Sunday, August 28, 2011

i'm a skeeter, not a milly

Photo from
So I just returned home from seeing The Help. I have not read the book, so going into the movie I didn't really know what to expect beyond the obvious deductions I was able to make about the subject matter and film quality from previews and social media chatter.

I must say, what I experienced was unbelievably moving. The story, the characters, the themes... it was all so beautiful. Words cannot truly express how it felt sitting there scene after scene becoming more empowered, more touched, and more inspired.

I won't delve into detail about the movie for those of you out there who have not yet seen it or read the book. However, a word to the wise: if you're planning on doing either, bring some tissues. Jason's sister Kim and I found ourselves a bit unprepared and were forced to tame our tears with the not-so-gentle one-ply brown napkins we picked up at the concessions counter. Don't let that be you.

(Sidenote: I'm quite aware that I've been known to take the smallest hint of an emotion and absorb it into every fiber of my being, resulting more often than not in an unexpected crying episode. Case in point being ESPN's Tim Tebow documentary during which Jason spotted a tear roll down my cheek and expressed his disapproval. Apparently crying while watching ESPN is frowned upon in our household. During this particular account, I managed to form words through the thick glossy lenses that had welled up, "...but no one thought... in the NFL... and then... the draft... and... and... his MOM... I'm just... I'm so proud." Yes, well, the point here is that I'm admitting I'm an emotional basket case (though I prefer extraordinarily compassionate), especially when it comes to movies, and I just don't want you to think I'm exaggerating about the tissues. It's a very, very powerful movie. Okay, let's carry on.)

It's interesting though. As much as I realize it is certainly a movie about race and equality and human dignity, I was surprised to find that it was as much a film about that as it was about family. Woven throughout the entire story is a theme of generational values and parenting. The lesson is that we are responsible for raising our children to be the people that we want them to be and for instilling in them the values that we hold dear: equality and human dignity. It made me think about my own mother and how blessed I am to have grown up with a mom who was so present in my upbringing. She not only taught me a sense of self-worth, but she also worked her butt off to make sure I had an open mind and an open heart, never once thinking I was born into this world being inherently better or worse than anyone else.

It gives me great comfort in knowing that if I was born back in those days, I'd be a Skeeter and not a Milly. And I wholeheartedly believe I have my mother to thank for that.

Anyway, if you haven't seen it yet, go catch the movie or read the book. It's a beautiful and hilarious story, and I feel that it's a perspective that deserves to be shared.

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