West Side Story

Susan has already bored her family talking about West Side Story, so they can just skip right over this post if they want.

Susan is able to trace a few aspects of her personality back to their roots in her childhood. For example, Susan's parents used to drive their children down to D.C. during the steamy month of August to stand on long lines and be dragged through museums. The grown-up Susan loves museums and architecture and cities.
Loves them.

When Susan's mother wasn't screaming at Susan or breaking a wooden spoon across her ass, she would let Susan sit with her and watch the Million Dollar Movie on Sunday afternoons. The grown-up Susan loves old movies.
Loves them.
She also loves tragic movies, the sort that leave her with real grief for fake people.

When Susan was in Junior High she sat downstairs over the course of two nights to watch West Side Story.
She doesn't recall what attracted her to West Side Story, she just remembers that it took two evenings and left her devastated. Wrecked. Destroyed.
Susan walked around for weeks with a broken heart. She knew what tragedy was because she FELT it. Deeply, like a suburban thirteen year old.

Anyway, fast forward thirty five years. Susan is lying in bed late one night and finds West Side Story on the TV, three quarters of the way through. Susan hasn't watched it since that first time when it left her broken and crying in silence, praying not to be discovered.
(Sidebar: the grown-up Susan will still not cry in front of anyone unless it's completely unavoidable).

Susan was powerless to change the channel.

Tony had already killed Bernardo and was in Maria's room. The next scene found Tony in Maria's bed without his shirt on. Maria was draped fully clothed, cross intact, alongside him.
Susan knew what had just happened. Good for Maria!
Tony sings then Anita knocks on the door.
The lovers arrange to meet later that night and Tony jumps out the window. He's running down the street as Anita is let in and figures out what just happened.
Anita angrily sings to Maria about her choice in boyfriend and Maria sweetly sings back that she's in love and Anita should be able to relate, even though Anita's boyfriend was just killed by Maria's boyfriend.
Guess who's lying in bed crying?


Cutie Judy said...

Loved this line....

She also loves tragic movies, the sort that leave her with real grief for fake people.

My 3 cry your eyes out movies? The 'Way We Were', 'The Note Book' and 'Love Actually'....

Anytime I catch any of them on TV........I have to watch!

Also I call my Best Friend from 4th grade when I find The Way We Were, cuz I know she is watching too!


ps, I realize I could buy these on DVD, but somehow the 'surprise' of stumbling on to one by accident is more appealing to me

Anonymous said...

I love this post :) I know you wouldn't think it from my blog, but I have some happy childhood memories too. I'll have to work on dragging those out for viewing pretty soon.

Thanks for this great memory post!