My last post was helpful. But I realize that it’s not everything. I guess I am particularly interested in this aspect of me because I feel like I keep getting close to the root of this issue, but not fully realizing it. My fascination with Scarlett O’Hara has been since I was 10 years old. I was sick one day and stayed home from school and my parents had some anniversary edition of Gone With The Wind on video and I just sat on the couch and watched the whole thing. Then I watched it again. Then that entire summer I watched it every day. I’m serious. I was enthralled. Everything about her I loved. I believed truly that she could get whatever she wanted and that no matter what happened, men still loved her. She always had the love of her life. Did Rhett leave her at the end? Of course. But I knew she’d get him back, she said so. And whatever she set her mind to, she got. Of course he always loved her. She had hurt him so deeply, so horribly, so tragically, but he still loved her and they were perfect for each other. Did they hate each other sometimes? Of course. But they were too much alike. She needed his affection to abate the selfish things she did. He needed her spirited nature to assure him that he wasn’t the only bastard on the planet. I loved their love story.
And I’ve fallen desperately in love with an Ashley Wilkes before. He was everything that my Disney-raising had believed would be the perfect man. But Disney is an illusion, a murderer of reality. And I was punished severely for hanging onto that illusion. But I didn’t have a Rhett to back me up and, frankly, I don’t think that I would even have it in me to lead on a Rhett Butler while I chased someone else. Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I need to not fall in love so obviously. I have to recognize, as Scarlett did, that my lover isn’t so obvious, but is someone like me who has my same hang-ups and therefore understands me more than some head-in-the-clouds idealist who holds up the theory of humanity above the actual humans who exist in his world.
Next important film/book. Sense and Sensibility. When I first read it, I immediately clicked with Marianne. I agreed with all her passion and her day-dreaming and her rejection of practical love. What was life even worth if you couldn’t be passionately intertwined with someone? I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was disappointed that she didn’t marry Willoughby at the end. Can you believe that? That asshole who toyed with her heart and, yeah, he did kinda like her, but not enough, as Kate Winslet says in the movie. Not enough. Just enough to get his kicks and then went for the 50,000 pounds a year. Bastard. And guess what? I’ve had a Willoughby too.
So what is it about me that wants to live out these archetypes of women who are passionately embroiled with men who don’t really love them? While myself as the reader/viewer truly believes Scarlett gets Rhett back, she still has to lose him, push him away first. Vivien Leigh at her epiphanal moment says, tears coursing down her cheeks, says “Then. . . I’ve loved something that didn’t even exist.” Then she runs to find Rhett, who is packing to leave her. But how many years did she waste on Ashley, dreaming of him, coveting him, fantasizing about a person who could never fully understand or love her? Marianne had to be on the brink of death before she realized that wasting away for a man who is worth less than a room full of hair is idiotic, not romantic. And then she gets Colonel Brandon, who has always adored her, despite her trespasses, her haughtiness, her naiveté of youth. An older man, a wiser man.
Do I need an older, wiser man, who sees my flaws and finds them charming? Who is willing to wait until I come to my senses? No. I want to come to my senses before I meet that man. Hopefully he will be attracted to me because of what I’ve overcome, rather than what I will have to overcome in the future.
Just more interesting things.