20 Years Old
Mother died when she was young. Father is a well off “business man”, always looking for more. He’s been using his daughter as a bait-n-switch for awhile now. With promises of “Oh yeah you can marry my daughter, but first I’mma need…” and then swindling them out of a nice fat dowry. These days she’s getting to be a problem (and won’t be in her prime for long) so he’s looking to marry her off to the richest guy he can find. If she’s set up for life, he’s set up for life.
Ruthie has never liked being the bait for the witless but if she wanted food and a place to live, a daughter had to do what she must. Now, though, Father plans to get her hitched for real – and the man he’s chosen is a monster. Worst than he is. She WON’T do it. Ruthie has concocted a plan of her own. Find a good guy, or at the very least a guy who understands a good contract, and make a deal. He’ll get a wife to take care of the house and home for a spell and she’ll have somewhere safe to live. When their time is up and Father is out of her hair, they can go their separate ways or revise their contract. It’s a piece of cake and a brilliant plan.
Ruthie’s eyesight has been getting increasingly worse as she’s gotten older. It started as things just being ever so slightly off focus. These days things are very fuzzy and blurry. This has never stopped her from finding ways to work around it and still function. Faces can be hard to recognize so she learned to tell people and emotions apart through tone of voice. With cooking she sticks to meals she can get through by smell and touch without much trouble. Chores are as simple as keeping up with them regularly. The only thing she has trouble with now is reading. She has a pair of spectacles she purchased off a salesman, and they do alright when she wants to sit and read a book and take her time, but aren’t much help for handwritten things, very fine lettering, or when she needs to quickly read a message or instructions.
Because she wants to prove she is perfectly capable of taking care of herself despite her vision problem, she will get very obstinate about asking for assistance. She has hurt herself on more than one occasion for taking things one step too far from her abilities and refusing to admit it was too much. Her father hasn’t helped the situation at all, by constantly reminding her that she is dependent on him for her survival and soon on this future husband. Otherwise, Ruthie is small, but her body is strong. She’s got a good healthy constitution and hearty endurance. Ignoring her vision and her penchant for accidents, she is fit as a fiddle.
Ruthie is a clever girl with strong opinions, but unfortunately she is not very aggressive. Confrontation can be hard for her because she always has this subconscious fear that it’ll end with her getting hit or abandoned. (Her father has never hit her before, but he’s made it clear in a myriad of different ways of what happens to uppity girls that cause problems.) When she does finally hit the end of her rope to snap at someone, it’s never ended well. She’d snap at the wrong asshole or ruin one of her father’s deal.
If she can get out from under the thumb of others, she’s actually a very friendly sunshine kind of person. She likes to have fun, to play, to dance, to enjoy frivolities and life. Ruthie likes to keep herself busy and active, and it doesn’t matter if it’s keeping her own home in order or going out to volunteer or spend time on social calls. When her vision wasn’t so bad, she was very good at cards. She still enjoys saloons and a little gambling, even if she can’t play cards herself. It’s not exactly respectable, but it’s fun. A lot more fun than playing the role of a prim and proper socialite.
She’s still got a spark of spitfire in her and now that she’s old enough to feel like she can do it (with a little help from a desperate situation), Ruthie’s got every intention of taking control of her life.