Unprofession

Title: Unprofession
Time Period: April 18, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Constance is long overdue for a bit of career counseling.

There have been enough April showers that the May flowers have come a few days early. Out on the rocky cliffs two blondes pick their way over the steep edge, one straying a little too close when she sees something pretty while the other hangs back. It's a place where the shrubbery is sturdy enough to hold the two horses tethered and left to graze in warm afternoon sun. Everything seems lazy, even the puffy white clouds that drift across the skyline at a leisurely pace.

Dressed in her usual inappropriate wear for a ride, Luna's satin dress is wrinkled in a few places. It would be unbecoming if she were in town or entertaining, but she hasn't been doing any of that lately. Not before she became ill. Now, right as rain, she pauses to pick small wildflowers and place them in a basket containing their sandwiches and wine.

"I feel so… alive…" Luna utters as she draws a deep breath and lets it loose in a long sigh. "Nothing like the fear of death to get a person back into the land of the living. Don't you think?"

"I suppose you're right," Constance agrees. "But I think there are all kinds of other things to fear. I am glad you're able to come out and do this now. I missed having you around to talk to." Well, because who else is she going to talk to these days?

"I love this time of year. The flowers are always so pretty… things just always look better around now. I think it's because the whole world has decided to wake up and be more alive."

"I quite agree," Luna smiles and pauses near a table rock. It's flat enough to act as a good place for their picnic and so she places the basket on it. "I've always hated winter, except for the chance to wear furs… I love furs, have you seen my cream colored cloak with the fox trim? It was my favorite until a couple of months ago. I'll have to get a new one for next winter, it would be horrible to be seen in the same one two years running."

Constance is priviledged, she must know the trials and tribulations of how exhausting it is to be fashionable in Dornie. Then again, as angelic as Aislinn is, she doesn't like to wear much in the way of color… An expression of pity makes a home on Luna's face, however brief it is, before her smile returns.

"Now that I'm all better you need to tell me everything that's happening, aye?"

"You could see if one of the girls in the Dovetail wants it. I'm sure some of them would be happy for your hand-me-downs and you can laugh knowing they aren't wearing the latest fashions," Constance says, grinning just slightly. She looks towards Luna's basket of lunch and flowers, seeming to contemplate it, as if it were the location of her troubles.

"Father's been insufferable lately, but that's no surprise. He and Aislinn both treat me like I'm a child but the second I'm child-like it's like suddenly they want me to be an adult," she says, rolling her eyes. "Father keeps pushing me to do things that would be attractive to a husband but Aislinn was suggesting that I should find something more to do… take up a bit of a profession. Which is funny because I don't think there's anything I'm terribly good at but acting and people don't seem to find my interests worthwhile."

To this bit of news, Luna's eyes widen with horror and she rears her head back a little. Lunch is left to wait as the prostitute grabs the young aristocrat by the hands and turns them palm up to both examine and make a point. Constance's hands are as beautiful as a young woman of priviledge should have, her nails perfect, no callous. The same as Luna's.

"Constance Rowntree! Why would you ever wish to do a thing as horrible as that?" Lifting their hands a few inches higher, she shakes them to emphasize her words. "Women who labor for a living have the ugliest hands. All old and wrinkled before their faces grow to match. Trust me, you don't want a profession, leave the work for a man to do… let him spoil you while you take an attractive hobby."

Constance sighs, somewhat agreeing with the thought. She looks at her hands, carefully examining them as she likely imagined them old and wrinkled. "I'd like to be spoiled, but I think everyone's going to make me stop doing my acting and I don't even know what to do otherwise. Aislinn thought I should go learn how to sew things from Sorcha but… I'd rather wear the clothes than make them. I don't even know what ladies are supposed to do all day if they don't have children to look after…"

Luna's expression softens and her lips quirk to the side in a crooked smile as she shakes her head. "You do whatever you want, Constance. Don't learn to sew if you don't like doing it. If you feel you need to take up a profession, why not do something fitting your station in Dornie?"

Their hands now separated, she reaches into the basket and passes the younger blonde one of the sandwiches. Then she takes a smaller one for herself. "I think you'd make a most excellent benefactor for the arts. You said you wanted to make Dornie beautiful, make the thing that interests you most your profession. You don't need to be an actor or actress to sponsor a lovely play."

"I want to be the prize of Dornie. I want everyone to come crawling to my father's doorstep to beg for my hand in marriage," Constance says, after a moment and a pretty smile as she takes the sandwich. "I love the arts. Everyone thinks they're so silly but they make life beautiful. Beyond killing and defending and having babies and all those professions that ruin your hands."

She stares at the sky before she takes a nibble of her sandwich, chewing thoughtfully. "I want to single-handedly make Dornie beautiful. Well, maybe some help, but I want to be what people see when they think of Dornie being wonderful. If my father can make this place a good place to live in with his strength and protection, I don't see why I don't have the influence to make it a place where art can thrive." She purses her lips. "I just need to find ways to introduce things… and get artists and dancers and actors to actually feel like they can do these things."

"The arts are not silly, your auntie draws and I know that she'd never make light of your passions. If it's what makes you happy, Constance, you should do that thing. Build a theatre or even just a stage so people don't need to perform in the market square." Something Luna's done herself over the years in various forms, from wee girl to teenager to adult.

"I think it's wonderful that you're that passionate about it," she goes on, tearing a bit of the bread from her sandwich to nibble on before sharing more of her thoughts. A bird flits over the grass and is followed with her blue eyes before it drops over the cliff. "I also think, if your da thought it fitting of your place, that you'd make a most excellent teacher. There's a distinct lack of education in Dornie and you can read… I'd help but we both know I'm not very good with children."

