Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A "Giant" Comparison

While having coffee and an especially delicious crab and lobster sandwich on Saturday at The Larchmont Bungalow on Larchmont Blvd., my friend asked if I had seen the movie Giant with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. I had seen the film (I actually own it because it came in a James Dean box set that friends bought me a few years back), but it probably has been at least 10 or so years since I sat down and watched the 3+ hours long epic. My friend mentioned that Elizabeth Taylor's character Leslie reminded him of me. Of course curiosity welled up. Was she a feisty woman that made bluntly honest observations of people? Most likely. Was she portrayed as an infuriatingly dogmatic brat? Again...most likely. I wanted to watch it since it had been so long, but I dreaded seeing Liz's character...especially now that I had been compared to her. Strong blunt women--especially in older films--are often portrayed as difficult, tough, and often times heartless. They neglect to clarify that these women have a passionate heart that cares almost too deeply. I wasn't too keen on feeling bad about my stubborn personality...but for some reason I couldn't help sliding the DVD into my player.

It took three days to finish this 1956 film, which is appropriate as it spans over 50 years. One day for each generation. I probably would have turned the film off if it wasn't for my liking Liz Taylor's character so much. She was sassy and she did make her opinions heard, but her heart was soft. Truth fell from her lips and she loved fiercely, but she used wisdom in dealing with the people in her life and showed nondiscriminatory compassion toward those that no one else loved. Rock Hudson's Jordan struggles with his wife's personality their entire marriage. He wants a woman that supports him without challenging him. When she is finally able to reach down into his soul and tell him everything he has always wanted to hear from her, he claims, "If I live to be 90, I will never figure you out." She, like all willful women, is complex. It isn't necessary to figure her out. It's only necessary that he let her be who she is and receive the love she has to offer.

I have a long way to go before my comparison to Leslie Benedict is accurate. She is, after all, a character. She is being played by an actress in the confines of a carefully constructed script with lines written by a paid screenwriter and edited to have the perfect expressions at all times. I'm a human being. I make mistakes and don't always react in the correct fashion. I'm not married so I can't be credited with the wifely devotion she has nor am I a mother who has raised her children to be strong capable individuals. In many ways, I'm just starting the journey of being a Leslie. I'm still discovering what it means to speak out only when it's appropriate. To have love be seen as the ruling emotion...not the need to be heard. I hope to someday reach this goal in my own way, and live up to the Leslie comparison I've been given. Until then, I can only hope those that love me can be patient as I continuously take "giant" steps toward having a heart like Leslie.

One of my favorite breakfast or lunch spots...great food and atmosphere.

Yummy pastries!

Apparel for the day: Vintage thrifted blue floral scrunched mid-drift tube top; high-waisted navy blue trousers from H$M; camel colored oxfords from Nordstrom; $5 turquoise sunglasses from the flea market; vintage camel colored braided leather belt; vintage white metal purse; vintage gold and white cuff bracelet.

I added a vintage Levis denim vest that I bought for $1 at Jetrags to make my outfit a little more modest for the restaurant.

Close-up of vintage white metal purse. This was a Christmas gift from the grandmother of the boy I nanny.

Close-up of the vintage gold and white cuff bracelet. I bought this a couple weeks ago at the new Hollywood High School Saturday flea market.

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