To be a beautiful bird

by Joni Abilene

The other day I was watching ‘Annie Hall’ and decided that , unlike most women who watch the movie, I am actually more like Woody Allen than Diane Keaton. I think women want to be a sort of wispy, quirky intelligent bird like Annie, but I’m too neurotic and analytical to be wispy. There’s a scene where they’re about to make love and she’s going to light up a joint because it gets her in the mood, and you can see he’s disappointed by it because he can’t grasp why she’d want to escape. He saw it being more about him than anything else. I’m so like that. Anyway, there’s a lack of connection when someone gets high. It makes me sad; let down. In another film ‘Room at the Top’ with the beautiful Simone Signoret, Alice escapes with her lover Joe to a country cottage, and he’s about to light up as usual. She takes his cigarette, saying, “I don’t want any sense to be dulled this weekend.” Or something like that. I always thought that was a beautiful scene.

Another line in ‘Annie Hall’ that I love is from the opening, and rings absolutely true for me. It’s Woody Allen using Freud’s words to describe himself: I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member. So true. Even when it comes to writing, if someone accepts a story for publication I think, “You idiots! What’s wrong with you people?” But if they reject me I think, “You Bastards!” and secretly have immense respect for them for sticking to their guns.

I think the problem in life is we want others to want us exclusively, or our life means nothing. But if they do want us, we see all of our faults, our failures, and can’t see past them to accept the love being given. I also think some people are team players. They know how to take the losses and the gains together, whereas the rest of us know nothing about shared success. It’s foreign to us, and only makes us more afraid so we part, we create distance in order to thrive. Perhaps, for us neurotic people, a relationship will never work. Or, maybe we’re just worried that it won’t.

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