“Odd Girl Out”: historical fiction, the ’50s, and more // StayHomeWriMo Day 19

Hello, loves!

I hope everyone’s doing well! Today’s post is later in the day, but better late than never!!

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Prompt: The 1950s are often painted as a simple and idealistic time in American history. One income could support an entire family. Jobs were plentiful. Moms stayed home with their kids. Divorce was scandalous. Write about a protagonist who didn’t fit the mold, whose life was difficult because of the cultural and societal conventions of the time.

Virginia Phyllis was an odd girl.

Firstly, she was the only woman she knew with a first name as a last name- even her sister had changed her name as soon as she married. Teachers used to pause when they said her name and raise their eyebrows the tiniest bit.

Next, most of her friends and acquaintances didn’t know that she was mixed-race: her mother Jacqueline Hernandez was Spanish. If word got out, it could be the end of her social life.

Virginia even had a fondness for trousers instead of skirts. It was unthinkable to wear ‘men’s clothes’ in the ’50s.

Finally, Virginia hadn’t started a family. Nearly every other twenty-eight-year-old woman was married, many already with multiple kids.

Virginia was the exception.

She had married, to her credit- she married Randy Smith two years prior, though she hadn’t taken on his last name.

They’d divorced a year later and Virginia had yet to find another man.

But she was different in other ways- she’d insisted on a quality education and even fought her way into a university, where she studied law.

Now it was time to put her patience and other skills to test- in a lawn party hosted by her elder sister, Victoria Harrison.

“Virginia! My dear sister!” Vicki cooed, leaning in to kiss her sister’s cheeks. She was dressed in a green and gray plaid swing dress with a small bonnet covering her brown curls.

Virginia smiled pleasantly. “It’s wonderful to see you, Vicki. How do you do?” she asked before striding away without waiting for an answer.

Even at a lawn party, Virginia stood out. She wore long, wide red trousers that almost- almost- passed for a skirt, but not quite. Even her hair was odd. Every other fashionable woman kept it short and curled, but Virginia’s long brown hair laid flat on her back without any bonnet or headband covering it.

“If it isn’t the odd Virginia Phyllis!” Another woman in a periwinkle blue circle dress walked up and shot a feline grin at Virginia.

Virginia wished she could leave this blasted party.

“Don’t you remember me, little Ginny? It’s me, Patricia Miller, you know!”

Virginia plastered a smile on her face. “Ah, Patricia. Of course.”

Patricia laughed loudly. “Still haven’t found another husband, have you? You should know, it’s quite curious that no one else would marry you! After all, we’re the same age- yet I’ve been married to Robert since I was nineteen, you know. We have four children, you know. Bonnie Jane, Brian Earl, Beverly Ann, and Bruce Roy. They’re the light of my life, you know!”

Virginia didn’t even pretend to smile. It took all her self-control to not lash out at blasted Patricia for her thinly-veiled insults.

Patricia tsked. “What about your nieces and nephews, you know? How old are they? Don’t they make you long for your own children?”

Not if having kids will make me anything like you, with all your pesky questions, Virginia thought. But of course, she couldn’t say that.

“Oh, they’re lovely. Harold is eight, Kathryn is six, and Curtis is three. As sweet as they are, I don’t think I want children.” Virginia said before she could stop herself.

Patricia’s eyes bulged. “Really!” she said, louder than necessary. “No woman in her right mind wouldn’t want children, you know!” She really was shouting by then.

Everyone in a ten-yard radius quieted so they could hear the conversation. Virginia sighed.

“Patricia, I think I’ll excuse myself. Lovely to meet you,” Virginia said through gritted teeth. “Have a nice day.”

She strode away, only to be bombarded with a crowd of women who had overheard her conversation with Patricia.

“Virginia! What an irresponsible decision!”

“Is it true that you don’t want children?”

“But don’t you adore Vicki’s children?”

“Will you just be alone forever, then? How sad!”

Virginia pushed her way through all the Marys and Nancys and Janets shouting at her.

Suddenly, a woman blocked her way.

“Hello, dear! I’m Connie White. Let me tell you about my children!” she said with a crazed smile.

“No, please- I’m not interested-” Virginia tried to argue.

“There’s Leonard, Willie, Philip, and Rhonda. They’re all the sweetest little angels-”

“I’m not interested!” Virginia snapped. But Connie didn’t seem to hear her, and it only got worse when another woman shoved her way in front of Virginia.

“My name is Margaret Allen. My daughters are Christine and Carolyn. They both have soft blonde ringlets-” she started before being interrupted.

“I’m Teresa Johnson! I have five children, and I couldn’t be happier!”

“Virginia, my name is Sharon Barnes! My daughter Kathleen-”

Just quiet your mouths!” Virginia shouted, which was the equivalent of cursing at the group of women.

Everyone quieted, but the shock on their face was evident.

Virginia’s shoulders slumped. “Please. Just leave me alone, I beg you.”

