Arya was a trial, it must be said. Half a boy, half a wolf pup. Forbid her anything and it became her heart’s desire. She had Ned’s long face, and brown hair that always looked as though a bird had been nesting in it. I despaired of ever making a lady of her. She collected scabs as other girls collected dolls, and would say anything that came into her head.
Warnings: Besides a curse word here and there and some awkward fluff, nothing much
A/N: I don’t know where this idea came from but I definitely took some inspiration from a churro I ate earlier
word count: 1.8k
“Mom,” I said banging my hand against the trunk of our parked car, “MOM!”
After school, my mother and I went grocery shopping, and I was currently trying to get her attention from the back of the car to the front seat where she was happily chatting away to god knows who on the phone. When my mom talks on the phone, it seems as though she never stops talking, and it’s almost impossible for me to get her attention.
My mother huffed from the front seat and pulled the switch that opened the trunk.
“Thank you,” I muttered to myself.
I pulled the trunk all the way up and began to formulate a plan to get most -if not all- of the bags out of the car. Ya girl is not taking more than one trip to the eighth floor of this apartment building.
As I started loading multiple bags on each arm, my mom finally decided to step out of the car and help me.
“Ok. Uh huh,” my mother laughed, “Yeah, okay, bye now! Mmhm, of course! Bye bye now, bye.”
“I lost count of how many times you said ‘bye’,” I joked to my mom as she helped with the rest of the bags.
“So now my kid thinks she’s a comedian huh,” she teased playfully, closing the trunk in the process.
“I’m no Kevin Hart, but I try,” I shrugged.
My mom rolled her eyes and led us to the apartment.
“Can you wake me up when dinner is ready? I’m gunna take a nap,” I told my mom after I helped unload some of the groceries.
“A nap? It’s 4 in the afternoon,” my mom questioned me as she started taking pans out to cook with.
“Yeah, well all that exercise today really tired me out,” I said.
“Are you talking about school or taking up the groceries just now?” she said while quirking an eyebrow.
“Both,” I smiled.
“Don’t you have homework to do?” she further prodded.
“Mother,” I sighed dramatically and placed my hand on my chest, “you know I am most productive when the sun goes down.”
I call my mom “Mother” when I want to be dramatic -which is quite often if I’m being honest. But it seemed to work because she laughed and finally gave in.
“Alright, but I’m not letting you take those four-hour-long naps, just until dinner is ready, okay?” she scolded me.
“If dinner happens to take you four hours to make then..” I said walking away to my room down the hall.
“I heard that young lady!” my mom called from back in the kitchen.
I grinned to myself and dropped my backpack at the foot of my bed. I took my shoes off and sighed contently.
Finally, I thought to myself, I can nap my problems away. Said problems being a test I have on Friday -two days from now.
My window blinds were still open from this morning, so I decided to shut them; however, it felt real stuffy in here so I opened the window to let that New York breeze in.
“That’s better,” I said out loud to myself.
I suddenly became conscious when I heard talking. Grumbling into my pillow, I was hoping that whoever was talking would, I don’t know, stop.
I am too comfy to move, I thought sadly to myself.
I turned over and hoped that I could fall back asleep, but god damn, this person would not. stop. talking. I grabbed my phone from my night stand and saw that I only slept about 50 minutes.
Not even an hour, I sighed.
Furrowing my brows, I realized that the talking was coming from outside my window. My window? Who the hell is on my fire escape? My eyes widened at the thought of a potential burglar. I did the first thing that came to mind and grabbed my baseball bat that I kept under my bed. If there is anything I can learn from Stiles Stilinski, it’s that a baseball bat always comes in handy. I also had 911 dialed on my phone -just in case. I didn’t want to call the cops until I knew for sure. I mean, It could be my down stairs neighbor talking loudly on their fire escape, right?
I crept to my window slowly and quietly across the carpet. The talking got louder and my anxiety got stronger. I tightened my grip on the bat in one hand and shoved my phone into my back pocket once I got to my window sill. I decided to rip the band-aid and just pulled my blinds up really fast. I heard a yelp immediately and stared in shock at the sight in front of me.
