Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Curling Up With the Rats...Sleeping Arrangements in Medieval Castles

Have you ever wondered about where everyone in a medieval castle sleeps? Medieval castles were a lot different than castles of today or even castles of the Regency period. There weren’t an abundance of bed chambers. In most cases there was only one bed chamber, and that may even double as the solar, where the noble family could entertain guests, take a bath, do their business and get away from the hustle and bustle of the castle. In the solar, their bed would serve not only as a place for sleep and *wink* play, but as a seat as well.

In the early middle ages, and some cases the later middle ages as well, the family would sleep at the upper end of the great hall, separated only by a curtain from the rest of the castle folk. In some instances the noble family would be lucky enough to have a permanent wooden partition to give them more privacy than the curtain.

The noble family would have a bed, its posts made of wood. Ropes would be woven from one side to the other of the bed frame to form what we now use a box spring for. On top of the rope would be the mattress. The mattress could be a fine cloth usually stuffed with feathers or down. The bed was usually a four poster bed, draped with a canopy for additional privacy and in the winter months, warmth. In addition they often had fur coverings as blankets to keep warm. Servants often would have rough woolen blankets or their capes to curl up in.

In some instances the noble family’s bed would be very short. I remember when I visited a castle in Ireland the bed was extremely short, and I wondered if the people were lacking in stature back in the middle ages. The tour guide explained to us that for superstitious reasons, they would sleep sitting up in the bed, for lying down was a position of the dead.

In some cases if the castle was a little larger there would be a second chamber in which the eldest son and his family could sleep, or it would be used as a guest room or sleeping chamber for the steward of the castle.

In the early middle ages, the family wasn’t the only one you might find sleeping in the great hall. In fact you would find a great deal more people sleeping there, servants, knights, squires, guests. You might also find these people sleeping in the towers, lower levels (basement), on the tables or benches, in lean-to buildings, the kitchen, and when in such a case as a garrison or mess hall had been built, there as well. Also later in the middle ages a separate building would be build for the servants, and in some cases the servants would often have their own little huts or hovels built around the castle where they would sleep. Most however preferred the great hall, where it was safer and warmer.

If the noble family had a separate private room, they may have had their personal servant sleep in the room with them. The servant would sleep on a pallet or trundle on the floor. If the servant were especially important, and an antechamber was attached to the private chamber of the master of the house, the servant may find themselves sleeping in such a room.

Most of the servants and military folk would sleep on pallets or trundles, if they were lucky. These were mats of either woven straw and rushes or mattresses stuffed with straw that were laid on the floor. Nobody was assigned a private sleeping area or spot on the floor. It was every man, woman and child for themselves.

Important guests would be given a feather mattress to sleep on in the great hall, or if luxury provided they’d be able to sleep in the guest room.

If you were a lucky servant or important you got to wrap yourself up in a blanket near the fire, if not, well good luck sleeping in the winter months. You’d probably spend more time shivering and quaking on the cold dirty floor, scooting as discreetly as possible to the closest body for warmth.

Sleeping in a medieval castle wasn’t as romantic as we all dream of, especially if you were a servant. Castles were cold, drafty, damp, loud, smoky, and most of the time a little stinky. Have you ever turned your heat off because it is a beautiful day out, and you forget to turn it back on when you go to sleep? When you wake up in the morning it is 54 degrees in your house… Well imagine if it was 10 degrees outside… your bedroom might be the same way. You may wake up, lick your lips and feel the moisture freeze in place as your breath forms a cloud of mist around your head. ***Shiver*** The nobles would keep tapestries on the walls to keep out most of the drafts. They had shutters or oiled skins and furs to cover the windows and in some instances glass was used, however their seals on the window trimmings were not as good as ours are today. They also had brass pans that would be filled with heated rocks and put under the covers to keep them warm at night.

Could you imagine living in this time period? Absolutely no privacy. Everybody knew what was going on, and I mean they knew EVERYTHING. No privacy for making woopee. No need to tiptoe, everyone knows you need to pee. Got gas? Everyone will smell it…although the odors of the castle could be strong enough to cover up your flatulence… Rushes would cover the floor to give the room some fragrance. Every so often the rushes would be swept up and disposed of. In the rushes you could find bones, vomit, fleas, lice, rats, animal excrement, rotting food, etc… you get the point, its not so sweet smelling. We do have to remember though that this was normal, it wasn’t odd to them. Everyone just minded their own business, and if a few blankets moved at an erotic pace in the great hall, well such is life.

