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Reading Into Childhood

April 19, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot about childhood lately, particularly my own, as I have very little else to compare to. Mostly I’ve been thinking about how I could never stop reading as a kid. I would spend hours retelling my mother the details of every book that I read. I distinctly remember being en route to gymnastics and outlining the entire plot of A Wrinkle In Time to my exhausted mother who later admitted that she tuned out most of these rehashings. I’m still not sure how I feel about that piece of information, but I guess that when you have a child whose mouth never stops moving you have to have selective hearing and only listen for key phrases like, “principals office”, “ouch”, “help”, and “the old guy took his pants off”.

I started thinking about this because I was watching the trailer for The Help here on the world wide web. Let me start off by saying that I did read the book and I loved it. I cried, I lent it to my Mom. She cried. She didn’t tune me out with selective hearing on that one. Thank’s Kathryn Stockett. Anyway. I was watching the trailer and I–strangely– cried. I’m not even PMS-ing, people! I cried watching the end of Empire Records last night, too. I think I had a breakthrough, though, and listen up (MOM!) because it’s kind of cool:

When I was a kid, my imagination was at full speed (as is the case with most children), so I would read a book and imagine that I was in it (which isn’t very uncommon, I presume). Now, here’s the breakthrough moment: I think that I decided that I wanted to be an actress not because I wanted to be in movies, but because I wanted to be in books. So, it goes without saying that I’m in for a world of disappointment, because you CAN’T be in a book. That’s what’s magical about books. NO ONE IS IN THEM EXCEPT YOU, BUT YOU’RE NEVER REALLY IN THEM. Get it? AND, I think that’s why I cry when I see trailers for books that I read/liked/loved turned into movies. Not because Reese Witherspoon is such a poor choice for Marlena that I want to cry and watch Walk The Line on repeat to remember when I liked her and I never want to think about that book again because it’s just a studio ploy to capitalize on Robert Pattinson’s fame and Reese Witherspoon’s likability. But that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about how Emma Stone gets to play Skeeter in The Help. First off, Skeeter is NOT supposed to be pretty, and Emma Stone, bless her little twenty-two year old heart, is fucking pretty. So shut up, studio. Other than that, though, that movie is the exact spitting image of what it was in my mind as I read it. No joke, I even pre-cast Allison Janney as the Mom, because she’s just got that kind of clout with me. What that means is, my imaginationland version of a book that I enjoyed every page of is coming to life, but I don’t get to be in it. And Emma Stone does, because she’s the hottest thing since burnt toast these days. But she’s younger than me, so I don’t know how I feel about that. I mean Miley Cyrus is younger than me, too, but I have no aspirations to star in Hannah Montana Goes to The Weed Store Wearing A Purple Wig: Disguise, so it doesn’t matter much, does it?

Once again, I’m rambling incoherently and I’ve eaten an entire bag of baby carrots whilst typing this. Maybe if I only eat baby carrots for the next three months I’ll be able to audition for Patti Smith in the movie version of Just Kids. (Totally kidding. They can’t make a movie of that. THAT would be terrible. Speaking of terrible. Bye.)


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