So part of me was thrilled to see a Belle with the roses. Then she started complaining to her photographer about things. Dresses she needed to borrow for other shoots, the fact that it wasn't as sunny as she would have liked, that it was a little uncomfortable...I tsked and told Brent, "she's not Belle." Later they were finished about the same time as we were and we ended up walking behind them on the way out. She had an ornate Peter Pan tattoo on her back. Oh...that explains it. You aren't Belle, you're Tinker Bell. Gotcha. Brent and I had a discussion on the many failings of Tinker Bell, I say discussion but it's really Brent listening patiently while I rant about how awful Tink is. Then we discussed how Maleficent could totally take her and went on with the day.
Then later when we were driving home from coffee I told him I needed to figure out what to write about for today. I could write about the London attack last night and our president's dumbfounding response, but it's a lovely day and we are doing lovely things and I really don't want to give him any head space. Brent suggested I write about what I wrote about yesterday, and well, I already did. Then he said, "Write about how much you are enjoying American Gods" and I thought about it and yes! That's it!
So back to the scene in the garden. Why did it bug me so much that the woman in the Belle dress was whining and bitching and didn't even have a fucking book with her? Well...because for that woman Belle is a dress up character, for me Belle is a story. A full on story. She represents things to me that haven't ever even been depicted exactly. Just the feel and form and shape of her. Her story is important to me. Beauty and the Beast MEANS something to me.
Same thing with Maleficent. She represents something to me that is much bigger than her role in Sleeping Beauty really should signify. She is important to me. Her story has become part of my story. Belle and Maleficent, anyone who knows me well knows that those are my two Disney characters for myself. If you really know me you know why I sobbed at Toy Story 3 and why Up! will always make me melancholy and filled with heartbreaking joy at the same time. The stories are important to me.
American Gods is another one. It was my third Gaiman book. Good Omens was first. It was recommended after I told someone how much I loved Lamb. After Good Omens I actually read Anansi Boys first, even though it's a continuation of the American Gods universe but it was in the sale stack by the register and I thought, oh this is the guy that wrote Good Omens with Pratchett, let's see. And away I went. Gaiman is important to me. His stories mean something to me. American Gods and Anansi Boys on a totally different level though. Being agnostic, being raised evangelical, leaning toward atheist but never being able to completely take that step, religions fascinate me. The stories. They are so important people live their lives by the rules of the author. People are horrific and wonderful and giving and selfish and all of it justified by their stories. I love that. And at times I hate it as well. But as a writer it feeds a piece of my soul. Someone created these stories and they were good enough that they delivered belief. Deep belief. Behavior changing belief. And for some of you I am treading on blasphemy right now, but that's the way I view them all. They are all stories. Parables if it makes you feel better. And American Gods explores what happens to the gods when the belief fades. Where do they go? What do they do?
Later today we will go see Wonder Woman. I posted last week that I've been calling it by the full title, Wonder Woman, Please be Good, Please be Good, Please be Good. And it's not really a joke. That's what I've been chanting ever since it was announced. Her brief cameo in BvS gave me hope. She was the best part of that movie. It's important to me that her story is told well. It doesn't have to follow any of the old story lines from when I was a kid, it doesn't have to hold true to what I think of as Diana's back story. It doesn't have to do any of that, it just has to be good. She needs to be strong. She needs to be independent. She needs to be courageous. She needs to kick ass. Please. Just please be good. Because her story is important to me. She is important to a lot of little girls masquerading as grown women. I am incapable of putting on cuff bracelets without pretending to block bullets. I can hear the theme song from the 70s show in my head and will always be disappointed I cannot change clothes just by spinning fast. All of those things mean something to me, but what they really mean is that SHE was. SHE was there. A hero who I could aspire to be. For a geek girl there aren't as many options. But SHE was always there. And there are legit arguments over who would win in a fight between her and Superman. My money is on her. Demi God vs. Alien? I'm betting on the Demi God.
The stories of life are our lives. The things we find that we identify with. The tales we tell ourselves to help us lead better lives. Whether it's a religion, or a fable, or just a "let me tell you this real quick" thing. The stories are important.
Our stories are important.
Keep living your best story.
Keep sharing your best tales.
And keep loving the stories that shape you.
No matter the cuffs...pew...pew...pew...