Daphne and Rózsika (Didot)

7

Warning: Contains some mature language.

(Quick note: I’ve bolded this post because Didot is a little light on the eyes.)

Font: Didot

Developed: 1784-1811

Chapter: “Daphne and Rózsika”

Book: Cinnimin

Written: 10 June-18 August 2009

Handwritten

This is Part LII (52) of my magnum opus, at least per the current table of contents. (I now strongly suspect I’ll need to add a lot more to Saga I, the Forties, when I finally transcribe and begin editing and rewriting. Now that I’ve permanently shelved the WTCOAC series and will be significantly restructuring some of the earlier Max’s House books, I have much more free reign to show Cinni’s life in the late Forties, and the full development of her romance with Levon in 1942-43. Those things are just WAY too rushed in the original.)

I wrote this in a 100-page college-ruled notebook, and it’s one of the longer Parts of Cinnimin. Some Parts are more like short stories, long episodes, or novelettes, but this is one of the ones I feel could stand on its own as an actual book. It’s from Saga VI, the Nineties, one of my favorite Sagas to write. Though the older characters continue to prominently feature, I’m primarily writing about peers who grew up at the same time I did. I’m not doing historical research, I’m writing about events I actually lived through and remember.

It’s set from 8 March-6 August 1998, and so much happens over those months. It presents two cautionary tales about two teen couples who think they know so much better than everyone else about their respective situations. One story has a happy ending, the other a not so happy ending that only gets worse later on.

Cinni’s 16-year-old granddaughter Rózsika recently began having sex with her longtime boyfriend Walter. They’ve been caught by a number of their cousins and friends, and keep insisting that going unprotected won’t hurt.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Daphne is blazing ahead with her unpopular plans to marry her longtime boyfriend Berus. Even people who used to be on her side turn against her as her behavior gets worse and worse. 

Some of the many highlights (avoiding any spoilers):

Ernestine walked into her brothers’ room to retrieve a book she had lent John. What she didn’t expect to find was Rózsika bouncing up and down on top of Walter, both of them completely naked. Her shriek made both of them abruptly stop and dash under the covers, grabbing for their clothes.

“Are you really into the whole marriage thing, or are you just gung-ho for the fairy princess wedding and the chance to have sex without feeling guilty?” Phoebe asked.

“This isn’t funny,” Walter insisted. “And you two made me lose my erection.”

Daphne could hear their conversation from the airvent upstairs and was boiling. “Who the hell do they think they are? In two months, I’m going to be Mrs. Berus Amichai Roblensky, and they won’t be able to do anything about it then.”

[Spoken by Kit, of course] “The rig ain’t a homing pigeon. You have to guide it in.”

“Ew, Daphne must think all teen girls have the same lousy taste in music as she does.” Phoebe held up a Backstreet Boys CD. “I hope you kept the receipt so I can exchange it for something more to my liking.”

“This is Samuel Roblensky. I’m sorry to disturb your evening, but your granddaughter Daphne and my nephew Berus thought it would be neat to let themselves into my house while Filipa and I were away, help themselves to my food, and throw their dirty towels on my couch after they came back from the beach.”

“I can’t be expected to love him the same way you love Grandpa. I love him the way any girl my age loves her boyfriend, even when he humiliated me in public with that tiny cheap-ass cubic zirconia.”

“I’d recommend the Hitachi,” Juliet smiled. “It’s like ten thousand men at once.”

“Why are we being serenaded by CDs of MTV pop acts?” Kit asked. “If they wanted mixed CDs instead of a band or deejay, at least they could’ve chosen upscale adult wedding music!”

“There are five positions?” Karyn asked. “I thought there were only like two or three.”

[Spoken by Violet about her lifelong rival Kit] “I called her an old slut, not old in general. Anyone who’s this age and still bragging about her sexual exploits, giving X-rated advice, and sharing her entire sexual history is a slut. Damn, I hope I never share blood with that woman.”

Daphne reached for a bottle of alcoholic lemonade in the fridge. “The marriage formula of yore worked perfectly. Do you even care the doctor they gave me was my great-uncle Sammy? I’ll never be able to look him in the face again.”

“It was so humiliating, Grandma! He said I had no hymen or cysts or anything, but he couldn’t even examine me with the smallest instrument! He told me I just needed to drink wine and relax.”

