I don’t consider myself to be a tv person. You know the type. Their television is always on and they’re always watching something. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. To each his own. I’m just more of a music person, myself. But there are certain things that come on that I cannot pass up. Even if I’ve already seen it a million times and I own the movie playing on television and can watch it any ol time I want. This morning, while flipping thru the channels, I happened upon one of my absolute favorites of all time and I just couldn’t resist.
Now most of you ladies out there will emphatically agree with me on this particular one. Even if you’re like me and you don’t consider yourself to be a girly girl, this movie crosses boundaries and unites us women in such a manner that only we can understand.
I was only 11 years old when this movie came out and even at that young age, Steel Magnolias had a profound impact on me. Shelby, M’Lynn, Truvy, Ouiser, Clairee, and Annelle have all came into my life at different points over the years and I find that I have been able to relate to all of them at different stages along the way.
I can remember watching this movie with my Mama and my Granny when I was little and I can remember watching them while it was playing and seeing the different expressions on their faces and the different emotions that they expressed while watching. They’d go from laughing hysterically to crying unabashedly, no matter who just happened to be in the room. And if you know my Mama and my Granny, you know they don’t do that sort of thing in front of just anybody!
I can also remember crying myself at that young age when Shelby dies in the end and even more so at her funeral when M’Lynn finally loses it. It was as if someone I knew personally had died. But just as soon as the tears had started, the laughter took over when Clairee offers up Ouiser for M’Lynn to hit so she’d feel better. If you’ve not seen the movie, you won’t understand. If you’re a man, you still might not understand.
I think I’ve probably watched this movie at least once a year ever since that first viewing all those years ago, and each time I find something different that appeals to me and speaks to me. At times, I’ve found that I’ve related to Shelby and her ever positive outlook on life and all the troubles that can rear their ugly heads on you. At other times, I’ve related to Clairee and her ever graceful attitude. Annelle’s struggles with right and wrong always tickles me. Truvy was always one of my favorites with her gossiping, yet always helpful ways. M’Lynn’s strength and fierceness has always touched me. That love that only a Mother can possess. And who can forget Ouiser and her grumpy, yet lovable demeanor. I’ve loved ’em all over the years.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the profound affect that watching this movie always has on me. No matter where I’m at in my life or what’s going on at that moment, seeing this story unfold, even though I know what’s gonna happen, always stirs something deep within me and leaves me feeling better, hopeful even, about my own life that’s playing out daily in front of me. Watching Steel Magnolias is like having a soothing salve rubbed over the wounds of daily living. It makes it all better.