“What the fuck,” I whispered, my heart hammering in my chest.
Sitting on the rail of my fire escape was some dude in red and blue tights. He looked like he dropped something and reached for it. I gasped in shock because this guy is seriously about to fall to his death because of a-
“My churro!” he cried as he reached for it with one hand.
He grabbed his churro and shoved his phone into his belt? What in god’s name is he wearing? And how did he do that?
My brain finally caught up and I realized that he practically stuck to the side of my fire escape. He fumbled with his mask and tugged it down. Then he climbed over the railing -as if he’s done this several times- and gave me a wave.
“Uhh hel-,” he cleared his throat and tried to sound deeper, “hello there mam, how ya doin’?”
I waved my bat at him and said, “How did you do that, how- how did you get up here and why are you wearing a- what are you wearing?”
He shuffled on his feet and raised his arms at me, “Whoah whoah whoah, okay there Babe Ruth, let’s take it easy, yeah?”
I raised my brow at him skeptically and mumbled, “You don’t look like a burglar.”
“A burglar? What? I’m, I’m not a burglar, I’m Spider-Man!” he said, almost sounding offended.
Spider-Man? Oh my god, I know this dude! How could I forget that video of him stopping that bus? It was all over school the next day.
“Wait, you’re the guy from Youtube? You look different. And you sound more like a Spider-Boy. Spider-Kid? Spider-Guy?” I rambled stupidly. I was starting to calm down. This guy didn’t seem like a threat to me; especially when he was waving that churro around at me as he talked.
“Man, okay? Spider-Man. With a hyphen,” he said, trying to use that deep voice again.
I set my bat down and propped my elbows against the sill, resting one of my hands under my chin, “Yeah. Okay, Churro Boy. Oh, I mean Churro-Boy with a hyphen.”
“Churro- you know what, I don’t have time for this,” he mumbled in his regular voice, starting to leap over my rail.
“Wait!” I called out to him.
Why did I do that?
He turned to me, waiting for me to say something.
“Is that a new,” I paused thinking of the right word, “suit?”
“Yeah!” he said, perking up and stepping back down, “It’s sort of a new upgrade, it’s pretty cool. Way cooler compared to my old one at least”
Must’ve said the right thing. I almost said costume. Maybe that would have offended him..
“Well, it definitely seems cooler,” I smiled slightly, “anyway, next time you wanna talk to your -whoever- on my balcony, can you warn me? I was trying to nap and you talk…a lot.”
If I wasn’t mistaken, it seemed like he was blushing under that mask; he stumbled over his next words.
“Oh, uh, god I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that someone was in there -I mean usually I just go unnoticed when I do stuff like this, which is pretty often. Surprisingly. The crime rate seems to be low in Queens, and it’s Queens! You’d expect a little more action around here, don’t ya think? I gave an old lady directions today and she gave me a churro,” he laughed lightly, scratching the back of his neck when he realized he was rambling, “oh wow I do talk a lot don’t I? Sorry…again.”
He is so cute. What? No, what am I thinking? Stop it Y/N. His voice isn’t nice or cute and the rambling is annoying! Definitely NOT adorable!
“You’re fine, it’s fine. I tend to ramble a lot too when I’m nervous,” my eyes widened as I lost my cool demeanor. “I’m not saying you’re nervous though. Maybe you are? I mean, you almost dropped your churro and that was…scary,” I laughed awkwardly. “I’m Y/N by the way,”
I stuck my hand out through the window and he clasped it with his own, shaking it back. “Yeah, I know,” he said letting go.
My face contorted into one of confusion, “You know my name? Do we know each other?”
He stumbled once again, “Huh? No! I meant I- I know that…it was scary! The churro thing. Almost dropping it. Yup. Terrifying, even!” He sighed to himself after seeing my expression and then said in a softer voice, “I’m sorry, I’m just nervous.”
