Hurray! I just finished a Christmas Knitting project! As I said earlier, I planned to have the week before Christmas off, but I worked more than ever. This led to sorrow in the Christmas Knitting arena. Had circumstances not worked against me in every way, I might have been done. I was making my friends, the twins Maria and Corinna, fraternal quadruplet mittens. I got three and a half done on time, and then when the fourth was nearly done (not at all on time), I found an unignorable mistake and had to rip back to the thumb. I was hoping to actually have them done before Epiphany, and I did make that deadline. Now for the next Christmas project. Hopefully done by St. Valentine’s Day.
While I worked on the next unfinished project (still a stealth item) I watched National Velvet, which is one of my favorite movies, and seems like a companion piece to Lassie Come Home, another serious contender for the title of fave. Both have beautiful little Elizabeth Taylor, beautiful animals, and a beautiful story of courage and determination. Thinking about this reminded me of an evening in the mists of the movies past. When Rebecca was small, we went every Friday evening to a series of American or English classics at the University in our town.
This evening long ago, Rebecca and I took a friend to a double feature of The Yearling and Lassie Come Home. Now, I hate to cry in movies, as it is embarrassing and wimpy. Plus (maybe mostly,) I look really ugly when crying and I am vain. I detest doing it, and so sometimes I must steel myself and strive mightily against it. As anyone who has seen The Yearling, a major tearjerker, can imagine, this would one of those times. Part way through the movie, my friend Phyllis grabbed my hand and said, “Oh my God! They’re going to have to shoot the deer, aren’t they?” and burst into tears, sobbing loudly next to me till the end of the movie. All around me were loud sniffles and gasps. Little Rebecca, a very sensitive child, was audibly weeping next to me, and when the lights went on, she was wet, swollen, and quite pink. I had managed to hold myself together, and was probably the only dry eyed person in the theater. Then, after a brief intermission, we watched Lassie Come Home, a relatively mild entry in the lachrymation stakes. However, by this time, I was worn down. I had expended too much effort during The Yearling. When, at the end of the movie, Lassie drug herself down the village street to meet her boy at the schoolyard gate as she had been wont to do, I fell completely apart. Rebecca was mortified. “How can anyone not cry at The Yearling? And then make a specticle of themselves at Lassie Come Home, an absolutely not sad movie?” Years later, she continued to muse at my odd lack of normal human feeling, frequently citing this as an example.
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