Ok. Here’s the 2nd part of Big Girl, in case some of you are wondering about.
I’ve read until page 294, chapter 19, which is so so so oh so good and so worth to be written here. First I got confused how to write it down and relate it to my own experiences, since I found myself very similar to Victoria: her feelings, her thoughts, her condition, the struggles which she faced, her passion in career, etc. Yah, gue jadi ketularan pake Inggris haha. Believe me guys, the english used in the novel is so awesome and completely down to earth, it’s like watching people talking. And the settings, the story, the characters of the people were just so real that you wouldn’t be able to stop reading it. I stopped, since the story is so good and I really want to pour out everything’s in mind to give comments about it.
So here we go : )
1. About Victoria’s career and her job
Setelah lulus, Victoria diceritakan bekerja sebagaiguru. And being a teacher was her passion! She was totally into it.
Menyedihkannya…. Pekerjaan Victoria ini sama sekali ditentang oleh ortunya, terutama Jim (her dad). Her parents constantly nagging her about her job, totally criticize her, saying thousands times how inappropiate her job is, that the salary is really small and could not make a decent life. Tiap kali ditelpon, Jim always persuaded Victoria to change her job. Karena si bokap ini punya kerjaan bagus di bidang advertisement (dari jurusan communication gitu), he offered Victoria thousands time to work in an ad or something alike. But Victoria already set her mind, and this is another thing that I love from her. She is very strong-determined person in achieving something. She didn’t let herself to be easily affluenced with other people’s opinion! : ) gue merasa sifat2nya ini loh… sangat gue banget :p Cuma bedanya… gue ini kalo udah dipengaruhi sama apa kata orang, gampang terpengaruh : ( I should learn more about this.
Victoria loved teaching. She knew her passion, in what thing she was really good at, and how much she was paid wasn’t really matter for her. Woow!! Gue bacanya itu bisa hampir jingkrak2 en teriak2 sendiri. Victoria ini gue banget laaaah.
Kita tahu guys, jadi guru itu sama sekali tidak segampang yg kita pikirkan. Being a teacher is not easy at all. Like what has been mentioned in the novel, it is a gift. A GIFT. And let me repeat it one more time, being teacher is a GIFT. And I admit that I totally agree with it. Tidak semua orang bisa jadi guru. menjadi seorang guru tidak hanya harus pintar. Menjadi guru itu membutuhkan passion yg besar: untuk membimbing orang, untuk mempunyai kerendahan hati, untuk mempunyai hati hamba yg mau belajar & mau mengerti murid2nya. Dia harus tahu bagaimana “berurusan” dan melibatkan diri dg orang2 yg dia ajar: entah itu pre-school kids, kindergarten, elementary, high school students, university/college students, sampe ngajar bapak-bapak & engkong2 pun, seorang guru harus pinter adjust dengan kondisinya. Kan kagak mungkin kalo misalnya ada muridnya yang nangis or ngompol di kelas, gurunya malah bingung gatau harus gimana (ya mungkin wajar kalo baru pertama kali ngajar hehe) ato malah panik dan marah2in muridnya itu. Jaman sekarang, udah enggak banget kalo muridnya gak tahu/gak mengerti sesuatu, gurunya malah marah2, ngata2in muridnya bodoh, goblok, tolol, en nggebrak meja. Buset guru apaan tuh.
Guru yg baik itu harus sabaaaarrr banget. Sabar, tapi tidak membiarkan dirinya dipermainkan oleh murid2nya. He/she is the one who takes control in the class. He/she can develop a certain and unique way, in which he/she could gain respect and honor from the students that he/she teaches. He/she knows how to re-attract his/her students’ attention everytime they got really bored. He/she has to be creative in teaching and giving assignments.
Seorang guru tidak bersikap masa bodoh kalo muridnya tertimpa masalah. Dia harus punya telinga yg cukup lebar untuk mendengar, dan hati yg lapang untuk menampung & mengasihi murid2nya, tangan yg mau membantu, dan mulut yg bisa membangun & menghibur, bukannya menjatuhkan (iiih gue pernah lo diajar guru yg mulutnya tu gile setajem silet abis. Kapan2 deh gue ceritain). Dia harus tahu bagaimana bersikap kalo tahu muridnya ada yg kena masalah. Gimana misalnya, kalo muridnya sedih banget karena hamil?? Karena masalah keluarga, seperti ortu yg bercerai?? Gimana caranya menangani murid yg berkebutuhan khusus?? Dll.
