– Ahem –
ONE HUNDRED!! Insane. Speaking of…
Everyone has a go-to movie, right? One of those movies that you’re willing to watch pretty much any time? Or on a loop? One of those movies that you find endlessly comforting? One of those movies you put on every time you’re sick and stuck in bed or on the sofa? (Or every time it’s a Thursday?)
Mine is Mermaids.
I know, I know, and yes, my love of Mermaids is probably what got me to sit through Burlesque. I have a soft spot for Cher because I still always think of her as Mrs. Flax.
(And, let’s face it, she’s awesome.)
It took me a while to figure out why I love this movie (and the book!) so much, and then it came to me: I love messed up families. When I was younger, I used to wish that my family was super fucked up.
I’ve always had an intense fascination with screwed up people/families/situations. Like, the family from Mermaids? Totally messed. Mrs. Flax has two kids, each with a different man she’s barely even met, and she’s seriously committed to her fear of commitment, so she’s constantly moving her kids around to anywhere other than where she is (she closes her eyes and points to a map), getting partially settled, and then running away again whenever anything goes wrong or gets too serious.*
When I was little/a teenager, I thought that being messed up made people more interesting.** It gave them more stories to tell. They had richer lives because of it. And I craved that. I actually sort of wished for things like a broken home, a sibling with a drinking problem, or a haunted house. I wanted more stories to tell!
TRIVIA Q: I’ve only experienced one of those things. Can you guess which?
Even as a grown-up, I sometimes find myself wishing for weird things I shouldn’t really wish for, like a month of full-on, legit insomnia, so that I could see what it’s like, how crazy it makes you, what happens in the world when “normal” people are sleeping, etc.
Is this a weirdo writer thing?
(No really, is it? I have no idea. Maybe it’s just a weirdo Andrea thing. Because I’m a weirdo.)
And that, that is exactly what I eventually learned: I don’t need to wish for more craziness in my life, because my life is already crazy. My family is crazy, too. And messed up.
Everyone’s is. Everyone is.
We all have an endless number of stories to tell. (I hope I’m telling good ones here – can’t believe I’m on #100 already. Boy, do I like to talk…) We just need to embrace our own messed-up-ness. And then if you’re a writer like me (or any creative type, I guess), you can make the rest up, to fill in any gaps in the crazy.
I love Mermaids because it makes my crazy feel safe and secure. (See: “*”)
*Wow, when I put it in a nutshell like that, I’m like, “Huh, I could see that being my life…” Probably not healthy. Good thing this blog replaces my need for real therapy!
**It does, really. If you’ve come to enough of an understanding with yourself and how messed up you are and you can be normal about your messed-up-ness. Does that make sense? It does to me.
FOR THE RECORD: I still watch Mermaids like, all the time. ALL THE TIME.
I’m watching it RIGHT NOW.
(No I’m not.)
(But I could be.)