So, this week’s topic was wind. The smart ass in me (oh, and that’s about 97%) was dying to write something pithy about breaking wind, but then I decided that my definition of “pithy” was more “eight-year-old boy potty humor” than sophisticatedly amusing and I scrapped it.
So, what’s a Southerner left to blog about with a topic like that? Oh, yes, five bucks to you all. It is SO Gone With The Wind (or, GWtW as it’s known to us die-hards) Time. It is, without question, and no offense to Grease or Xanadu (y’all had NO idea I was so sappy, did you?) my all time favorite movie. I adore it for many, many reasons. Not the book. The movie. And it’s not that the movie is better than the book. It’s just that, well, see, I haven’t actually READ the book. So. There ya go.
Anyway, first of all, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara is perfection. PERFECTION. She’s sour candy, she’s sugar with broken glass in it, she is, surely, hopefully…me (stay with me here). Bitch? No. Young. Brash? No. Determined. Beautiful? Well, yeah, she’s beautiful, but she wasn’t supposed to be. It was her personality. She sparkled, she sparked, she should have been named Sparky for all her flashy gumption, dammit.
And didn’t I (don’t I) want to be all that?
I overheard a conversation about me once in a bathroom stall. No, really, just like a John Hughes movie. I had recently joined a writing group, and I was all enthusiasm. People were perhaps taken aback. I don’t believe I was rude, or overbearing. I hope I wasn’t. But I was determined. And in publishing circles (especially this one) I was young.
They gave me a nickname.
I won’t mention what it was, because God forbid you all decide it’s fitting and call me it behind my back. It was a word that in many contexts is not actually insulting. But it was rather clear that in this context it was rather condescending, sort of a “Well, isn’t she just adorable to think she can do this? And to subject us to all of her unbridled enthusiasm?” kind of way.
I admit, it broke my heart.
Because I was so excited to be around other writers, and I thought it was okay to be excited, and to be ambitious, and fired up and optimistic. I continued with the group, because, hey, I had PAID to be there, and I was going to get every thing I could learn out of it. But I didn’t re-up. It was for more reasons than the catty conversation and nickname, reasons that I thought were actually rather noble and supportive, but then I tend to apply nobleness to all sorts of things that later turn out to not mean much of anything.
Sometimes I take myself too seriously.
So, for me Scarlett wasn’t the spoiled, feisty, beautiful brat who arrogantly exuded that “No regrets!” vibe. She was the tough, resilient woman who had plenty of regrets, but who had learned and was determined to not have them again.
She was, in fact, the first Debutante.
And in that same melodramatic way that Scarlett raised her fist to the red sky of Georgia and declared that she would “never go hungry again,” I too was determined that I would never go hungry again.
I would never hunger to be younger and have the energy or enthusiasm to chase my dream with everything I had. I would just do it. I would never hunger to have conversations about things that were important to me: words, ideas, characters. I would just start them. I would never again hunger to believe that I was doing something meaningful. I just…well, I sort of just CHOOSE to believe that one. I’d never again hunger to be a part of a group of writers who were as enthusiastic and genuine as I was.
I would just start my own.