“Oh, okay,” I said unsure.
Just as I was about to reply, I was cut off by my mom.
“Y/N! Dinner is ready!”, my mom called from afar.
I turned back and yelled a reply, “Okay! I’m up!”
When I turned to apologize to Churro-Boy for the interruption, he was standing on the railing again.
“I uh, gotta go,” he said, pointing over his shoulder towards the city.
“Oh,” I said suddenly disappointed, “no yeah I totally get it. Gotta go give old ladies directions and collect those churros right?” I tried joking.
“Obviously, I want my churro collection to grow so,” he joked back. “Do you- do you want the rest of it? I’m kinda full anyway”
He offered the churro to me and I took it, “Eh, why not. If Spider-Man offers you a churro, one cannot deny it, right?” I smiled softly.
“Right,” he confirmed. “Churro-Boy out,” he saluted as he shot a web and swung away.
I mock-saluted him even though he didn’t see it as I bit into the churro. I closed my window and took out my phone to get rid of the 911 dial; I didn’t wanna risk butt dialing the cops. I could only imagine how that conversation would go. After I put my phone away, I made my way into the kitchen and greeted my mom.
“Morning Mom,” I mumbled, taking a bite.
“Where did you get that churro from?”
I smiled knowingly and said, “Your friendly neighborhood Churro-Boy gave it to me”
“I don’t even wanna know,” she muttered. “But that better not be code for drugs.”
“Mother!” I exclaimed with my posh voice, “I would never!”
Okay, so I feel I have to address an issue, I, as a thoroughly ignorant Brit, didn’t know until now.
WHY DID NO-ONE TELL ME MARTHA WASHINGTON WAS A FASHION QUEEN?
Now, granted, I’ve not had much exposure to American history, outside of my gran showing me Gone With The Wind, and the little I gleaned growing up from Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Simpsons, and National Treasure. Watching Turn and having international friendswho are enthusiastic about their history was a massive epiphany for me. Wait, there’s a whole new arena of history I haven’t explored? Sweet!
But on of my pre-conceived notions from all that pop-culture was that Martha Washington was a Founding Grandmother. You know…
Looks like little Red Riding Hood’s granny…
Look, granny! Carries knitting in one hand (possibly patriotic knitting. After all, Betsy Ross doesn’t just get dibs.)
Why Grandmamma, what big 1780s caps you have! (all the better to be First Lady with, my dear…)
From the paintings and iconography of Martha Washington, I’d have been very surprised if she didn’t own a rocking-chair. And I’m sure, in later life, she did. But that wasn’t ALL there was to Martha….
Wait, THIS is Martha, too?!
At first, there seems nothing to connect the staid, sensible-looking old lady in the first few portraits to this reconstructed painting of young Martha Washington, or the “Widow Custis.”
One of the first things I was struck by was that for a long time, Washington wasn’t really “George Washington” pre-Revolutionary War. He was the ‘Widow Custis’ husband’.
Now, according to Wikipedia:
“Martha Washington has traditionally been seen as a small, frumpy woman,
who spent her days at the Revolutionary War winter encampments visiting
with the common soldiers in their huts.”
I think the Widow Custis’ rather fabulous wardrobe would beg to disagree!
See the colours up there? Blue - especially that deep indigo blue - was tradionally one of the most expensive dyes available. No-one who could afford indigo is EVER going to be accused of being frumpy by 18th century peers.
Also - I could write a whole essay about Martha Washington and the colour yellow.
This particular shade, known as “Imperial yellow” ,was a big thing in both 18th century East and West. Like the fad for Chinoiserie that was prevalent at the time, this was a cultural fashion import from China.
According to an article by the University of Nottingham,
“Yellow, as one of the five colours derived from the Five Elements Theory surpassed
the other colours when it became the emblem of emperor. It was thought
that the emperor was located in the centre of the five directions and
the centre was represented by the element earth and the colour yellow.
