Frankie is a girl after my own heart. She comes out at the end of her story knowing herself, respecting and being true to who she is. She is an awesome role model for young girls (apart from the breaking and entering thing, but hey, let’s not sweat the small stuff, ok?). The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks is a favorite here at YA Crush and so, she was the perfect person for me to channel when I found myself in a situation of great duress. Amusingly enough, my channeling Frankie resulted from Tee and I jokingly applying this question to another, way less severe situation, and mentioning it might make for a fun article.
What unimaginable, high stress situation had me trying to draw upon my girl Frankie’s fortitude? What caused me to ask the question: “What would Frankie do?” In this case, the answer is: snails. Not garden snails, neithah. Allow me to ‘splain.
I was sitting in a little Crepérie about to order lunch with someone I don’t know particularly well, someone who I really need to appear together for (read: who knows nothing of the full extent of my crazy), when the following conversation ensued:
Me: “Oh gee,” [reading off of a sign on the table], ” ‘Thursday afternoon, free escargots appetizers,’ too bad it’s not Thursday afternoon!”
Person Who Doesn’t Know About The Crazy: “Oh, I love escargots, do you want to order some?”
Me: “Oh, ergh, I was kidding…actually I’ve never thought of trying them.”
P.W.D.K.A.T.C.: “Oh come on, it’ll be fun to try something new. If I order them, will you promise to try one?”
Me (Inner Monologue): Noooooooooooooooooo.
Me (Out Loud): “________________!”
Me (Inner Monolgue, continued): “Ohmawgawd, I was just kidding. That’s what you get for trying to be funny by making fun of the French people and what they eat. It blew up in your face! Now you’re going to have to eat…SNAILS.”
And then it hit me. This is such a “What would Frankie do?” situation.
Well, for the fun of it, post traumatic gastronomic moment over, I decided to put words in Frankie’s mouth and answer that question the way she might have answered it.
Frankie would have stayed true to her convictions, and she’d have said something to the effect of: “Sounds interesting. Thanks but no thanks.”
After I put this down on paper I thought, “Well, this would be true to her, but it’s not that fun.” So, instead of wasting a perfectly good idea for an article, and to make this all more enjoyable, I decided to apply the same situation to other favorite literary characters to see what happens:
Mia of The Princess Diaries: First, of course, she’d look like she swallowed a sock. This would immediately be followed by her explaining her lifetime commitment to vegetarianism and a discussion about how every creature, great and small (even if gross and slimy) deserves to live a long and fulfilling life. Then she might spend another half hour discussing how a snail might make its life fulfilling.
Katniss of The Hunger Games: Wouldn’t even have to be asked. She would just order escargots because they’re a better source of protein than a crepe and because you better eat now as you never know when your next meal might come next. She might even ask if she can go back into the kitchen to kill them herself. If the answer is no, she might just shoot at the waitress with her trusty bow and arrow that she takes everywhere she goes. (Target practice, you know.)
You may wonder what it is that I did at the end of my story. I did what Frankie would do, though my answer was different than what I imagined hers to be. This is a situation where you have to be honest about who you are (as Frankie is) and what you want to do, or not do. A situation that you cannot allow others to pressure you into (which Frankie would never allow). So, that’s precisely what I did.
Throughout my life I’ve sworn up and down that snails were one of the few exceptions to my rule of, “try something once”, as I worked through different culinary adventures. It’s perhaps the only one that doesn’t have to do with personal, ethical convictions. I just think snails are gross, is all.
Now, I know that initially I looked like I swallowed a sock when the idea was first proposed. (I would have rather done that than swallowed a snail, quite honestly.) My first instinct was to claim I was a vegetarian. Had I had my trusty bow and arrow I might have shot the waitress as a distraction and made a run for it. Instead I decided to be honest and said: “If you order them, I may try one (I may not). But if I do decide to try one and don’t like what I bite into, you have to be ok with me spitting it into my napkin, and not be offended.” (Hey, I believe in full disclosure!)
And, we had a deal. When the escargots arrived in a beautiful oil, garlic sauté, they actually smelled appealing. Turns out they taste like clams and not like a rubber glove with salt, which is what I was most afraid of.
Some might say the moral of this story is, “Don’t be afraid to try something new, you might like it.” Though another really good moral to the story, even if it all worked out for the best, might be, “Don’t joke around about enjoying eating creatures you find in your garden unless you actually mean it.” Again, I gotta keep it real like Frankie, and, quite honestly, that’s really the first moral to my story that came to mind.