eye opener, and I still go back to it for reference sometimes and it can still give me a lump in the throat.

As to the specifics of public displays of affection, I grew up in the north, but I don’t know if that matters so much. Remember that we are talking about a time in which men and women wore gloves at dances so that there would be no accidental touching of flesh to flesh. I’m sure the frontier west was a lot less uptight than civilized places, but those were in general pretty uptight times.

Specifically as to Cord’s behavior in Eyes. I didn’t see the scene Christina is asking about as having anything to do with race or with the conventions of the times. What happened in that scene for me had to do with Cord and his own hang ups and determination not to let anyone glimpse emotion in him – at least any vaguely soft emotion.

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19 Responses to Cord and PDAs

  1. mesadallas says:

    I have to agree. Sexuality is something private- even kissing. My husband and I hold hands all the time in public – and we kiss good-by when he drops me off for work in the morning -but as far as “making-out style kissing in public, no. To me it just isn’t appropriate.

  2. T. L. Haddix says:

    Ditto here, Mesadallas. I remember the scene you all are talking about, but it didn’t jump out in my mind as odd. Cord and Anne’s relationship was just so much of a private thing between the two of them, so intimate, the behavior in the barn didn’t strike me as odd. Plus, I read a lot of Regency romances, and PDAs just weren’t done back in the day.

  3. McD says:

    Cord and PDAs?? Not being familiar with that particular acronym I had to read through Ellen’s blog to get to the meaning.
    I have to admit my first thought was that it was similar to STDs. And I thought, Cord?? No way.
    My second thought was, how interesting. Maybe Ellen’s going to dish up the dirt on Cord’s (sexual) past.

    But, for PDAs, I’m going with mesadallas and T.L. Haddix.
    Keep them private.

  4. Christina says:

    I guess I am in the minority on this one then. I could understand Cord and Ann’s reticence about PDAs with town folk, but with family? And Marty at that? They were not passionately kissing. They were only hugging.

    I haven’t quite got this Blog thing figured out. I just found these posts.

  5. You aren’t the only one, Christina. It’s kind of branching all over the place and hard to follow. I wonder if it would be better to have one main post every week, month, whatever and have everybody add to that and we could all find everything without much effort.

  6. Ha ha, McD. Cord revealed his own sexual past to Anne – the affair of the body but not the heart with the girl down along the border – but then he did know what trollops wear – which leads us right back to worrying about v.d. You never hear anything about minor STDs in the good old days. Maybe they didn’t recognize anything but syphillis and gonorrhea or maybe that’s all that was going around until more recently, just like HIV wasn’t around back then. A hero with herpes would kind of take the romance out of things, even in a contemporary, wouldn’t it?

  7. I think the fact that historical romances ignore disease is just one of the many “romantic” factors. The figures I found for the Civil War are that there was over an 8% rate of v.d. diagnosed. Since I bet a lot of syphillis would slip by without diagnosis, the rate was surely much higher.

    Sing My Name has some of our previous v.d. discussion incorporated in it. Maybe it will be breaking new ground as a romance 🙂 and maybe everyone will tell me to take that out it’s the pits.

  8. Christina says:

    I wondered if you were implying that Cord visited whores with that whole corset scene, Ellen. That’s a pity. I guess men have always had a problem keeping their pants zipped, and for that I could smack each one of them. I like realism in my books so I look forwad to some references to VD in Sing MY Name.

  9. mesadallas says:

    Same here. I like my books to be as realistic as possible- in fact, it’s something I look for and helps me decide if the book is a keeper or not.

    I’m also getting a kick out of the fact that our discussions have served as a muse for Sing my Name. Ah, the ever-popular penis syringe!

  10. You know, that’s something I never made up my own mind about. He wouldn’t have had to patronize a prostitute to have seen them, but there was no sexual access for men to decent women of the kind there is today. The affair with the girl down by the border gave him experience, but that was years before Anne showed up. I guess each reader gets to make up her own mind about that history.

  11. Christina says:

    What really angers me is this notion that men HAVE to have a sexual contact at all times but that women don’t. Women have been programed to suppress their sexuality until marriage. But they have the same needs as men. I will give Cord credit that he did not expect Ann to be a virgin since she had been engaged. And Poor Ann was so upset that he did not think that she was a virgin. What a mess our double standards make.

  12. I must confess that morning after scene is one of my favorites.

  13. T. L. Haddix says:

    I was thinking about this thread the other day, am only now getting a chance to get back on here. My grandparents pretty much raised me, and when I was born back in 1976, he was 76, she was 71 (Okay, she turned 71 two days after I was born – close enough). It wasn’t until they were in their mid-late 90s that I saw them show any sort of public affection for one another. They got married in 1925, and I know they loved each other. I don’t remember ever thinking they didn’t love each other, but I mean even him telling her she looked pretty, that sort of thing – they didn’t do it in public. I say public, but I mean in front of anyone. The last couple years of their life, he would sit next to her in their chairs, and he would compliment her on her dress, or her shoes, and he would steal a kiss. It was shocking, especially after 20 years or so of seeing nothing of the sort. They didn’t share a bed, in part due to her physical limitations. She was one of the earliest hip replacement patients, and the surgery then was primitive compared to what it is now. For most of my growing up years, they didn’t share a bedroom, much less a bed. Probably the last 10 years or so, they each had hospital beds in the same room, but they were more roommates than the traditional husband and wife. Lucy and Ricky had nothing on my grandparents!

    Interestingly enough, one of my grandfather’s favorite stories was telling how his sister tied a cow bell on the bottom of their bed springs, and when they went to bed the night of their wedding, he made sure that bell was gone. His father, who had remarried one week earlier and was in his 60s, had not been so thoughtful. As a result, all night long whenever either of them would move the least little bit in that bed, the bell would ring. His new wife would sit up and insist that a yearling calf was running around out in the yard. It was hilarious, but you might have had to be there. It was probably also so funny, because all my life the only way I had ever heard this woman referred to was as “That old woman that Dad married”.

  14. mesadallas says:

    The cowbell under the bed is a riot. I hadn’t head of that one.

  15. Christina says:

    That cowbell scene would be good in one of Ellen’s future books or yours T. L.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Oh, yes! It would be great to use in a book!Good thinking, Christine.

  17. Paige says:

    Ellen, take that out it’s the pits 😐

  18. Too late, Paige. Sing My Name is going to beta readers this weekend so I’ll get to see how they feel about it. What’s in there is only a paragraph or so. There are other things that may be more realistic than you see in a lot of romances – I’ll just have to see how it goes over. Ellen

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