She whirled around and stomped away, trying not to care about the women staring at her.

Being Virginia Phyllis in the 1950s was the worst.

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I hope you liked my first historical fiction piece this month!

What’s your favorite genre? Have you read any books set in the ’50s? What genre would you like me to write next? (I’d REALLY appreciate it if you could answer the last question especially)

xoxoadiforadi1

21 thoughts on ““Odd Girl Out”: historical fiction, the ’50s, and more // StayHomeWriMo Day 19

  1. I loved this😍 I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction lately and I totally love it. This is so good, I just am in love with anything of the era. It was very hard back then for women to do what they wanted, and I love that today I can look up to them for being the first ones.
    Damn your writing is so good!❤ I totally felt her frustration, and I pretty sure would be annoyed if I was her.
    Hmm, maybe you could try sci-fi next? I guess that would add some versatility too.
    Anyway, loved this post!❤❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Ju! 🥰🤩 This era was such a weird vibe, like part of me is in love with the hoop skirts etc but the other part of me is all “nope, it was a disgusting sexist, racist, homophobic time” 😂. It is an interesting time period to read about but in a long book the obvious lack of diversity eventually annoys me :/
      Thank youuuu ❤ I really appreciate it!
      That's true, I haven't written scifi at all this month! Definitely need to write that haha

      Like

    1. Thank you! Haha I had a lot of fun with the names 😉 I was just like bopping out all the old white lady names like “Karen, Becky, Nancy, next!” 😂 I wrote a murder mystery write before this one if you wanna check it out (subtle plug haha). But I’ll write another one soon!

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  2. Loved this so much as usual Aditi 💖 There goes your ego 😂 Honestly I just wanted to slap all the mothers when they were al shouting at her, I was just like ‘BACK OFF!’ lol 😂 I proper felt like I was in this story, I really enjoyed it! I’ve never read any ‘50’s fiction until now, and my favourite genre is Young Adult/fantasy/romance/mystery/action pretty much everything 😂 Maybe the next genre you write could be adventure/action? No clue – it’s up to you! 💖 Amazing story as usual 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (there goes my ego, Ambs, I’m just going to blame it on you when my hopes get up and are dashed to the ground because I’m not as good as you made me think I am 😂) Lmaooo same!! Actually I’ve never properly read ’50s fiction either! Twinsies 😉 <3. YA fantasy and contemporary are my favorite genres!
      What would adventure/ action be about? Thank youuuu ❤

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  3. Ooof poor Virginia. bAcKkkKkkKk oFffFffFff random ladies! Ugh. k a r e n.

    OOOH COULD YOU WRITE MAGICAL REALISM???!!! LIKE ONWARD IS???!!!! It’s my favorite thing to read bUT there’s literally nothing out there so if you could do that that’d be great!!! I haven’t read many 1950s books unfortunately but I have this idea in my head about demon hunters in the 50s and an ice cream truck???? It’s been there for a while but I haven’t gotten around to it cause I need to finish my other stuff first xD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I get that!
      OMG SUREE!! I still haven’t seen Onward 😕 but quick, gimme a description of magical realism! I haven’t read many 50s stories either lol don’t worry!! HAHAH I WOULD LOVE TO READ THAT 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Onward is a world with all the magical creatures and magic but there’s also technology! They drive everywhere (with actual cars) and everything looks modern with a fantasy twist. I’m kinda trying to get that vibe in my books (cept there’s no iphones or tvs. YET) and it’s kinda hard?? bUt it’s really fun! Also you can make up your own pop culture which sounds fun, but *whispers* it’s nottttttttttttttt. It’s SO HARD to come up with books within a book. Isn’t one book hard enough???! ughh. But I do allow The fAult in OUr Stars to appear by …. y’know… mAgIc!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Omg sorrry for the late comment but Onward sounds great! I’m going to try magical realism tomorrow for sure. I love that vibe- like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson! HAHAH yes that would be a ton of books. (magic is great and all but YOU MAKE THE RULES BECK, YOU MAKE THE RULES)

          Liked by 1 person

  4. oohh I love this and it felt so real like you could imagine how alone a woman would feel in this life if she didn’t want to have children and how everyone felt like her personal choices would be something to be debated over. Poor Virginia!! Great writing piece though, I loved reading it!
    oooh what genre?!?! I don’t know you’ve covered so many. You could do sci-fi where the characters are on a rocket or do the POV of an alien looking down on earth ahha!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad that you were able to feel part of this story! Yeah, this time period is super awkward- you didn’t drown in student debt but you didn’t go to school so there was no student debt 😂 Virginia isn’t really one of my favorite OCs but I don’t mind her!
      Oh my god, I did a scifi where characters are on a rocket today! XD You read my mind! I actually want to do another scifi before the challenge ends !

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha in the USA it’s even worse because our whole economy is super capitalist and exclusionary to non-rich people andddd I’m going to my activism side and ranting now so I’ll stop myself here 😂

          Liked by 1 person

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