Saturday, September 06, 2008

Plebe or Patrician

Are you a plebian or a patrician? Susan Wiggs recently did a newletter article in which she asked what do you really read – Gravity’s Rainbow or Nora. And what do you really watch – Planet Earth or Project Runway. Would your answer reflect who you really are or who you think you should be – and is that a commoner, an aristocrat or a combination?

So here’s my dirty little secret. I’m a fan of Ice Road Truckers. That’s the History Channel’s Canadian version of CB Charlie and his eighteen-wheeler. The plot - what little there is - revolves around the trials and tribulations of delivering massive equipment across the frozen Arctic sea. It’s not exactly Emmy winning, so why do I watch it? Because it’s mindless? Or perhaps it’s that plebian gene popping up.

On the patrician side of my personality, I have an extensive collection of fine European/English porcelain and china. My husband claims I’ve never met a plate I didn’t want to take home with me. In fact, I can serve 75 of my favorite friends on Spode, Royal Doulton, Minton, Villeroy & Boch and Heinrich. That doesn’t sound quite like Ice Road Trucker fan, huh? Add that to the fact I have some antiques that date back to when good old George was king and I suppose I can tote those up on the patrician side of the ledger.

So how about those plebe credentials? Considering I spent more time in the hallowed halls of academia than a sane person should, it’s ironic that I have more than my share of common proclivities. Here are some you might recognize.

I love football. There’s nothing quite like a crisp autumn day and the pageantry and excitement of the gridiron – not to mention the uniforms and the athletes wearing them – whew! Then there’s the matter of movies. Just the thought of an angst filled drama with Portuguese subtitles makes my eyes water. Give me a romantic comedy or a rompin’, stompin’ shoot ‘em up any day of the week. And I will freely admit this – I can recite lines from Monty Python. How about music? As a kid I studied Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. Now I groove to Tim McGraw, Toby Keith and Trace Adkins. How about a Honky-tonk, badoink, badoink?

And then there’s the matter of my ancestors. Keep in mind I’m a fourth generation Texan and we’re tough folks. Several years ago I discovered my great grandfather’s Confederate pension application. Seems the old boy had $25 and a cow. My sister and I think that’s a hoot. Either he was telling the truth and he was poor as a church mouse, or he was doing the 19th century version of fraud. Personally, I think it was the latter, but either way he wasn’t exactly landed gentry. I had another great grandfather who donned his bandoleer and rode with Pancho Villa.

Don’t you just love those disreputable ancestors?

So regardless of the fact I learned the correct fork to use before I was in kindergarten, I’m probably a plebe at heart – and proud of it. How about you and what do you really enjoy reading?

Ann DeFee
Goin' Down to Georgia, Harlequin American Romance, March 2008
The Man She Married, Harlequin American Romance, February 2009
Top Gun Dad, Harlequin American Romance, TBA

Winner of the 2008 Book Buyer's Best Award in the Long Contemporary category.


Estella said...

I, too, am a plebian at heart. I love Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, etc. music.
I love to read Nora, and lots and lots of Harlequins and Silhouettes.

Teagan Oliver said...

You inspired me to reveal some of my own true nature. You can see my own post at
Thanks for the great inspiration.

Teagan Oliver

Maureen said...

I am definitely a plebian and there's nothing patrician about my family. I enjoy my romance novels and reality television but also enjoy classical music and watching PBS.