Although I do admit, even though I know all this, I would still love to live in that time! I never get over the rush of the fairy tale life of a lord and his lady living the rest of their lives happily ever after in their utterly fascinating castle. I might even be okay with some of the hard work for a few days, then of course I would long for the modern conveniences I love so much.

What about you? Would you want to live back then, sleep on the floor, curled up with the rats?

*Images from Bunratty Castle, Ireland & Gainsborough Old Hall, England*

Poll: Where would you rather sleep?

The trestle table in the great hall 66%
The tower Stairwell 11%
The lean-to in the bailey 22%
The rushes in front of the fire, curled up with the rats 0%

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Taking the Waters," in Bath, England

Have you ever heard the term, “taking the waters?” It’s been around for hundreds of years, and I know I’ve seen it in several historical fiction and non-fiction books I’ve read.

You probably have seen people 'taking the waters,' in movies or on television. If you watch any old movies or even recent movies with Romans, you will see them sitting around a pool of steamy water. But what exactly is it?

Today I will focus on historical Bath, England, nestled in Somerset county, and its hot springs, as most of my own writing takes place in England.

The hot mineral waters in Bath are the only springs in England. Rain water from the Mendip Hills filters through an underground layer of limestone in the earth. Down, down it travels to about 14,000 feet, where by geological wonder it is then pushed back up through the earth along fissures and cracks in the limestone rock formations to the surface where it flows out into three springs, at a temperatures of abot 115 degrees. Around 250,000 gallons flow from the earths surface every day, which the bath houses are built over. The waters earthy tone and taste account for the minerals that dissolve from the rocks as the water passes through it.

The city of Bath was built by the Romans around 60 AD, when they built a bath house on the main spring. Archeologists have shown that the springs in Bath were used for thousands of years prior to the Romans. The springs were popular with the Celtic people who worshiped their Goddess Sulis, and attributed the healing waters to her powers. The Romans adopted these beliefs seeing much in Sulis as in their own Goddess Minerva, and named the town Aquae Sulis, building a shrine to the Goddess Sulis. The complex was continually expanded upon until it was complete some 30 years later. However by the 5th century when the Romans withdrew, the baths silted up and the complexes deteriorated.

It had been known, that these waters could be used to relieve illnesses & discomforts, including leprosy. At one point in time a specific bath house was reserved for lepers. For some it provided healing and even a cure for whatever ailment they were suffering from. People would bathe in or sip the water that could be tasted in the Pump Room.

Over the next thousand years the city would pass from hand to hand, the baths, churches, and town would fall into disrepair and be rebuilt again. In 1500 the Bishop of Bath decided it was time to repair the badly dilapidated church buildings and baths. By the time he finished it would only be a few years before King Henry VIII would pass the Dissolution of Monasteries Act, and the priory at Bath would be dissolved. The town would be neglected once again until Queen Elizabeth’s reign when the town was once again a hot spot for its springs. The baths were improved, enticing the nobles to travel to Bath to ‘take the waters.’ The town gained such status that in 1590, Queen Elizabeth, by Royal Charter granted it city status.

The city continued to attract attention and gain in popularity. Then along came Thomas Guidott, a chemistry and medical student. He moved to the town in 1668, and became fascinated with the waters, writing two different articles, “A discourse of Bathe and the waters there ” and “Some enquiries into the nature of the water.” With the two articles written letting the people of England know about the health properties of partaking in the baths, the town noticed a significant influx of visitors and began rebuilding and making improvements.

The Mineral Water Hospital opened its doors to patients in 1742. It’s treatments were free for seriously ill patients.

In 1750, James Heath invented the Bath Chair, which helped the sick and immobile to get to the waters of bath and partake in their healing powers. It was also around this time that father and son, John Wood the Elder and John Wood the Younger, redesigned the bath houses, to be more Palladian than what they’d been in Elizabethan times.

The population continued to bloom and by 1790, the Bath guide hosted advertisements for 18 physicians, 13 surgeons, and 25 apothecaries. By 1801, the town had grown to over 40,000 making it one of the largest towns in all of England.