Wuaaah, banyak dan menantang kan tugas guru itu…. Yang lebih luar biasa lagi adalah guru2 yg mengabdikan dirinya di daerah2 terpencil, atau mereka yg ngajar di SLB-SLB. Itu bener2 butuh passion dan hati yg luar biasa banget. That’s why when Victoria’s dad said, “What’s so fun about being a teacher? It’s an easy job. You just sit in the class and talk. It’s not more than babysit somebody else’s kids. You need a reaaaalll job.” Gila, pernyataannya itu bikin gue marah banget. Her father really had no sensibility how his remarks could seriously hurt her feelings, and he barely had no idea that he had done this to his daughter for over 22 years. Kalo gue jadi Victoria, mungkin gue udah muntab en bisa jadi perang dunia ketiga. Well, being a teacher is MOOOORRRREEEE THAN A REEEAAALLL JOB, Mister!! You’re bringing up a bunch of generation!!
2. Victoria and her sister, Grace/Gracie
It’s really surprising that, regarding what a different treatment & affection their parents give to them, Victoria’s relationship with Gracie was totally awesome. They were the best sisters ever! Gracie had always be Victoria’s baby sister, in fact, Victoria acted much more like Gracie’s mom than her older sister. Sejak Gracie lahir, Victoria sudah belajar cara memandikan bayi (perbedaan usia mereka adalah 7 tahun), ngganti popok, menenangkan ddnya, etc. When Gracie went to school, Victoria was always more than happy to pick her up, give her candies and lollipop, hug her, saw her in the class, etc. in short, Victoria has been everything to Gracie: a sister, a mother, a bestfriend. The two sisters always bursted in tears everytime Victoria had to leave home in L.A. to N.Y., because she worked as a teacher in N.Y. When Gracie celebrated her graduation from high school, Victoria gave the best gift ever: a TOUR IN EUROPE!!! And they were totally had fun and had fabuluous time there.
And Gracie really loved her sister unconditionally, no matter how difference Victoria from the rest of their family. Gracie didn’t give a shit how fat Victoria is, how many weight she gained when she got depressed/stressed out, she just love her unconditionally. To her, Victoria was everything, her love to her was beyond words can describe. This was completely different from their parents. Jim & Christine loved their first daughter with conditions. They criticized the look of Victoria, her weight, her shape, her job, her love life, etc. to them, Victoria was just a “tester cake” which turned out to be fail. And Gracie was a “successful recipe” with the right amounts of ingredients. Hhmmph. It was not that their parents didn’t love Victoria. Surely they love them, but in a very different way. They supported Victoria until college, they were sad when Victoria left them to go to college in Northwestern (altough not as sad when Gracie was about to leave them, even tough her college was in L.A. and they could visit her as often as they wanted!!), basically Victoria was never been deprived financially. Her father will ready everytime she needed financial help by giving her generous cheques. Tapi tetap kerasa bedanya guys… tetep kerasa T.T
To their parents, Gracie was center of everything, even tough she was conceived by an “accident”. Victoria merely a totally stranger who never fits in the family, and Victoria was very aware about this. She never got the point of going home for Christmas, New Year Eves, summer vacation, or Thanksgiving she wouldn’t feel at home. In short, Victoria’s parents had hurted her for so long not by physic, but by words. And their mean words were proven to be very successful in implanting such a bad hate-self inside Victoria.
Gue bener2 berempati dg Victoria…. Dan sangat bersyukur bahwa both my parents, mom & dad, really love me & my little brother UNCONDITIONALLY. My gratitude is more than words can explain.
