Carrie and Debbie, RIP. I don't know why, I mean I always liked Princess Leia, and I liked Postcards from the Edge, (autobiographical novel/movie partly about her relationship with her mother. Her mother wanted to play herself in the movie. Which I find so damn hilarious. By the way Debbie was Grace's mom on Will and Grace and I always felt like she was just playing herself, just a bigger version of herself and very much like the character in Postcards.) I liked Carrie in Blues Brothers and Harry met Sally. But I never really got how exactly hilarious and feminist and feisty she was until the last year or so.
It's odd to me, I learned so much about her in the past year right before she died. And her mother too. I never cared for old movies or musicals for that matter. But my daughter was thinking about auditioning for Singin in the Rain at school so we started watching scenes from the movie on youtube. (Debbie was in this musical. She was 19, never been in a movie, never studied dancing, you would never know!) For some reason, I was fixated. I just kept trying to find more scenes, watching some of the sequences over and over. There is something very intelligent and witty in that movie, even with all the crazy jumping over couches and weird dancing with raincoats. It looks like a silly little musical, but there's something tongue in cheek about it, something cool about it that I never saw before.
And at this point in in my life, I realize how much I have in common with Carrie and it's not exactly cool. Obviously we both have issues with weight although she was never as big as I used to be. We both struggle with society's ideas of how a woman should look. Quite often when I was thinking about surgery I kept asking myself if I was just doing it to fit in, to give in to what society thinks a woman should look like. Was I selling out as a feminist? And I realized no, I just wanted my self back. Yes society thinks women should be skinny (at least white North American culture) but I was skinny until I went to college, and I was just me, and I wanted my self back. I wanted to be able to walk without my ankle killing me.
So I watched what they call in Mexico "Carrie Fisher is a character" but what she calls "Wishful Drinking" which is a one woman show, sort of stand up but not. A memoir on stage, a monologue about her life and her musings on relationships with men.
I found out that she was with Paul Simon for a long time, I had no idea! He's one of my favorite musicians and I had no clue. Anyway then she divorced him and married another man who has the same first name as my second husband. Not only that but he was about three years younger than her, so was my second husband. And her second husband was gay, while mine is gender fluid or trans or something. And they were together around five years. Same thing with my second husband.
She has one daughter, so do I. We are both very close with my mother. I could see any of the three of us just falling into a stroke or something if one of us died. I hope that never happens but I get it, I get how she didn't want to live anymore with out her daughter. She was married four times, Debbie was. Four times. And I wonder if she thought every time that this is the one or if it was like "Well I did it before, I might as well try again, let's see what happens." And all her husbands were cheats or stole her money from her. In the end I think Carrie and Debbie both figured out that for them, family and relationships with other women were the glue of life and the best form of love. I feel like I'm there right now.
I never thought I'd be saying that. I used to be such a romantic, such a fool for love. And the operative word here is fool.
My counselor keeps trying to figure out how I ended up with a cross dresser/trans/gender fluid man and I think part of it was because I tend to choose men who would piss my father off. Yes all these years later I'm still in this adolescent stage of rebelling against my father who I haven't seen in twenty years. Or maybe it feels like the safe thing to do. If I can just do the opposite of what my father would want, then that is the right thing. But it's not the right thing, it's reactionary and its' still basing my actions on my past and on running away from him and his abuse instead of going within myself and figuring out what I want.
That was a huge part of my process before I had surgery. Sometimes I felt like I gained weight to say "@~$& you" to my father. He wanted me to be his pretty doll, his princess, his perfect girl with the long blonde hair, the good grades, who was proficient at foreign languages and participated in all the church crap and performed her instrument perfectly in church, and was an acolyte and did everything perfectly so people would look at him and say "oh wow you're such a great father". And I think gaining weight was a big old finger to him but it was also to push him away due to the molestation, and it was a way to push men away, and it was a way to have control over my body, and I ate to avoid feeling, and I felt like the weight protected me.
So I'm a survivor. I'm taking antidepressants too, and will for the rest of my life until they find some other cure for this disease. Carries' ashes are in an urn shaped like a Prozac pill. I just have to laugh. I've been on paxil over twenty years, and god that would be so ironic to be in a paxil shaped urn. Actually more likely would be an urn with the paxil molecule on the side of it.
I'm going to paraphrase Carrie, "If my life weren't funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable."
And she hated the word "survivor" but said "the problem with being a survivor is you have to keep getting in trouble to show everyone your talent."
and her mom said "well dear what is the alternative to being a survivor? Not surviving?"
I only hope my daughter and I are close like that when we are older.