Friday, October 17, 2014

character influence {frocktober, day 16}

I hope you don't tire of the sunset hour. It still takes my breath away whenever I waltz out the door to that perfect pink ridge of sky. 
We took these pictures among the bright green creosote bushes on my parents property. They're lovely little things up close, with little fuzzy white buds and bright yellow five-petaled flowers. They're the actual "smell of rain" that we all know and love in the desert. I have very distinct memories of walking up the driveway as a kid, hand outstretched to touch the many branches I passed, as if I was going through the high-five line at the end of a soccer game. I would always arrive at my friend's house across the street with that fresh, smoky smell of creosote on my hands. 

My friend Amber and I had such vivid imaginations as kids. As my husband and I walked around the bushes last night, I started thinking about all of the games and characters we would play around these patches of green and gold. It got me thinking about the many characters I encountered at a young age that truly influenced me. 

I remember very vividly when I began to say, whenever I was hurt or disappointed, that I was in the "depths of despair". Anne of Green Gables had a very vibrant impact on my personality. I wanted to be poetic, witty, dramatic, heartfelt. 

My early attachment to romantic gestures led me to the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, which still gets me to this day. I love Elizabeth Bennet and her self-assuredness, her wit and her charm. Even better, I love that she admits that she was wrong. Although I would have too, for Colin Firth. 

I'm sure the gaggle of princesses I watched and loved had a pretty high impact on my love of dresses and jewelry. Camille from Little Nemo, Buttercup from The Princess Bride, Danielle de Barbarac from Ever After. And of course the Disney powerhouses, Jasmine and Belle. For obvious reasons, I always loved the dark-haired Disney princesses the best. 

Dress (shop!): Ruche, Cardigan: gifted (from Last Chance),
Lace Slip/Dress (remixed): old

Despite my affinity for sappy movies and female characters, I was quite the tom boy. My three brothers had a hand in that. I loved The Labyrinth and could sing along to all of those weird David Bowie tunes, and I begged my parents for months to let me watch Jurassic Park when it came out, even though I was only 5 or 6 at the time. Obviously my favorite Jurassic character was Ian Malcolm, who was obnoxious but witty and he was a survivor. He ended up being brave, risking his life to save the kids and charming us all with his Chaos Theory banter and sarcasm, not to mention his fetching thick-rimmed glasses. 

Then there was Philippe Gaston, played by Matthew Broderick in a little movie called Ladyhawke. I would call this a fairly sappy movie, but since my favorite character is a boy, I'm placing it here. He is the funniest little thief and was the sole cause of my Matthew Broderick crush that went on strongly into the late 90's, and still shows up occasionally when I watch Ferris Bueller or Godzilla. I love Philippe because he is honest and kind, and believes in the beauty of love, loyalty and sacrifice. I also love him because he says things like, "I know I promised, Lord, never again. But I also know that YOU know what a weak-willed person I am."

And lastly, there was the brave Atreyu, from The Neverending Story, that strange little movie that is better left to childhood recollections rather than watched as an adult. I blame him for my over-attachment to animals, because watching his horse Artax drown in the Swamp of Sadness while he screamed is something that still haunts me. I mean for real though why. 

I think characters that we love as children play such a fun part in who we decide to be, whether it's long-lasting or not. I don't still want to be Raggedy Ann, but I do cherish that Halloween memory of wearing her costume and watching her cartoon over and over. What a kind soul she is, and quite fond of candy and friendship. 

Which characters did you adore (and possibly imitate) as a child? 

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