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F is for Foundations
Idgie Threadgood was born with roots as deep and wide as the hundred year old Oak that stood wide, proud and tall, having sheltered generations of Threadgoods under its branches, in the Threadgood front yard. With the loss of Buddy those roots had become unbearable, threatening to strangle her with their restrictions, rather than giving her what she needed to grow.
Because Idgie Threadgood doesn't want to be grounded; she wants to fly free. She decides when Guddy dies that she doesn't want to be tied down to anyone ever again. Idgie is stubborn and fierce. She manages pretty well in her wild way, living a life that is far from what's expected of her.
Then she meets Ruth Jamison. It seems abruptly like her high flying days are over because she somes crashing back down to earth, falling so hard she's lucky she doesn't break her ass on the way down.
For a while there's Ruth and Idgie is so happy and consumed by her she doesn't notice what's happening, not really. She slips mostly back into the life she's left behind because she can find Ruth there. But it's not enough, not for Ruth or for her. It begins to chafe; Ruth leaves. The roots that have begun to regrow are ripped out.
For the second time in her life Idgie makes a promise to herself to never let it happen again. But then Ruth is different. She isn't really gone, just beyond Idgie's reach.
Eventually though, Ruth is drawn back to Idgie; she can't help it no matter how hard she tries. When Ruth comes back - to her - it is different. Not because Idgie wills it so, but because everything has changed. Ruth, too.
This time, Ruth comes without roots of her own. She seems as if she'll drift away with nothing to hold her down. Idgie offers her family. It's all she has, but Ruth needs more. Idgie has nothing else to give. Ruth doesn't demand it of her, but for the first time Idgie wants to give. She doesn't know how. She finds herself fundamentally unsuited for this life. She tells Ruth that. It's not the revelation she expects it to be.
Ruth just smiles, tells her she's had roots and how much good did they do her? They'll find something else. The "together" goes unspoken, because what else are they going to do, the two of them? They're tied together by bonds too strong to mention and barely understood.
Then they find out that Ruth's expecting. It's the second biggest shock of Idgie's life. Ruth wasn't so shocked. (Falling for her was the most natural thing in the world.) Ruth just seems to take it in stride.
And by the next day, once the shock passes, Idgie finds that she's almost giddy about the prospect of it all. She wonders if the babe with have Ruth's eyes. The thought that he or she might get Frank's troubles her for a minute - but just that - until she decides that no matter what else this little one will be itsownself. And the babe will be loved - by both of them.
It's then that Idgie's father comes to her about opening the cafe. With a baby on the way, there's no doubt she'll have to find something to provide for them both. It's nothing Idgie thought about doing with her life, but she knows it'll suit Ruth. And while she knows that Ruth can take care of her own self, Idgie's struck by the fierce desire to take care of her, make something easy for her for the first time in her life.
Idgie wonders then if this is what roots feel like, because for the firs time, she doesn't feel choked. When she asks Ruth, Ruth just laughs and points to the small building going up in front of them with some help from Idgie's brothers and her friends from the Dill Pickle Club.
"No," says Ruth with a laugh. "We don't do roots, Idgie Threadgood, not you and I. We're fixing us a foundation. Something strong we can build on."
And Idgie smiles, because she thinks she can handle that.
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