My life turned upside down one lazy summer night at grandma's house-just about over 24 years ago. My grandma (my father's mother) helped raise my brother and I after my mother passed on so she was a great influence on me. I spent a great deal of time with her and most of it I thought, "ugh here we go again" or "omg this is so boring" But grandma changed my life in so many ways, especially that lazy summer night.
She told me that we were going to watch "Gone with the Wind" and preceded to share with me that she was a young girl when she saw it in the movie theater in 1939. She told me that watching this movie changed her life and little did I know then but it changed mine too!
I sat there not totally happy with the arrangement. I mean how many other cooler things could I be doing back in 1987...um yeah a lot (yeah right)! I was traditionally kept at home as girls sometimes are depending on the culture or the era they grew up in. Looking back at that day with her now I almost feel in some ways I was raised in the 1940's! I wasn't allowed to hang out outside, I had to wear a slip and a camisole with my dress, I couldn't wear makeup or nail polish, and dating...HA! Yeah-the plan was for me to never date LOL
So as I began to cringe at the thought of watching an old movie with grandma on a nice summer night...it started. The opening credits to "Gone with the Wind" and then something magical happened--I felt the film embrace me and it held me close to it. I couldn't take my eyes off that movie. When the intermission came, I sat mesmerized!
And lets be honest-I was a little confused on why I didn't want to get up from my comfortable chair. Then I realized-I actually liked it!!?? Grandma and I sat quietly while we took turns stretching our legs and getting something to drink in order to prepare for the last half of the movie. You see "Gone with the Wind" is FIVE.....yes...FIVE hours long! For an eleven year old that is kind of a lifetime you know.
As I finished watching the last half I remember shifting my body weight in the chair that was once comfortable because after a few hours some important parts of my body started to get numb! But I kept on-I couldn't move-I didn't want to move. That's when I realized...WOW! I love this movie! I love classic film!
My Grandma in that infamous chair!
And of course grandma was right. I would love it and til this day I consider that film to be sheer PERFECTION! Incredible how an eleven year old girl could go from dreading some old crusty movie with grandma to falling in love with everything that embodied that time. Ironically I actually looked up to grandma a little bit more because as I fell in love with those bygone years I also embraced more of who my grandma was. That she too was eleven at one point in her life.
After that experience with grandma we would sometimes sit and talk about her past. Something she rarely ever did but when she did I was ALL ears! I kept her stories and secrets close to my heart. I only wish she shared more with me but she was a private person who I could tell carried many burdens in her heart. And now I realize also that she was entitled to those secrets-they were hers to keep and now they will be with her forever.
Years later we would go to thrift shops together and I would stand around the store in elation because everything was so old and smelly (I love that smell!). But I loved it because it was something grandma was sharing with me and also because like her all those things had a story to tell. Just like Scarlett and Rhett's story....epic and grand.