3. 3. About Victoria’s Eating Disorder
Victoria sejak kecil mempunyai kecenderungan untuk makan yg berlebihan, terutama junkfoods and sweets. Apalagi kalo dia lagi sedih, stress, atau tertekan. Ditambah bahwa secara genetis dia punya body yg besar daripada semua anggota keluarganya, dia jadi gampang gemuk. Her weight was constantly ups and downs, almost exactly the same with merry-go-round. Menyedihkannya…. Ini semua karena faktor dari orangtuanya yg tidak pernah menerima dia secara apa adanya. Like what I said before, her father really liked making jokes about her appearance, especially her looks & her shape. I don’t know what’s wrong with Jim Dawson’s brain for being love to criticize his own daughter like that. And her mother was just the same. Christine was a typical of wive who always seconded everything her husband said about something. She constantly gave Victoria brochures, phamflets, and books how to lose weight, which none of them work. She never at once consoled her daughter, nor reminded her husband not to be so mean with her. Disini gue berpendapat, kesatuan suami istri memang super duper penting. Tapi yah, kalo suami abuse anak dg kata-kata, apakah istri harus mendukung suami begitu saja? Tentu saja tidak. Istri harus berani untuk menegur suaminya, DENGAN KASIH. Gue percaya Ci Lia, Ci Shinta, & Ci Grace pasti expert menjelaskan ini dengan baik : )
Nah, balik lagi ke masalah makannya Victoria. It was depicted that Victoria had no power to control her bad habits of eating too much. Whenever she got stress, she could eat three cups of Häagen Dasz, a whole pan of pizza, cookies, ice cream, and many kinds of pasta with sweet and sour creams with cheese crumbs above it. Ga heran, semua usahanya to lose her weight was totally in vain. No matter how hard she exercised, how often she went to the gym, she could be totally lost in her eating disorder. Sadly again, hal ini berperan besar dalam membuat Victoria menjadi super duper rendah diri, unworthy, and felt so unloveable. My deepest empathy for her…. :’( Victoria was actually not fat…. But she is sturdy. She got a pair of long, exotic legs. Her face, even tough as not beautiful as Gracie’s, was good looking. But still, she had no confidence on herself. She was really aware that eating frantically was not an answer to her problems, however, she felt comfort consuming those foods. I can totally understand her feelings about this.
Hmm. Kalo dengan gue, gimana ya? Hahaha. I have to confess, I also love eating snacks, junkfoods, and cookies. Tapi yang membuat gue beda dengan Victoria adalah…. I know Jesus. I know it mays sounds oversimplify everything, but it’s true. Setelah kenal Tuhan, gue belajar untuk punya pengendalian diri yg kuat, termasuk dalam soal makanan. In Jesus, I love myself. I don’t do any frightening diets to be frighteningly thin, I thank God I never have bulimia, anorexia, or any other eating disorder. But I’m also very aware, that loving yourself is completely different with letting yourself to eat everything you want. I know to say when enough is enough. Gue juga makan junkfood, tapi jarang. Paling ya seminggu sekali, jajan kaya Chiki- Taro gitu boleh lah hehe. Afterall, as I grew up, I found myself not to be really fond of consuming snacks like chiki-chikian or jajan di pinggir jalan. But it’s true that I love western food, such as steaks, pastas, etc :p Cuma karena budget terbatas, ya gue ga bisa makan gituan tiap hari haha. I allowed myself to eat fancy food maybe only four or five times in a year, whenever I have extra money to be spent, or whenever I hang out around with my old besties. I love me : ) I won’t let myself eat unhealthy, saturated-fat foods everyday, but I won’t also strictly prohibit myself to not eat those food at all. I eat more veggies and fruits recently :D I also do some exercise (meskipun sekarang udah jarang karena totally focus on my college’s life), which are jogging, swimming, badminton, and sometimes go to the gym if I have money :p Intinya, ya tahu dirilah.
Nah, gangguan makannya Victoria ini membawa dampak besar pada poin berikut:
4. 4. About Victoria’s Love Life
Karena rasa penolakan dan kritik selama bertahun-tahun dari ortunya, Victoria tumbuh sebagai wanita yg tidak punya rasa aman. Selain Gracie yg menyayanginya, she barely had somebody else. She looked for comfort & secure feeling in men. So sad banget gak sih…. T____T Oh dear Lord…. How my heart cries reading this novel.
Ditambah dg pola makannya yg tidak sehat, Victoria digambarkan sebagai wanita bertubuh besar. Makanya novel ini berjudul Big Girl hehe. Tapi gue yakin guys, Danielle Steel punya maksud lain dg memberi judul Big Girl ini. BIG yang tidak hanya secara fisik, tapi juga BIG secara karakter. Despite her eating disorder, Victoria was a wonderful person. She was loved by her students, and finally got promoted to become Head of English Department in her school. Yeaaaay ^^ (tapi masih dikritik juga sama ortunya sih. Buset!). she lived in apartment with other 3 friends, which were like her own family.
