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On growing up, and on remembering tragedy

September 9, 2009

I’m yanking this from the wonderful Molly Langmuir’s blog. It’s so, so true (though my particular fantasy was about being attended on the sidelines of a soccer game after being struck in the face by a soccer ball. Which I was once, without the swooning boys, and therein lies its origins, I think):

When I was little my mom wouldn’t let me see Pretty Woman because she thought it would make me want to be a prostitute. Eventually I watched it at a friend’s house, but the fairy tale ending didn’t much strike me. That was how all the movies I watched ended.

The other night I watched it again, though, and from the older end of my twenties the movie seemed a lot odder than I remembered. Basically it’s about a woman getting the fairy tale ending of her childhood fantasies, and while I understand why this would appeal to a ten-year-old, it surprised me that it would appeal so much to adults. I mean, back then my fantasy was to have a group of boys rescue me, en masse, after I fell off a swing. But at this point, my fantasies are a bit more complex, and life’s problems and solutions look a lot more complicated. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen?

Speaking of Molly, you should read her essay about September 11, which she spent in the Arctic Circle with the Coast Guard.

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