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There can be only one Quintina!
Name: Quintina (Kwahn-TEEN-a) Elizabeth Holiday
Date of birth: 4 March 1930 (though for whatever reason, she’s with the class a year behind her)
Place of birth: Atlantic City
Year I created her: 1991
Role: Main character in ensemble cast
Though I didn’t intend any symbolism with her name, it turned out to be rather fitting, since she’s the fifth of five kids. She started out as one of the characters based on people I knew when I was creating the original cast of Atlantic City characters from that generation. Quintina was one of the people who started out based more than a little on her real-life inspiration, though over time, she grew into her own person and not someone dependent on mimicking a real person.
The Holidays used to be loaded until the Stock Market Crash. They lived in a cottage on the beach, and then moved to the dumpy part of the neighborhood. Her real-life inspiration also didn’t come from a lot of money, and I’m rather embarrassed to admit how closely Quintina was based on her in the early years. You never want to make someone based TOO closely on a real person. But by now, Tina is a character in her own right, able to do and say things she might not’ve had I continued to hold her to the confines of the person she was based on.
Since she’s outside the fringes of society because of her less-than-rich family, she doesn’t mind being a bit different and rebellious. She does her own thing, though she’s still on the popularity charts, unlike Ariania, who also does her own thing but is considered a Nobody. Tina also loves fashion, handsome guys, and dispensing sex/relationship advice and pretending she knows what she’s talking about even though she’s a virgin.
In college, she studies Danish, and gets a job in Denmark after graduation. She moves back home near the end of 1960, and marries Harry, in a rather impulsive, short-sighted decision. This isn’t a marriage based on love or commitment, but rather because they were both getting older and wanted to settle down. Harry also wanted to get even with his older brother R.J. for rubbing his engagement in his face and beating him to the altar.
But while Tina grows to love Harry, Harry begins cheating on her with Julieanna, his first love, only a few years into the marriage. Tina is even five months pregnant with twins when the affair starts. The entire town except Tina and Julieanna’s idiotic husband Kevin know these two have been having an affair for years and that Harry is the true father of Julieanna’s younger two kids. After getting over her shock and humiliation when the secret comes out in 1974, Tina divorces him and remarries Rex Sullivan, a guy she briefly dated years ago.
Tina has aged pretty well, I think. Unlike some of her friends, such as Violet, Kit, and Cinni, she’s not still talking and acting like she’s 25 years old when she’s a grandma, and she gracefully, naturally steps into her new role as an older woman and a grandma. Even if she’s not about to drink Geritol and move to Florida, she’s still not strutting around in a string bikini, playing pranks on people, or gossiping about people’s sex lives. She also remains good friends with Julieanna, even though she was the other woman, since she accepts that her marriage to Harry was a mistake and that Julieanna was the love of his life all along. She also shares six grandkids with Julieanna, since Quintina’s daughter Bridget is married to Julieanna’s son André.
Just a small sampling of favorite/typical Quintina lines (warning: contains some off-color language):
“Oh, cool. Your mom would kill you if she caught you with a Jewish boy.”
(As the girls are ranting against their new home ec book to the teacher) “Excuse me?” Quintina raged. “Girls can’t call guys unless they’re arrangin’ a double date?”
“She has no future if she can’t put on makeup,” Quintina said. “Where’re we ditching again?”
“People are staring at me,” Elmira whispered as she opened her saltines.
“You got the damn lipstick on your teeth, that’s why!” Quintina yelled.
“Don’t sing ‘Happy Birthday.’ It’s corny,” Quintina ordered.
“And what club would want a druggie who has sloppy handwriting and with no idea of how much one hundred miles is to be their president?” Quintina asked.
“Lookit this file, Henry.” Quintina waved it under his nose. “The girl you like had some major issues when she was a child!”
“Wow. A thousand dollars all in one bill. Can I touch it?”
Quintina grabbed her from behind. “How dare you attempt to assault my big brother!”
“Bitch and moan all you want, you bitch. Think I didn’t know you were canceling everybody’s dates just so you could have our men all to yourself, cheap slut?” Quintina spit in her face.
“I’ve seen Henry go wearing a sparkly gold and green shirt that looks like it came from either the fucking circus or a garage sale at a homo’s house,” Quintina said. “I bet he’s having an identity crisis ‘cause George Washington girl is moving back to her cave in Tahnahseeah.”
“I know fags practice bending over a lot, but Henry the fag-lookalike needed to practice wearing a belt too, ‘cause nonea us wanted to see that!” Quintina agreed.
(Very displeased with the pathetic, repeat presents she and Harry are unwrapping at their bridal shower) “Two coffee-grinders!” Quintina was yowling. “We ain’t gonna sit around all day drinkin’ coffee an’ eatin’ fruitcake! Hello? We wanted sex toys!”
“I heard a story at my translation office today. They say some bastard of a man is cheating on his wife with a married woman.”
“She and Harry were meant for each other. I’m sorry if I ever doubted that.” Quintina was strangely calm about all this. “She was independent of Kevin’s smothering love, yet completed by Harry’s unselfish love. Now she’s no longer Ms. Malspur. She’s Mrs. Brewster. Good for her.”
“I never was the woman he loved, Terri. I accept that.”
“I’m the oldest in our circle of friends since [name]’s untimely passing, and I don’t mind,” Quintina went on.