Harriet driving/panicking/food outage

In Flight Paths, there is a chapter called Harriet Driving. In this chapter, the character Harriet is quite irrational. She is concerned about getting food for her family, sure, that’s a logical thing to do, but she says if she doesn’t they’ll starve. Really? What family doesn’t have enough food that, if necessary, the purchasing of more could not wait until tomorrow without putting the immediate survival of the family in danger? This seems quite overreactionary. The family ought to be fine for a few days if it came down to it. Then she goes on to try to calculate what all food she has, and how long it would last in the event of a war or cataclysm. Again, completely too much panic in this character.

She continues this train of thought, analyzing unbagged peas, old tahini jars, her mother’s preserves (oh no banish the thought), until finally she realizes she is getting off track. She has quite a bit of food, yet requires more. Then she gets all philosophical, discussing the merits of how her family will expect food yet ignore the origins of how that food came to arrive in her house. This is typical behavior of a family, one would think, and why she feels the need to philosophize over it is beyond me.

Eventually she comes to the conclusion that she gets more food because she is “a good wife” and “a good mummy” seemingly trying to justify to herself a cause of an action that does not really need justified. Panic again? Everything having to be exactly, perfectly right?

She seems the type that if she woke up and her toothpaste was out she would be worried that her teeth would fall out in a few hours. Irrational and panicky. And undoubtedly human.


~ by diamondace on March 29, 2010.

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