"I'd love to have a theatre. I don't know how I could convince my father to do it, though. I hate having to rely on him to do things I should get power to do," Constance sighs a little. "If I had a husband I could much more easily con him into doing everything I wanted." She takes another bite of her sandwich as she, too, watches the bird. Various thoughts and plots are already crawling about in her head.

"Well, you're beautiful and people admire you. If you can look pretty in front of people and make it a point to be reading or talking about books… maybe it will encourage people to learn to read. And if people learn to read, they'll get smarter and more likely to enjoy the arts." She does grin at the idea of being a teacher. "I think I'm good with kids, I'm sure if I could convince my father it'd be a good place to start."

"You've a younger sister, don't you? And a brother. I'm sure if you convince them to take up your banouner the three of you could do much more in the way of convincing than you alone." In retrospect, the fact that Luna may have taught Constance how to triple team her father might be looked upon as a bad thing. Right now it's conversation. "Besides, you needn't rely solely on your da, your gran would help you, wouldn't she?" Of course, gossip paints the old Rowntree woman as hard as her son.

"Teaching letters and numbers isn't something that'll make your hands ugly, unless you write too much. Then they'll be black with ink and you'll never get it out." A word of warning from the secret poet.

Pressing her lips together, Constance nods a little. "My gran might, but she'd take some convincing. I'd have to sell her on the idea." She grins at the suggestion of inked fingers. "That's why only the best have secretaries to write for them while they dictate." She looks to Luna, inspecting her hands for ink stains with a wry grin. "I think teaching could do me some good. It'd mean the future generations of Dornie would respect me and know me better, too, so I'd have strength in their numbers…"

The hands that are inspected are as pale and clean as a freshly polished bit of quartz. When Luna finds the younger blonde glancing at them, she holds one out and turns it palm up and then over slowly, allowing her to soak in the perfection displayed. "There are no teachers with secretaries, Constance. If there were, then the secretaries themselves would be the teachers so there'd be no need for two salaries, aye?" It's logical, at least to the whore.

Another bite is taken from her sandwich before she places it down on the rock, all finished but the crusts, which she neglected to cut off before they traveled. "I think you should organize a theatre and teach the locals about the finer things in life through your art."

"No, I can be a teacher when I'm not married and then when I am I can be a grand lady and have my own secretary," Constance points out, as if the answer were obvious. She nibbles on her crust for a moment before deciding it's unsatisfactory, and she sets the remnants aside. "I could train people to be actors. Take up donations from people in Dornie… maybe even, then, people will start performing and they can be paid!"

A smile of approval finds its way across Luna's lips and she nods. "I think that's a wonderful idea, Constance," she says, giving the girl the credit for thinking of it herself instead of taking it as she usually would. "Of course, training them to act, you'll need to teach them their letters… so they can read your scripts. Or maybe even to write so that they can practice writing some of their own."

The older of the two picks at a thread in her lace cuff before twisting it into a knot for repair at a later time. Flicking her blue eyes up to meet the other set, she nods once before looking down again. "You're a fine lady now, aside from the terrible way in which you dress. I dare say you take after your aunt in the plain quality of your clothing. I am happy though that I've had enough influence that you've started wearing a bit of lace. I think your next step is to find some bolder colors." Except for red, it doesn't seem like it would be prudent to convince Duncan's daughter to wear red.

Constance snorts. "I dress just fine. It's not like my father just showers me in presents and baubles and pretty things all the time." Unlike someone else in the conversation. She seems thoughtful. "What about a dark blue… like, midnight blue? Or forest green? Although it's spring, so maybe a gorgeous yellow."

"Blue is a fine color and it doesn't have to be dark. I think one of the brighter ones would look fantastic against your face and hair." The fact that Constance doesn't get showered with gifts and baubles causes a bloom of pink to rise in Luna's cheeks and a small smile to appear on her lips. "I think you should wear the colors of jewels, brilliant colors like blue and green and purple… not orange, anyone who wears orange looks like a pumpkin."

Now Constance has to giggle. "A pumpkin… you should tell one of the Dovetail girls that orange is in this season and see how many of them decide to get orange dresses. And then we can laugh when we see a trail of pumpkins bounding around in town." She stretches a little, looking at the sky. "Jewel colors… I think that would be appropriate."

"Goodness no! I couldn't do that, then the Dovetail would be known as the house with the ugliest women in Dornie. It's horrible enough that I live there now, I wouldn't wish to live in a house of fat pumpkins. Besides, the glow from their dresses would make my skin look awful." It's a practical thought; surround oneself with beauty and be beautiful, surround oneself with ugliness and be ugly. Luna's ego could never survive being thought of as ugly.

"I think when the next ship comes in, you and I should go shopping together. We could pick out the prettiest dresses for ourselves and buy them up before anyone else has a chance to even look." Paying for them is no concern, Luna is certain that Duncan would handle such a little thing as payment.

"It doesn't matter if they're ugly. It just makes you prettier by comparison!" Constance says, seeing no fault in the idea of a parade of slutty pumpkins. "You're very right. That would make me happy. I need some new things. Especially if I'm going to make Dornie the place to be. Can't look like the common rabble…"

"Of course it matters, people on the outside judge all of us by the worst. It's already difficult enough living with the fact that Florentine is counted among the most desirable when no one will even look at me twice." At least not anymore. Most of her client list has gone the way of self preservation after rumors have gotten around. Duncan Rowntree as a regular rather than his usual wandering eye, coupled with a blood disease. Luna may never live it down.

Pushing herself to a stand, the prostitute smooths her dress of wrinkles before covering the basket. It's picked up and the handle laced through one arm. "We should start back, I'm sure your da will be worried if we tarry too long and I'd rather not see any of his ill will." The way here was enough to show Constance that Luna isn't a good rider, the pace was too slow for most but just the right speed for the prostitute's old gelding.