However, now I am incredibly behind in my homework, and I was worrying and worrying about how this would all work out, when, upon checking my email this morning, it turns out MY POETRY PROF CANCELLED OUR CLASS!
So I don't have to do his work until NEXT MONDAY!
Which gives me so much more time for the rest of my classes -- particularly, finishing Bleak House for Vic. lit.
So, I've decided on a topic for my final creative project in Victorian Lit, and it is the same topic that I want to continue to develop throughout my graduate career.
It is the same topic that fascinated me in my high school literature classes.
It is the same topic that had me swimming in the "sea" of my bedroom as a four year old little girl (that sea being a huge, blue blanket that I crawled under).
And it's the same topic that makes me love Disney World more than any other place in the world, as convoluted and sexist and misconstrued as Disney's portrayal of that topic may be.
***Drum roll please...***
The Fairy Tale!
Now, this isn't your mother's fairy tale, folks.
These things are dark and twisted and beautiful.
Think you know Cinderella?
Try the "original" Grimm Brother's version in which the sisters mutilate themselves so they can wear that damn glass slipper.
Or how about the actual original, oral versions of the tales? The versions told by women to children and other women. The versions in which the damsel is never in distress, but is often the cunning hero, the savior of the city or the people or the home.
Those are my kinds of fairy tales!
And I think I could make a pretty nice little life of studying those women, and their legacy throughout literature.
And who isn't all about finding a scholarly reason for watching "The Little Mermaid" or "Beauty and the Beast" on repeat? ;)
Rachel and I would take our places, one on each side of the dividing center aisle: back of the church, bodies just beneath the last pew, young tummies to the rough, red carpet.
Not red like the blood of Christ.
No, no. This carpet was Wolfpack red.
Our pastor was a huge State fan.
Toward the front of the church, the persistent sound of vacuuming traveled from one side of the white and wood paneled sanctuary to the other as my grandmother served her church family -- a family that never reciprocated that love.
But the race, that was all that mattered then.
It was a weekly occurrence.
At 7- years-old, our tiny frames were still small and lithe enough to squeeze into places my grown body misses -- the underside of coffee tables, the farthest reaches of the closet beneath the staircase, the sweet, sheltered inside of the azalea bush in grandma's front yard -- and the ankle level view of the sanctuary suddenly became an ordered jungle of beautiful, brown wood. Hymnals became mile markers, and those church pews posed both as obstacles and protection, ensuring that our race could never be cheapened by those who needed even the slightest bit more of head room.
We'd wait for it all service long, two southern sweethearts with slow drawls and entirely too much energy, heels kicking, mother's shhshing us as we whispered behind our hands, with all of our hearts.
"I bet I win today. I've been practicing!"
"Oh yeah? Just wait til later. I'll show you!"
There's nothing quite like a little friendly competition.
And Grandma, she always understood.
In a sanctuary most children were forced to behave in, she loved to watch us run down the aisles, barefoot and laughing as we tumbled and pranced, from the altar, down the middle aisle, up the side stairs to the classrooms, and back.
If she hadn't been in that wreck all those years back, that wreck that took her agility, I know she would have joined us.
And then the moment came.
Our legs were crooked ever so slightly, bare knees pressed to the floor, toes braced in the course carpet. Our summer attire left our limbs exposed, and later, scratched, but that was just part of the experience. Rug burn was the price to pay for this race of redemption.
Heads down, arms ahead, we'd take turns shouting out:
"Ready, set, GO!"
We would scurry then, frantic, grasping with tiny hands to pull ourselves forward, ever forward, beneath the seats of so many sinners, beneath the hymnals full of amazing grace and notes most modern singers can't reach, toward the end of the pews, the end of the jungle of order and restraint, toward their absence, the openness, the freedom.
And really, I rarely won.
I was taller, lankier, more awkward.
I was also the heaviest of the two.
But God, did I try.
I rolled and I panted and I kicked and I pulled.
Each scrape against that red, red surface was a second gained, an advantage taken.
And regardless of how far ahead she was, I never gave it up, not til I had made it.
Rachel lives in Arizona now, on a military base with her husband and their dog.
We talk once or twice a year, but I forgot to call her on her birthday.
She remembered mine.
And Grandma just hasn't been the same since Grandpa died.
But laying there, flush-faced children panting into the carpet, rolling onto our backs and staring at the simple white ceiling of the building we learned to love, to need, and eventually, to leave, nothing mattered.
So, Slumdog Millionaire was AMAZINGAMAZINGAMAZING. Seriously. Go see it tonight. It was all I could do not to dance in the aisles. Thank you, MIA-heavy soundtrack.
The character progression was well done overall, aside from a few inconsistencies and unneccesary emphasis on the part of one person in particular. However, the strength of the other personalities made up for it, so I forgive the movie for Salim. I loathed the game show host, but then, I'm pretty sure he was written that way intentionally. However, I did REALLY enjoy the way he pronounced millionaire. I may have to start doing it myself. Since I say the word millionaire so often...
I also loved the pseudo-frame story format told in a serious of interwoven, non-linear flashbacks and flash forwards. Alternative story telling is always a golden gamble in my book, and this film proves how powerful it can be when done right. I mean, I teared up a few times. (God I'm such a pansy.)
And while the ending was a little cheesy for my taste, it is a romance, after all. So what can you do? And the AMAZING dance routine scene at the end of the film more than compensated for the few seat squirming, soda slurping, anything but allowing myself to be totally immersed moments I had to endure during the mushy mire preceding it.
The children dancing was totally totally the best part.
It was also nice seeing a lot of old, familiar,(fairly) fun faces. JKJK. You guys are more than fairly fun. I would say incredibly even. And who doesn't love a 1 a.m. run to Cook-Out?!
That certainly needs to happen more often.
But crikes. I just wasted my whole lunch break blogging. Ayayay, intarwebs.