Addicted to Ink

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Wicked Witch & Me

When Jeremy, Sarah, and I were very young, each year the movie "The Wizard of Oz" was broadcast on television. It was tradition to watch the movie together, though Sarah and I often cowardly left the room when we knew the Wicked Witch would be appearing.

In between the yearly broadcast, we, at times, would watch the movie at my Aunt-Cindy-in-South-Charleston,Ohio's house...on her pre-VCR-movie-playing-contraption (in the days before most middle-income families even knew what vcrs were!). The flying monkeys, soldiers, and of course the Wicked Witch terrified Sarah and I, fascinated my brother.

[Actually, though, while I was a little afraid, I more pretended to be afraid than I actually was to appear more girly like my sister and our two doors down neighbor. Once, because the other girls were afraid of worms, I smashed one inside my Dr. Seuss book, pretending to be afraid. In all honesty, I was fascinated with worms, and used to pull them apart to see how many small ones I could make. I was a hopeless, tree-climbing, worm-digging, mud-pie-making, leaf-jumping tomboy.]

The night before Allissa was born was the yearly broadcast of The Wizard of Oz. My two siblings and I stayed all night at Grandma & Grandpa Bakers, nervous, excited, knowing that our lives would be different with this new arrival. We watched the movie then, somewhat distracted, in anticipation of the fact that this was our last year of "just us" watching it. In the future we'd have a new little brother or sister (we were expecting a brother) to watch the movie for all of the years to come.

But this very week, nearly 20 years later, I read Gregory Maguire's Wicked and now everything I thought I knew about the Wicked Witch of the West (and Glinda the Good Witch) has been utterly changed. My perceptions of them are changed. I know more about their pasts. I know about ELPHIE's mom and dad and sister and brother and nanny and lover and classmates and fears and regrets and flaws and what she never got over.

I shouldn't be surprised. Many, many, many times in my life I've been confronted with a whole new way of looking at things. I've been confronted with both sides of the story, with the idea that things and ideas were not what I thought they were. I guess that's why it's so hard for me to have a "black and white" perspective on things when all I see is grey.

No, not grey---color.


Blogger Rachel said...

I'm still taking you up on it--and possibly a trip to Broadway...?

4:15 PM  
Blogger amber said...

YES! That would rock!

1:44 AM  

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