[Describing Daphne’s efficiency apartment] Kit had been right. It was twice the size of that tiny stateroom in A Night at the Opera.

Halloween Horny Hump Day—Daphne’s Horror

5

Warning: Not safe for work or appropriate for those under 18!

In honor of Halloween, this week’s Horny Hump Day is a bit of erotic horror. This is from Saga VI (the Nineties) of my handwritten magnum opus Cinnimin, and features one of the numerous grandchildren of the title character on her wedding night. Daphne thought she knew better than everyone and went ahead with her childishly-thought-out plans to marry her high school boyfriend almost right after graduation.

Shortly before the wedding, the ghost of Daphne’s 13-greats-grandma appeared to her and begged her to call off the wedding, but Daphne not only refused, but invoked her wrath and earned herself the first of several curses. A number of funny things happened during the wedding ceremony, but now comes the icing on the cake, the unconsummated marriage Daphne was cursed with.

In comparison to Justine in last week’s snippet, Daphne doesn’t exactly have the same excited, positive attitude towards her would-be lover’s male member! This is particularly ironic because Daphne’s paternal grandma Kit is a notoriously sexual woman, who made her sexual debut at a very precocious age and is still a vixen now in her sixties (albeit only with her husband these days). Kit did try to warn Daphne that this might happen.

***

Daphne let out a blood-curdling scream at the sight of Berus’s erection. She hid her face for a minute, and when she saw that it was still there, she screamed even louder.

“That wasn’t exactly the reaction I was hoping for.”

Spooktoberfest—Jennifer and Daphne

16

To mark the upcoming Halloween, Jackie Felger and Dani Bertrand are hosting another of their blogfests. Participants are posting flash fiction stories of 300 words or less, containing the words:

cobweb(s)
cauldron(s)
jack-o-lantern(s)
ghost(s)
razor(s)

Winners will be announced on Halloween (my favoritest holiday besides Yom Kippur, which I know is a seemingly strange juxtaposition) and will get huge bags of their favorite candy, plus some fun spooky items.

I had to go with Daphne Vanessa Roblensky (née Filliard), since she’s just so much fun to write. Daphne’s dream of marrying her boyfriend fresh out of high school immediately took a very unexpected, unpleasant turn, in part because she invoked the wrath of her 13-greats-grandma Jennifer. Since Berus finally found his balls and walked out on her (at least for the time being), Daphne has been all alone in an efficiency that feels as small as the stateroom in A Night at the Opera.

My piece is exactly 300 words. It’s Halloween 1998, and Daphne is 18.

***

Daphne batted a mop at a gigantic cobweb lurking in the corner of her glorified box.

“What’s wrong, little Mistress Roblensky, afraid to sully your hands?” Jennifer asked. “I was never afraid to sully my hands with cobwebs.  Our sex may have had less rights in my century, but we weren’t afraid of hard work.”

“Are you going to disappear soon?  Abby and Katie are coming over in an hour.  They’re my last hope for making friends at Rowan.  If they knew some stupid ghost is constantly lurking around me, they’d think I was a freak.”

Jennifer crossed her ankles. “I passed as a human just fine when I went to that sorority you were attempting to join.  The girl who answered the door only realized what I was as I was walking away.  And I’m not just any old ghost.  I’m your thirteen-greats-grandma, and I’m only doing this to try to teach you some important lessons.  When have I ever been a nefarious spirit?”

Daphne dropped the mop where it was, uncaring that a puddle began forming on the ugly, dirty carpet.  Once in the box-sized bathroom, she reached for her razor and the cheapest shaving cream she’d been able to find.

“Unless your costume shows your bare legs, or if you’re planning to have relations with a boy at your party, why bother to shave?  Women in my day never shaved.  My Daniel certainly never thought me less a woman because I had hair on my legs.  And you just shaved a day ago.”

“Do you really want me to lob one of my jack-o-lanterns at you?”

Jennifer eyed the candies in Daphne’s plastic cauldron. “I’m surprised you have candy. I thought you wanted to preserve your stick figure.”

“Whatever, at least I’m not a freaking ghost.”

Daphne

6

If you’re here for Horny Hump Day, please scroll down!