Sebenernya kalo gue baca, kehidupan cinta Victoria ga buruk2 amat. Dia pernah punya pacar saat SMA dan kuliah kok. Bahkan saat kerja pun, dia juga bbrp kali pacaran. Bukankah ini jauh lebih baik daripada kehidupan cinta gue? Ahahahahaa ^o^ tapi yah itu tadi. I feel really sorry for her because she repetitively felt that she is meaningful after she got a serious relationship with a man. She felt miserable as she the men she knew were all engaged, in a relationship, or a gay (two her roomates are gays). Compared with her younger sister, she was a beast, a monster not worth to be chased for. Despite her strong sisterhood with Gracie, she was fully aware how easy it is for Gracie to get a boyfriend, without thinking about it, her younger sister always got surrounded by bunch of boys even from middle school until college.
Selain itu…. Victoria juga pernah mengalami pengalaman buruk dg pacar seriusnya yg kemarin gue tulis di Part 1, in which her boyfriend was actually a gay. Her second serious relationship ended up because her boyfriend was entirely a jerk who yg punya simpanan lain, and Victoria got really depressed at the time, and ate as much as she could. (You should read this book guys!! The conversation is really crunchy and use very understanable, everyday English.)
Again, the saddest thing of all was when her parents judged her love life. Her parents continuously associate her weight and her body to her unsucessful story of finding a serious mate. Selama baca ini, reaksi gue adalah: please deh…. Yang bener aje??! Romance is not directly related tied to your weight, there were a lot of other factors!! I’ve seen so many thin girls but with a bad bad characters, whom many people gak betah buat deket2 sama dia terus. Sebaliknya, I have a lot of big girlfriends and also know other big people with such a good characters, they are fun to be with.
Well, gue ga mau muna dg bilang I am never worry about finding a boyfriend. In fact, I just recently succeed in letting go my desire from relentlessly asking when, when, and when to the Lord about finding my future husband : ) but surely, what I experienced here is not the same with Victoria. What a pity to know that Victoria, and soo many thousands girls out there, who are seeking comfort and security in many men. They are for all time searching and worrying themselves about finding the right one…. Many books have been written discussing about this, some are using biblical point of view, the others are using worldly point of view. Tapi nyatanya, yaah ternyata masih aja ada cewe2 yg tersesat. The situation will be totally different if we are seeking our real identity, our real comfort and security in Jesus, our Lord and Creator. We will feel no worry or permanently anxious about finding and searching who is that one. Jika kalian mau tahu konsep pacaran dan seksualitas yg baik itu seperti apa, sangat disarankan untuk pergi ke blognya Ci Shinta , Ci Lia, Viryani Kho, ato baca note2nya Ci Grace. Mereka sudah menulis panjang lebar tentang itu, yg ga perlu gue sebut disini lagi.
Well, that’s the summary for part 2. Sorry if it is too long… but the story is not end yet!! Haha. Masih ada bagian akhirnya yg ga kalah seru. It’s almost done guys ;)
Oh ya, sebenernya gue udah baca lebih dari ini, tapi sengaja gue penggal biar kalian yg baca penasaran :p En I deeply thank all of you yang mau baca sinopsis ini sampe akhir wekekek.
Akhir kata, gue mau kasih hint.
Singkatnya, Gracie diceritain udah lulus kuliah, and she was soon would get married at a very young age, 22! Yang menarik adalah…. Cowo pujaan Gracie ini punya sifat yg sama persis sama papanya, Mr. Jim Dawson: suka mengatur, dominan, meremehkan orang lain, dll. Calon suami Gracie, Harry Wilkes, was a very rich man, and he didn’t let Gracie to work. Semua impian, ambisi, dan cita2 Gracie dikubur. Semua omongan Gracie dipotong. Victoria was really conscious about this, since she knew that her younger sister’s relationship with that man was not healthy at all. Gracie would spend her entire life slaving Harry, always seconding his opinion, not standing on her own, etc. She would end up like their mother!! And she was going to marry a man who was te same like their father. Extremely said, Gracie would be marrying her own father…. And Gracie completely turned deaf ears toward everything Victoria said. Her own mind was just 100% focused on the wedding day.
Apa yg akan Victoria lakukan untuk mencegah adiknya melakukan pernikahan yg kelihatannya sempurna, tapi sebenernya mematikan di dalam???