I have so so many memories that tie into Gone With The Wind, with my Grandma front and center taking the blame for it. She loved the movie and we have watched it together almost every year. In the last few years I doubt she stayed awake during it for more than 20 minutes at a stretch, but I cherish that snoring togetherness just the same. I am going to miss having someone to laugh with about the ridiculous corsets and skirts. I mean come on, I have trouble peeing in the woods while camping. I can’t even IMAGINE bodily functions such as breathing, let alone pooping in that wardrobe.
I used to read GWTW every winter break for a decade. It was such a treat to have an expanse of free time where I could read anything I wanted without feeling guilty about what I should be reading. I received my first copy of GWTW (I state first, in order for Jen to wildly speculate how many copies I
hoard own) in middle school and the school librarian (no NPW to be sure) accosted me that it was inappropriate for my age and she was going to call my parents. First of all, really, really? You’re going to reprimand a girl who wants to read? Secondly, my mom’s gift inscription in the front cover did little to reassure this woman my parents were fully aware of my choice in reading materials. I think my mom picked up reading the book just to try and figure out what was deemed so inappropriate, but quickly gave up. Besides, censorship was hardly my parents’ strong suit.
At the end of high school during the lull between AP exams and graduation most teachers let us goof off for those weeks. Our U.S. History teacher had other ideas and showed us some of his favorite period films. The Sting was the only one we got to watch the whole way through, and with other films he would show us snippets and scenes. Since GWTW clocks in at over three and a half hours, this was one of the definite snippet films. Disturbed so many people were unfamiliar with the story, a couple of us got up in front of the room and acted out important romantic dialogue while our teacher fast forwarded to the next scene. We may have made everyone watch Prissy shout, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies,” several times. Oh the days before YouTube’s instant gratification. (Which of course has now turned into file after file of Scarlett slapping Prissy.)
It kind of astonishes me that in 17 years of dating, I have only made one guy watch my favorite movie with me. My college boyfriend (tempted to simply give him the nickname Mooch for the purposes of this blog) has historically worked service industry evening hours and in the years he pseudo lived with me would often spend his days at my place enjoying my cable TV. I was home sick one dreary winter weekday, so we were both hanging out on the living room bed (aka the broken futon) and I was super whiny about his TV viewing choices. I got up and said I was going to put in GWTW and for some reason he didn’t object (wise man considering his mooching ways.) Those unfamiliar with the movie details, there is a pivotal scene where Scarlett grabs a fistful of Georgia soil and vows to never be hungry again and there is a fade out with a swelling instrumental melody. Right then Mooch turned to me and said, “Wow, you know, that really wasn’t so bad.” The screen then announces Intermission and advises us to turn the DVD over for the second half. I can still see his face drop in defeat.