Name: Daphne Vanessa Roblensky (née Filliard)

Date of birth: 13 September 1980

Place of birth: Manchester, England

Year I created her: 1998

Role: Main character in ensemble cast, Quasi-Antagonist

Daphne is one of the Atlantic City characters from my own generation, and one of the characters I love to hate, who’s really fun to write. She’s only nine months my junior and graduated high school the same year I did, 1998. But there are a lot of things we don’t have in common, like Daphne’s obsession with Titanic (a movie I’m proud to say I’ve never seen and hope never to see), her anti-feminism, and her love of all those damn boygroups and poptarts MTV and the media were pimping in the wake of the pop explosion of 1997. She was also married before she was even old enough to vote.

Somewhere along the line, Daphne, the mutual granddaughter of Kit and Cinnimin, and her older sister Karyn picked up some extremely pre-modern views, particularly when it comes to women and so-called sex roles. While Karyn is at Northeastern U trying to get a Mrs. degree more than a real degree, Daphne already is a Mrs. by the time she goes off to Rowan U (in Glassboro, NJ, if you’re wondering). Although at least Karyn has a real brain underneath, and isn’t frigid.

Daphne thinks marriage is little more than playing house, and is in for a huge shock when she finally manages to get her very reluctant father’s permission to wed underage. This girl can’t even do laundry, cook, clean, or budget. Not only that, but right before her very unpopular wedding, the ghost of her thirteen-greats-grandma, Jennifer Lennon- Zargovich, places a curse on her. Part of the curse includes a miserable, unconsummated marriage. A few months later, Jennifer (who’s regularly haunting Daphne, but not as a nefarious spirit) gives her some curses that go along with blessings. One of these curses is that her marriage will end in divorce once she turns 32.

Daphne and her husband, Berus Roblensky (the late-life youngest child of penultimate Roblensky sibling Maia), are living in an efficiency that’s not much bigger than the stateroom in A Night at the Opera. They can’t even have sex, since Daphne is suffering from what turns out to be vaginismus. Everyone knows about the unconsummated marriage, and she’s the butt of many jokes, both at home and on the Glassboro campus. While she’s visiting her dream sorority during Rush Week, wearing a fancy outfit that looks completely out of place, two of her rivals from back home, cousins Brittany and Alexis Vandervelt (the grandchildren of Julieanna’s maternal cousins), tell the entire sorority lots of dirt about her, including the unconsummated marriage. Shortly after she has her dream of being a sorority girl crushed, Berus finally finds his balls and walks out on her. Daphne is furious to be left alone in the efficiency, but she gets a job and starts hatching a plan to win back her husband during the separation.

Some of out of touch Daphne’s typical lines:

“I don’t care what the politically correct ball-crushing feminists think! I’m going to sign my checks, put my name in classwork, and introduce myself as Mrs. Berus!”

“I don’t need to run a house,” Daphne asserted. “That’s what servants are for.”

“Planning ahead isn’t romantic! And besides, condos come already furnished and with dishes.”

“Whatever, I’m not the one who denies my femininity by wearing pants and being in junior ROTC.”

“And this is why you’ll never have a husband. You’ll probably have to crawl in shame to the sperm bank because no man would want a woman who makes love to nine instruments all day long.”

“Oh, whatever, I’m not the one dating a dyslexic.”

“The Greens will always have more money than the Vandervelts,” Daphne said smugly as Alexis fiddled with a tanzanite bracelet. “My family could’ve easily gotten me a diamond bracelet. Colored stones look cheap anyway.”

“It looks like a clown cake. Proper society women never make their own food anyway, but if they had to, they wouldn’t put so much food coloring in! The cake looks like a kindergarten exploded!”

“Oh, Great-Great-Aunt Lucinda was born in 1910! She went to the movies when dinosaurs practically roamed the earth! Any sensible person knows that all the handsomest actors are from today, not seventy or eighty years ago.”

“I don’t need to see or touch it, since we’ll be in the dark, and it’s most improper for a lady to touch unmentionables.”

“We only do brief closed-mouthed kissing. What am I, some ho?”

“I didn’t want to reciprocate, but I knew it was my marital obligation. It felt so embarrassing and weird. I think I’m still recovering from that traumatic moment when I first saw his—uh—his—you know—”

“Male iceskaters are gay,” Daphne said in disgust. “And who rollerskates anymore?”

Daphne extended her hand and smiled back. “I’m Mrs. Berus Roblensky.”