Of course in any town that is booming and promoting healing powers that are virtually a miracle, you will also attract charlatans and quacks that will boast miracle works of their own. Can you picture it? The suspicious looking man dressed in bright clothes standing on the back of his wagon, toting his miracle wares. Healing people as they volunteer to try his potions, and the crowd cheers…

During the Regency period, Bath was a great place to travel to. In addition to its fabulous spas, it had theaters, music, art, parks, tasty treats and of course anybody who was anybody would take a holiday there. Balls and parties abounded. However at this time, medical practitioners advised that bathing in sea water was even better than the hot springs. The aristocracy made their way, along with the Prince Regent, George, to the city of Brighton to bath in the sea. Although Bath lost some of its popularity to Brighton, there were many who still made their way over to the fabulous mineral springs.

Jane Austen's books Northanger Abbey and Persuasians, both take part in Bath. Austen herself spent much of her life there, however she wasn't too fond of it.

Now that you know a little bit of history of Bath, lets move onto propriety. What would they wear? Were men and women in the baths together? Any scandals?

In some cases actually bathing in the springs, had segregated time slots for men, women and children. At other times, they would bathe together. The idea of bath houses, and romantic interludes stirs the mind. Were there any instances such as this, or is it purely fantasy? I would think that lovers would surely sneak into the bath houses at night when no one was about, strip themselves of their clothing and submerge naked in each others arms. Was anyone ever caught?

There was a famous scandal of Sir Richard Worsley, the Governor of the Isle fo Wight…Apparently while his wife bathed nude in a bathhouse, he lifted his friend, Captain Maurice Bisset upon his shoulders to see his wife naked. How does the saying go? “What’s yours is mine…” Sir Richard Worsley and his wife Lady Worsley ended up getting a divorce later on, and it was found that he had in essence prostituted his wife to many men, however she didn’t seem to mind too much… At the time her husband helped his friend peek at her, she laughed it off. Her lovers have been numbered around 27…

Prior to the 18th century, most bathers were nude when entering the water. Men and women didn’t bathe at the same time, and it wasn’t considered so much leisure and fun as it was for health purposes. But around the middle of the 18th century things started to change a little. Taking the waters was seen as exciting, since the original Roman Baths had been discovered and built upon. Men and women still bathed separately for the most part in the Regency era. Women would wear long wool, cotton or linen gowns of red, green or blue, never white. (Same reason now why women don’t wear white bathing suits, unless they are HEAVILY padded…) The gowns weren’t flattering or frilly. The men began to wear calecons, which originated in France around 1830. They were short trunks, that tied at the waist. However these trunks became very unpopular as they had a habit of falling down…oops!!!

By 1870 the men began to wear a one piece suit, that was short sleeved with short legs. Also around this time another bathing suit was introduced, this time it was two pieces. It also had a short sleeved tunic, but it belted at the waist and had long trousers instead of shorts. This special suit was designed for both men and women. Variations popped up, giving way to special designs. One for women even included a one piece suit with an overskirt. Stockings and shoes were worn with the outfit, as well as hats and caps.

By the Victorian era, mixed bathing was becoming more and more popular, and family’s could swim together. To some, having both men and women bathing may have been a huge scandal, considered improper and perhaps those enjoying a nice steamy bath with the opposite sex would here a “tsk tsk” from passersby.

It has been pointed out however, that despite people wearing all these clothes to bathe, some still preferred to bath nude…I’m sure there was more than one nekkid body being spied upon…telescopes were popular back then too!

So there you have it! Feel like taking a dip?

Sources: Wikipedia, The City of Bath, The Darcy Saga, The Isle of Wight History Center

Would you swim naked in a public bath house?

58% Yes
41% No

The Polls Are In!

When asked if you though Anne Boleyn was an innocent victim or an evil witch, you responded...
75% Innocent
25% Evil

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Anne Boleyn: Evil Witch or Innocent Victim?

Anne Boleyn is one of the most famous queens in all of England. Granted she was only a crowned queen for 3 years, she still made history. She has been named the savior of England, and proclaimed a martyr and heroine for the English Reformation. Something must be said of the mother of one of the greatest monarchs of all time, Elizabeth I of England.

