Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lest you worry that I'm going to start decorating with rainbows and kittens

One of my favorite references to Pride and Prejudice comes in the form of one Donald Miller, from his book Blue Like Jazz:
...I understand you can learn a great deal about girldom by reading Pride and Prejudice, and I own a copy, but I have never read it. I tried. It was given to me by a girl with a little note inside that read: What is in this book is the heart of a woman. I am sure the heart of a woman is pure and lovely, but the first chapter of said heart is hopelessly boring. Nobody dies at all. I keep the book on my shelf because girls come into my room, sit on my couch, and eye the books on the adjacent shelf. You have a copy of Pride and Prejudice, they exclaim in a gentle sigh and smile. Yes, I say. Yes, I do.
Love it.

Monday, March 02, 2009

It all started with Anne

Not this Anne though, that Anne. Although the first Anne is pretty great too.

A few weeks ago we decided to really girly up our Friday night and watch "Anne of Green Gables" as produced by Canadian PBS or whoever made it. There were also brownies and such, I'm sure you get the general idea. I'm also sure you have heard me mention that I freakin' loooooved the Anne books when I was younger. And love them now too. I think there are 8 or so in the series, and I have read them all so many times that my copies in Texas are all sorts of dog-eared and stained and what-have-you. Holly had to ask for her own set for Christmas one year, they were THAT bad (and also, Holly just wanted her own set. Everyone needs their own Anne books).

On the way back to our place, I had to explain to Gina what happens next, because the Green Gables story very much leaves you hanging, as in "Oh my goodness do Gilbert and Anne end up together OR WHAT?!" I proceeded to explain the movie version and the book version, because they do diverge - movie is understandably a bit more dramatic, book takes a bit longer and is a little more nuanced (although still fairly sappy, truth be told). As I explained it all, I was inspired to go home and immediately read them again, although since I was into the romance I went straight for Anne of the Island where it all gets worked out. It's a rare moment when I can still enjoy a story with the same mushy feeling as I did at 12.

This then got me thinking. I have a distinct feeling that the whole Anne/Gilbert saga could have some serious influence on the way I view relationships in general. For better or worse, I can't say just yet, but it was a funny thing to ponder. What are the books and movies that I loved that had some unforeseen long-term impact on me? There's the aforementioned example, and we can probably just go ahead and throw in pretty much all of the Jane Austen guys with Darcy in particular (cliche, right? But I don't care, P&P is the best known for a reason, and my copy of THAT is all sorts of dog-eared too). And the impact certainly isn't limited to that sphere, it could really go all different directions.

So watching a movie tonight, I have one more to add to my list: C. K. Dexter Haven. Swoon.