“Only bad girls like that! I don’t even care about foreplay. Just push it in and be done with it.”

“Respectable women derive their security and identity through a man! My title means something to me!”

“What do they know! They both went on birth control before even having sex! Only bad girls plan ahead!”

“I’m not supposed to make a lot of money! Decent ladies only work on the side for extra cash if they need to!”

“I’m a freshman. My name is Daphne.” It was like nails on a chalkboard to not call herself Mrs. Berus Roblensky, but she know it would be the difference between forfeiting her last chance at making friends here.

Why I love Kit

1

Kit has long been among my favorite of my Atlantic City characters from both my original generation and altogether. She loses none of her vim, vigor, and sex drive as she ages, and her rivalry with Violet is great continuity over the years. If they’d put aside their differences and become pals when they got older, that would’ve been extremely boring and taken away something vital from their relationship, similar to how I was told (some years after I stopped watching soaps) that Jill on The Young and the Restless found out Katherine is her birthmother and they suddenly became all peachy. Seriously, who in his or her right mind makes decades-long rivals best buddies overnight like that? Complete writing fail!

This is from Part XLI of Cinnimin, “Valentine and Ajax,” set between 17 May-23 August 1991. Violet is bemused enough by how her grandkids by Rose are becoming more and more hippie and frugal by the day, but when Kit’s pet grandchild ticks her off, she soon finds a whole new can of worms opening up.

***

Karyn, Perseus, and Crystal got a smaller ceremony for graduating elementary school. Violet wept to see her oldest granddaughter wearing a dress from Goodwill, albeit a very nice dress that didn’t fit the stereotype of used clothes. She was already losing sleep since Rose had announced her plans to have a waterbirth for her seventh child.

“I bet you give this one a nasty hippie name, like Liberty, Fearless, or Remember.”

“Is that any worse than your baby sister’s name?”

“You are! I’m gonna have a grandkid named Freedom!”

Violet was helpless to prevent Crystal from wearing her secondhand dress to Karyn’s bat mitzvah that evening and the next day. All the other girls were wearing expensive designer gowns. She hid her face as Kit proudly introduced everyone to her nine British grandkids and had young Charles show off for the guests with a song and tapdance.

“And this tiny one is Xanthe Marpessa Burgess-Green.”

“Is that a name?” Violet scowled.

“Don’t be mean. My cousin Xanthe is beautiful.” Pete Newmark, Patsy’s boy, kicked Violet in the leg.

“Who is this devil? Don’t you know I am a Hitchcock? I am worth more money than your grandma will ever be!” Violet kicked him back irately.

A moment of stunned silence followed. Then Kit scooped up her cherubic-looking grandson and cuddled and kissed him before storming toward Violet, her enemy since childhood. Her jade eyes flashed in fury. Peter prayed she wouldn’t embarrass herself.

“How dare you hurt my favorite grandchild! You only wish such an angelic-looking kid could spring from your line! This boy is named after the love of my life, Peter Cunningham!”

“You mean it wasn’t Haakon? After he took your virginity?”

“Grandma, you were with someone besides Rob and Grandpa?” Karyn asked in shock.

“Thirty-two sexual partners total. I’ll tell you all the lurid details anytime you want.”

“Hasn’t your feud gone on long enough?”

Kit shot Jesse a look that shut him up instantly.

Mr. Green came into the room carrying an armload of presents. “What’s this commotion?”

“That bitch kicked me,” Pete tattled.

Violet’s jaw dropped. “How the hell old is this kid?”

“Two years, nine months, one week, and five days. He picks up the foul language from his adoring grandma.”

“You are so disgusting. I bet this devil takes after you in everything, like sleeping around, getting venereal diseases, disrespecting everyone—”

“You had a venereal disease, Grandma?” Daphne asked.

“When I was twelve I caught chlamydia. I found out five months later at age thirteen.”

“Has young master Peter gotten himself into trouble again?” Owen laughed as he came downstairs.

“You mean he does this often?” Violet demanded in outrage.

“He was defending baby Xanthe’s honor against this evil bitch here and she up and maliciously kicked him.”

“You psychotic bitch.” Owen took Pete from his mother-in-law. “Never come near him again.”

“That brat kicked me first!”

“You’re sixty years old, bitch. Act like it.” Kit turned back to Xanthe.