The Seduction

Anne came to the court of Henry VIII to work as a lady in waiting to his current wife Queen Catherine of Aragon. Henry, known for his luscious appetite had begun a relationship with Anne’s sister Mary, who was married at the time. Anne had been away at the French court, but came home as soon as the English and French relationship began to dwindle.

When she arrived in about 1522, many of the young men were enamored with her. She wasn’t considered a great beauty, but had an amazing wit, excellent talents, and charismatic attitude. Many were enchanted with her. She became engaged to young Henry Percy, heir and son to the Earl of Northumberland, but the marriage was not supported by his father who threatened to disown him, and instead married Mary Talbot. This left Anne again looking for a husband.

King Henry’s eye began to wander from Mary to Anne around 1525, however she refused his attentions. She’d seen the scandal her sister’s affair with the king had caused, and refused to be put in the same position. She wanted more. She would only cave in to Henry’s approaches if he married her. He agreed, and began seeking an annulment from Katherine. Even with Henry putting the plans in motion, Anne still refused to sleep with him. Not until a priest had blessed the union and pronounced them husband and wife.

Anne was also sent away from court at this time and in the summer of 1526 received word that the king wanted her back at court to serve as a lady in waiting. In Anne’s letter responding to Henry, she makes it clear that a budding relationship has begun.

One could say that Anne knew the king well, and knew how to make him pant. Henry was an extremely selfish man, unused to not getting want he wanted. The seduction became a huge game for him, and he aimed to win. I would also venture to say that Anne having been put aside by the Earl of Northumberland because of her lack of sufficient noble birth, perhaps aiming for a king would be a good, “I told you I was worth it…”

She also held over the king’s head her promise to give him a son, which we all know he so desperately wanted. Despite the public’s hatred of Anne, she became the scapegoat for every bad decision Henry made, his love for her did not wane, if anything it intensified.

It took seven years for Henry to annul his marriage to Catherine, and in the process the English Reformation with its sovereign being head of the Church began.

The Marriage

As the annulment seemed to be coming closer and closer, Anne practically became queen in everything but name alone. She was elevated to the status of Marquess of Pembroke in late 1532, a title in her own right, she was given rooms fit for a queen at court, and accompanied Henry’s side everywhere, including meals. Queen Catherine was essentially pushed aside before the annulment or subsequent marriage even happened. However elevated her status may have been, when she traveled with Henry to the French court, the ladies refused to see her.

Rumors abound that when she received her elevated title, is when Anne did allow the king to pursue his sexual appetite. A secret marriage was held in the winter of 1532, before an annulment had been presented. She became pregnant a short time later, at which time a legitimate wedding was now top priority for Henry and Anne. For her, her worst nightmares were coming true. She wanted nothing of the scandal her sister had gone through, and now she was pregnant by the king, and not married. At this time, Henry decided to break with the Roman Church and take matters into his own hands. He named himself head of the church, and had Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury annul his marriage to Catherine. They were married in January of 1533. Ironically Anne's motto would be, "The Most Happy."

Anne and Henry sought the advice of astrologers and physicians who assured them both that a son would be born. Unfortunately for Anne, Elizabeth was born. The disappointment of both Anne and Henry is ironic considering Elizabeth was one of the greatest monarchs England has ever had. Elizabeth was named heir, and Mary his first daughter with Queen Catherine was ordered to relinquish the title Princess. With this news Anne could breathe a sigh of relief, she was safe for now.

The Downfall

Henry kept up his optimistic attitude that sons would follow, and they did. Anne did get pregnant two more times, both pregnancies ended in miscarriage, one of them old enough to show that it was a boy. Henry’s affections began to dwindle. As many men did back then, Henry was blamed Anne. It must be entirely her fault that she wasn’t able to conceive a male heir or carry one to term.

In January of 1536, Anne miscarried again, and is reported to have said, “I have miscarried of my savior.” With such a comment, I presume that the baby was a boy.

At that point, Henry lost all affection for Anne. Had he not annulled his marriage to Catherine to marry Anne and beget a male heir? Now that it was obvious his marriage to Anne had only resulted in a daughter and dead son, what would happen? With many at court not too keen on Anne, rumors flitted about and eventually made it to the king’s ears.

With some ammunition in hand, Henry developed a plot to be rid of his current wife. Catherine had just died that summer, and if he were rid of Anne, his third marriage would not be tainted by any previous wives. He would not be satisfied until Anne was gone.

