Wednesday, January 20, 2010


In early December I was talking with another parent about inviting her daughter for a sleepover. I wanted to have it on Saturday, which would give me time to make sure there were things like clean towels and foodlike substances for dinner. But that wouldn't work for them.  "With our schedule, we can't do Saturday but if you could be flexible..." That's all it took to get me to agree to Friday night instead.Yes! Yes, I want to be flexible. That's just what I want to be perceived as. What can I do to prove myself flexible? Such a deft lawerly phrase (she is an attorney). Like a little emotional crowbar. I shall try to use it on someone else soon.

"Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" was release in the US as "Amélie" in 2001. My friend Mac told me that I was required to see the movie, that it was made for me. I remember enjoying the ads, maybe I even saw a preview? But that was the year that our first baby was born so I pretty much renounced arthouse slumming (boohoo) after autumn 2001. Later, 2004?, my mother gave me the DVD of the movie. She probably found it for cheap at TJMaxx. She'd never seen it, just heard that it was wonderful and French and she has always subsidized my francophile side. But even though I now had it in my hand I never watched it. And the longer it was the more I felt a little guilty about it. Because obviously I was hurting the DVD's feelings. So that made me put it off a bit longer. At any rate I got to it this last week. It was wonderful. Our heroine lives a small proscribed life. She has been raised by emotionally removed parents, has suffered traumatic loss and been misdiagnosed with a severe heart condition. So she does not have big adventures or throw herself into things. But she gets intense joy from small phenomena, precise actions just shy of ritual. She's neurotic but also delighted. The idea of getting so much satisfaction out of small pieces of existence seemed like a familiar bit of myself that I hadn't seen for a long time. It brought me back to a part of my personality I'd missed. So thanks Mac and Mom and director Jeunet.

I am noticing a distinct lack of bonbons at my desk this afternoon. I still want to put things in my mouth even though I consumed a salad and a piece of banana cake in addition to the lunch I brought from home. I can tell that the lack of sunshine is kicking up my sweet tooth. I'm sleepy and snacky. The forecast isn't offering much in the way of sunshine. I'll hope they're wrong. I'd better go sit in front of the full spectrum lamp tonight. Thinking fondly of the sunroom in a childhood home in the La Senda neighborhood of White Rock, New Mexico. It extended the entire southern side of the house. When winter sun was low it streamed in those big windows and the room soaked up a lot of heat and light. You could really bask out there. We had a day bed that had an old (sun faded) cover on it for contented dogs and children to lie on. At that era my mother collected geranium varieties and they wintered in the sunroom too. If you can see the sun, go out and let it fall on your face, I command it. 


Lucy said...

Ideally, you should try to use the 'flexible' tool right back at her.

I'd like to see 'Amelie' again. I like how she steals her father's garden gnome and photographs him in front of the travel agent's posters to make it look as though he's travelling the world, and the things about what every character does and doesn't like, like the woman who hates the phrase 'blessed be the fruit of thy womb...'. And also that all her good works start when she drops something in the bathroom when she hears about Princess Diana, and finds the little tin of treasures. I'm sure there's lots more I'd remember if I saw it again. Thanks for the reminder!

The Subtle Rudder said...

"Sleepy and snacky" is really the most perfect description of how I feel in winter.

Thanks for the Amelie reminder; just added it to the netflix queue. I remember loving it the first time I saw it, and because my brain is hard-wired to forget plots in favor of impression and emotion, I will get to watch it fresh one of these days.

I think you must suffer from the same you've-gotta-see/hear/read this recalcitrance that I have. Although I read constantly, I am awful at book clubs because I never read the book when people tell me to. Same goes with movies, and it's always funny to get to something years later and realize, hey, they were right. I LOVE IT.

Here's to a little sun. They're saying temps in the low 40s tomorrow, which sounds tropical. But they're also predicting freezing drizzle, so a girl can't win in January...

Nimble said...

Lucy: Yes that movie is full of good, serious, creative silliness. And I had never realized before how Lady Di is pronounced in French as La-Dee-Dee.

TSR: Often I am too cool for the latest thing that everyone is loving. Until the zeitgeist is on to something else and I'm good and ready that is. But I am good at book groups because I like to do homework and find artifacts/treasures in the text to talk about.

The NOAA weather forecast webpage I go to uses the abbreviation 'Fzg Dzl' which sounds like Martian to me and makes me chuckle.

Bee said...

I also have a tendency to read the "in" book several years after everyone else, but 9 years to get to Amelie?!

If only I could physically recreate the sensation of your old NM sun room. It is cold and damp here. As usual.