Taking a page from Katie Ganshert’s book (well, not literally!) I thought I would pretend this lady is a character in one of my stories and interview her.
I consider it practice, but I thought it could be fun to see what kinds of questions/answers we could share – just based on the way she looks.
I’m going to name her Nelda.
Marji – Whatever inspired you to wear a bowl of fruit on your head?
Nelda – Ha! Carmen Miranda used to wear the whole produce section. And she’s still popular long after her death. But in truth, I could barely keep a straight face as the paparazzi clicked photo after photo.
Marji – Is that why you did it? For popularity?
Nelda – Loaded question. I don’t need crazy stunts to be popular. I’m already there. I lead a charitable organization and I’m on the board for the fine arts committee of Louisville. I have more event invitations than I can actually accept and my husband’s company relies on me for attendance at their client engagements to bring social standing to their appearance. This hat thing was just a lark. But I don’t doubt that it will be remembered for some time to come.
Marji – I stand corrected. So you use your status to help others. Your charity organization, your husband’s company.
Nelda – Yes, I believe that I’ve been placed in this position in order to lift up those around me.
Marji – So what gives you your high standing. What is it about you that makes you better than those around you.
Nelda – Well, the money of course. My father’s company was extremely profitablelucrative. It provided an education of excellence and that gave me lucrative connections. My husband’s company exceeds my father’s. I guess you could say success is the best partner that I have.
Marji – Wow. What if it wasn’t?
Nelda – What do you mean?
Marji – What if your next project caused incredible failure. What would your worse failure look like?
Nelda – Well, that’s a depressing thought. Maybe something embarrassing to me? (Marji is raising her eyebrow so I’m guessing I’m not digging deeply enough.) Okay, I guess the worst thing that could happen to me would be for something to happen to my husband’s company. Maybe a layoff?
Marji – What about you being charged with fraudulent behavior on your board.
Nelda – I would never do that.
Marji – I didn’t say you did, only that you were charged. Suddenly everyone would look at you differently. You know how folks are always willing to believe the worst in others. Maybe your husband is having an affair and your new status hurts him in the company. Wouldn’t be hard for him to get a good divorce with you being a felon.
Nelda – A felon! They couldn’t actually believe I would do something to put me in jail.
Marji – Sure they could. And suddenly your a convict on probation with no money and no home. Would Mummy and Daddy let you move home? Which of your friends would stand by you? What job could you get?
Nelda – Stop already! I would have to save my good name first. Reattain my status. That’s the most important thing. None of my friends would alienate me and certainly not my parents. And the thought of my husband divorcing me over something like this is laughable.
Marji – Denial? I think we’re done here. Nelda’s deepest fear is losing her status, her reputation. The money is secondary, but I think only because she has no clue of what a financial bind really entails. She would make a great main character in a women’s fiction.
Be sure to come back next Wednesday to analyze another madam-hatter!
Your turn: What questions would you ask Nelda? How would your Nelda answer them or mine? And what would you call Nelda if you could name her anything?