He accused her of bewitching him, and as we know witchcraft was not something to joke about or lightly accuse someone of in the 16th century. He accused her infidelity and having an incestuous relationship with her brother. Adultery was considered treason for a queen. Even to some of Anne’s enemies these accusations appeared false and fabricated. Henry wanted Anne executed. But why? Why not set her aside as he’d done with Katherine? Was it because he knew most people never accepted Anne as true queen, and he wanted his next marriage to be unblemished?

Were there any truths in the matter? Some people say she did have an affair with her brother George. George’s own wife, Jane Rochford testified in court that she’d witnessed such an affair.

Anne was arrested on May 2, 1536 and taken to the tower. Ironically she was housed in the same rooms she’d stayed in while awaiting her coronation.

The Execution

Anne as queen was tried by a jury of her peers, of which included her own uncle Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk and her previous fiancé Henry Percy, Duke of Northumberland. She denied all charges, and the evidence itself was unconvincing. Upon naming her guilty it is said that Percy fainted and had to be carried from the room. Her uncle gave her the sentence of death, along with her brother George and four men accused of dallying with her. Although only one admitted to it after being endlessly tortured. She was to be burnt at the stake or beheaded, whichever the king chose.

Anne prayed every day after her sentencing to be pardoned and sent to a nunnery. After her brother was executed Anne became hysterical, having somewhat of a nervous breakdown. The king chose for her to be beheaded and sent for an excellent swordsman from France. Shortly before her execution her marriage to King Henry was dissolved and declared invalid. Why would Henry have had this done, if he still planned to execute her? Furthermore, how could he execute her for adultery (treason) if they were not married? It further shows that Henry wanted her dead and out of the way for his next marriage.

On the morning of May 19, 1536, Anne was taken to Tower Green where she would be executed. Her head was removed by the swordsman with one quick stroke, her body buried in an arrow chest, as Henry didn’t provide a proper casket. She was then buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula. Her body was later identified when Queen Victoria had renovations done to the church, and she then received a marker which she’d lacked for three hundred years.

So what do you think? Was she as evil as history would have us believe? Or perhaps just a head strong woman intent on finding a powerful position that would lead to her ultimate death?

The Polls Are In!

If you had to pick, which would you wear?

44% chose 12 inch wide Bear Claw shoes that made you waddle...


55% chose flesh painted pointy tip shoes which obviously resemble a certain part of male anatomy...

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Fabulous Life of History's Shoes and Purses

When digging into historical costumes, things that are most discussed is usually the clothes and any head-dress the wearer presented themselves in. However less likely discussed are shoes and purses, and I mean for women and men alike. I doubt the Earl of Northumberland carried a wallet in his back pocket, or that he wore tennis shoes. Same goes for his lady. She probably didn’t grab her Coach bag on the way out of the house, with her feet clickety clacking in her Juicy Couture pumps.

So today I wanted to go a little further into detail. However fascinating foot binding was in China, today I’m going to simply discuss Europe from the middle ages through the Regency era. (I do however promise to discuss foot binding at a later date!)

The middles ages certainly had a wide range of shoes. We’ve all heard of the soft leather boots or slippers, but what’s more fun are the extraordinary.

First we have the shoes with the abnormally pointed toe called the Pouline. Who thought of that? Was the pointed toe for when you gave someone a swift kick in the head? Or was it for men to say, “Hey, my shoe tip is bigger than yours.” Or for women, “Well you know they say the size of a man’s foot determines the size of his…” Perhaps the pointed tip was somehow to exaggerate where they were lacking. Vulgar young men would paint the tips of their shoes a flesh color and wiggle them at innocent maidens. How little things have changed…lol…

There was some talk within the Roman Catholic Church that the shoes represented a phallic symbol and they were completely inappropriate to wear. They even blamed the Black Plague as God’s revenge for wearing Poulines. But the people ignored the warning and continued to break out the pointed toe off and on to this day.

These pointed shoes do tend to come back into style, I owned two pairs of pointed toe heels a couple of years ago. One of which was almost comical…

Most shoes were made of soft leather, fabrics like velvets, silks and brocades, and if you could afford it were lined with fur to keep your feet warm. Because of the price of shoes, most peasants went barefoot during the summer months.