The idea struck a chord with the 18th century west, and yellow became an increasingly popular colour in gowns for the upper class, gradually filtering down to the middle classes towards the end of the 18th century. Back in the 1750s when Martha was the young, attractive, fiery Widow Custis, this would have made one heck of an impact, especially in the colonies. It showed her wealth and status in one go as well as - her ability to source fabrics from the other end of the earth.
I’m also going to add that when marrying Washington, Martha’s wedding gown of choice?
Imperial Yellow. Plain and frumpy this ain’t. Martha’s practically wearing a solid gold dress.
(Reproduction on display at Mount Vernon)
And, keeping up that ‘indigo blue/purple’ is one of the most expensive dyes around theme?
May I present the First Lady’s extremely sassy wedding shoes? In purple silk and gilt thread - and with that ahem, ‘imperial yellow’ silk lining peeping out there?
to quote the excellent @americanrevolutionhotties, these were the ‘Manolo Blahniks’ of their day. And they certainly say “you are one LUCKY man, Georgie boy” in spades (although George was by no means a shabby dresser himself, the gorgeous red-haired dork.) Martha was 27 when she married him, a young, attractive widow and businesswoman with two children and an incredible inheritance from her previous husband. This must have been the powerhouse wedding of the century!
Being an absolute costume nerd, I did a bit more research into Martha Washington’s wardrobe. What else did this fashion forward woman have in her linen press?
This gown’s an absolute confection! Pink, embroidered satin, muslin and fine lace sleeves - and don’t froget, touch of yellow in the florals there. Martha still kept her style!
It’s sometimes incorrectly named her ‘inaugural ballgown’, as it’s part of the Smithsonian’s First Ladies Inaugural Gown collection. Martha strongly disapproved of George being President and actually didn’t show up for his inauguration. She was at home, busy ‘packing’. (So you can add strong-willed and independent to the list of amazing things Martha is, too)
There’s also this rather fantastic gold brocaded ballgown. The colours have faded, but you can see traces of the original colour in the bodice -and can you imagine it glittering by candlelight at a dinner table?
In her later years, Martha adopted a simpler transitional 1790s style that’s mostly commonly shown in the portraits of her as an older lady; practical, in keeping with her status, but a little more restrained (as befits a sober older lady, by the standards of the time) Still, amazingly classy in silk…
(Also, plus-size, and still rocking it. You go, girl!)
Loving the button detailing, very chic.
Sadly, these are the only gowns that survive intact from Martha’s wardrobe. Martha was nothing if not practical and a lot of her and George’s clothes were cut up and distributed to admirers and friends. But luckily, Mount Vernon has a great collection of these remnants of finery, so I’m going to post the “scraps of history” here, with a few thoughts on what they might have been…
Gorgeous red brocade with blue and gold trailing flowers! You can still see the folds where it was pleated, probably into a robe francaise. According to Mount Vernon, the little circle you can see cut-out is too small to be an armhole. It was probably used by her granddaughter to make a pin-cushion.
MOAR IMPERIAL YELLOW. YESSS, MARTHA. WEAR ALL THE YELLOW.
And this lovely green damask - hey, there’s something that probably looked like the gown Martha wears in Turn! Full points, costume designers!
AMAZINGLY similar lace, saved from Martha’s wedding gown. The exquisite lace sleeves would be re-used on other gowns as an accessory. Again, 10/10, Turn costume designers!
one of my favourites out of the Mount Vernon collection. The peach and white and brown… oh, would look stunning on a brunette! I can only imagine this in an open robe, or a robe francaise, or anglaise, or…
*grabby hands at fabric*
well, look who’s rocking 18th century fuchsia and imperial yellow together! DAMN IT MARTHA, GIVE ME YOUR FASHION SENSE.This is my other favourite, in case you couldn’t tell…
and finally, this gorgeous white handpainted silk. You can only imagine what this must have looked like in a gown.
Fashion history lesson over, kids. Spread the word. Martha Washington was an outrageous, daring, fabulous fashion queen.