Back to Beauty and the Best, although no beast this time.
Is it generally fairly well known that Beauty had two sisters? Actually in some earlier versions she has three brothers as well, but they peel off fairly quickly. The sisters go into poverty exile with Beauty and her dad, and when they all hear that her father’s missing ship has turned up and he heads into the city to see what’s there, he asks all three what presents he should bring them back. The two older sisters ask for silks and velvets and jewels, and Beauty asks for a rose.
The rest should be pretty familiar – the ship doesn’t have much money in it after all, he rides into a storm on the way home and ends up at the Beast’s castle, and he takes a rose for Beauty. You know the story. The sisters turn up again when Beauty comes home for a brief visit, trying to convince her not to go back and that the Beast is a terrible monster and generally complicating things.
We’re supposed to see how shallow they are compared to Beauty – wanting fancy clothes and jewels instead of a bot of natural beauty – and they nearly kill the Beast with their meddling. The thing is, their concern about Beauty going back seems pretty fair. Their dad described a big scary murderous monster, they don’t want to send their sister back to that and they don’t trust her judgement that it’s safe. (Maybe they’ve swallowed the sexist bullshit that is Stockholm Syndrome?) But still, not wanting your sister to leave again forever to a mysterious and possibly terrifying fate seems ok. And maybe fancy clothes and jewels aren’t the most high minded gift to ask for, but why the fuck not? Among other things they both lost their fiances when they became poor, and they’re presumably worried about aging out of the marriage market and ending up with no prospects. That’s a very reasonable concern. They grew up rich, so they don’t have skills; their dad won’t be around to support them however he’s managing forever, peasant guys probably aren’t really looking for spoiled wives who don’t know how to milk a cow, and they need to live somehow. Showing the world they’re rich and fabulous and looking beautiful is probably a fair plan.
Only two days of work coming up and then I have the rest of the week off! Am I still salty that I have to beg for High Holy Days off and use my vacation time and Christmas gets an extra day and a half automatically? Yup. Will I take days off however I get them?