There was also the very odd Bear’s Claw shoes (aka Duck’s Bill or Scarpines), …what? Who thinks of these things! (shakes head, and wishes to see it in person) Anyways, these shoes were heavily padded, puffed out at the tips, lots of showy embroidery and slashed at the tops to show the hose you wore underneath… These shoes became so huge at one point they were noted to be 12 inches wide! The wearer would waddle around…sexy…

So you may be wondering how people walked in muddy streets, or through grass…well clogs and another type of shoe called Pattens which vaguely resemble platform flip flops, were developed. They had a wooden bottom or thick leather bottom with leather straps. The wearer would slip these contraptions on over there fabulous shoes (rolls eyes, and again wishes to see someone actually wear these and think they are fashionable).

By the late 1400’s the German’s figured out how to make shoes inside out on a last, a type of mold. It was also at this time that heavier soles began being attached to the shoes. These simple turn shoes were inexpensive and great for people who couldn’t afford the more fashionable expensive alternatives.

Queen Mary passed a law outlawing the great width of the shoes. Shoes became slimmer and a T-strap was added to shoes. During her sister, Queen Elizabeth’s reign, mules and high heeled slippers became stylish for court ladies. Their shoes would be decorated with fur trims and jewels.

Somewhere along the way fashions reversed for men and women. In the 17th century it was very popular for men to wear heels and for women to wear flat slippers. Both sexes wore square tips. The men’s shoes would have deep cuffs and high tongues decorated with stiff bows (large or thin), spurs or buckles. Women’s shoes might be trimmed with rosettes, ribbons, or embroidery.

During the 18th century women began wearing heels again and men started to wear the thigh length boots (some still with heels) and flat shoes again made from leather. During the Victorian era, (I know I said only to Regency but I had to add this!) the ankle boot became popular for women to ward off any stares from men at their oh-so-sensual ankles.

It should be noted that the majority of people wore straight lasted shoes (remember the last is a mold). Some were able to get “waisted” shoes, which were shoes that were cinched at the arch of the foot. However it wasn’t until the 1800’s in America that shoe lasts were made for left and right feet.

Pouches, Purses, Pockets, Reticules
I love purses just as I know most women do. I like to have purses of different colors for my different outfits, purses for different occasions, purses for different seasons. So would this have been a fetish I’d have to give up if I’d lived in the past? Well I probably wouldn’t have had quite the variety that I have today that’s for sure, but I could have had some pretty ones!

In medieval times, both men and women wore girdle pouches. These pouches were attached to the girdle they wore at their waist. Not the kind of girdle people wear now to suck in their bellies, these were like belts.

Pouches often showed your status in society. Some were embroidered, adorned with jewels, fur-lined or could be simply made from wool or leather. Obviously the more elaborate your pouch, the more money you had. It also appears from artwork that men’s daggers or swords were slipped through a slit at the tops of the pouches and then out the other end.

Some purses would be filled with sweet smelling herbs for people carry around either to ward off their own stench, or that of others.

During the 16th century purses became more practical, and had a drawstring to close it. For those of us who may have been traveling back then, you might have a larger cloth bag that you wore diagonally across the body. They don’t sound nearly as fun as those in previous years or of the purses in the 17th century, which became smaller, and of different shapes of embroidered fabrics. In the 18th century purses became less widely used because men and women had pockets.

Pockets? Okay, big deal right? Not so for women, these weren’t like your jeans pockets. These were actually bags attached to a belt like strap that hung around the waist under their dresses. Slits were in the fabric and they could reach through into their pockets to get what they needed. Men also had pockets,

Muffs were also used, which were purses made of fur.

The Regency was probably more my style! The women’s bags were called reticules or indispensables (because you couldn’t leave home without it!). They hung from the wrist and because fashion was so important during this time, and how you looked, most ladies had a different reticule for each outfit. What would a proper lady carry in her reticule? Her makeup (rouge, face powder, perfume), a fan, visiting cards with her card case should she receive a card from a friend, and just in case she or one of her friends had a sudden fainting spell, smelling salts.

I for one always carry my smelling salts...just kidding. But I do keep makeup, my cell phone, pen, paper, tissues, wallet, eye drops and keys. What about you?

The Polls Are In!

Would you use a wooden block...there?
An astounding 100% said no way! Are you surprised?