Janie Bigelow-Price has always done the right thing. She got her teaching degree at the local university, got the only full-time job she’d ever had at the elementary school in Bigelow, the town where she grew up (named after her illustrious great-great-grandfather Howard Carter Bigelow). She even built her house on land set aside for her by her parents on Bigelow Street, (named for her slightly less illustrious great-grandfather Carter Howard Bigelow).
Janie married Walter Price, whose equally illustrious forebears founded Price Hardware, the finest hardware store in Bigelow. Also, the only hardware store in Bigelow. Conveniently located at the end of Bigelow Street. They had two children, a son and a daughter whose relative illustriousness had yet to be determined and, under the combined weight of the expectations of their many ancestors, both illustrious and otherwise, proceeded to live a very fine life.
Janie’s job was fine, her house was fine, her marriage was fine, her children were fine. Janie was fine.
She was a mousy brown kind of lady, dull brown hair cut into an efficient bob, a smattering of freckles across her perfectly average nose and scars on her arms that make her uncomfortable so she always wears long sleeves. Janie used to cut herself when she was younger but she keeps that secret close to her because she’s fine. Everything’s fine. Janie is five foot four and 130 pounds give or take. She never does anything unexpected. She does everything at precisely the same time, in the same way, every day. It gives her a feeling of control and outwardly she seems utterly predictable. The truth is, she is trying to quell the chaos inside.
Janie grew up in a family full of rigid expectations, her life mapped out for her. She’s never been anywhere on vacation except to the family’s lake cabin. Janie longs to be anything but fine. She would even take heartbreak over the suffocating sameness of her life. She doesn’t laugh too loud or talk too much or sing or dance or make too much noise at all. No one really knows what sort of talents Janie has because no one ever asked her and she never thought to ask herself.