Fried Green Tomatoes

friend green tomatoes

(photo: Desi, the Italian voice - flickr.com)

I’m not really a big ‘chick flick’ person, but I love that movie. Not really so much for the story of Ruth and Idgie, although that’s entertaining enough. No, for me the real attraction is watching as Evelyn (Kathy Bates) transforms. Forget a coming of age story; Evelyn proves that it’s never too late in life to find yourself.

Even though I’ve lived outside of the South for most of my life, in some ways I still had a fairly Southern upbringing. Life was full of things that ladies do or don’t do. Some of them were relatively banal – ladies don’t chew gun, run in the house, say ain’t, spit, or scratch in public.

Some things that seem innocuous enough, though, can become toxic. Do as you’re told. Don’t object, argue, or give your opinion unless it’s asked for. Be agreeable. Don’t interrupt, don’t be selfish. The list was almost unending, but in some ways, they all came down to the same thing: What you need is unimportant. Put everyone else’s needs first. If there’s anything left over, take care of yourself, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience anyone else.

Don’t even get me started on the ‘rules’ for dealing with boys. A whole new level of, well, I don’t even know what to call it. But that’s a story for another day.

But somehow along the way, I managed to miss out on the training for what seems to be an essential part of the true Southern lady – the quiet backbone of steel. Hell, forget steel. A backbone of titanium. Remember Gone with the Wind – Melanie Wilkes rising from her sickbed and rushing to Scarlett’s aid when the Yankees showed up at Tara? She could hardly walk, but she would have fought to the death for her loved ones. She was sweet, kind, thoughtful and gracious, but there was a line. That line didn’t waver, and couldn’t be crossed.

In the past, I’ve been guilty of biting my tongue or turning the other cheek while my lines were being crossed. I thought maintaining harmony was too important to risk, that keeping relationships by allowing others to do as they pleased was more important than taking care of my own needs.

In Tomatoes, Evelyn follows Idgie’s lead in calling for Towanda. Towanda, the avenger, righter of wrongs, queen beyond compare! I’m gonna find my own Towanda, and put her to work. She’s been lazy for far too long.

3 thoughts on “Fried Green Tomatoes

  1. Lucky Star says:

    Thre is actually a Towanda site out there for Towanda moments. I posted on it a few years ago when I found out that my now ex husband was cheating on me. I TOWANDA’d him REAL good. The site is: http://www.43things.com/entries/view/2845634 and this is my entry. We all need that Towanda moment!

    Love and light,

    Lucky Star

  2. Naomi says:

    Have you read the book? It’s really sad how in the book, Idgie and Ruth are pretty obviously a lesbian couple, but in the 1991 mainstream movie, this is obscured.

    • The Chick says:

      I haven’t read the book yet (it’s been on my ‘yeah, I’m gonna read that’ list forever), although I’m familiar with it. It certainly wasn’t blatant, but I thought that for a mainstream movie, especially at that time, the lesbian issue was pretty obvious. Or maybe it was just obvious in terms of media stereotype nudge-and-wink hints. Especially where Idgie was concerned, starting right from the beginning with her refusal to wear a dress to the wedding, pretty much everything about Idgie was a Hollywood “look here, can’t you tell she’s not a REAL girl?” banner. I can’t say that the subtlety improved the story, but without it, they would probably never have gotten major studio interest or distribution. It would have been pigeon-holed as a niche movie, because after all, why would normal people want to see a movie about those homasexshuls? (ending snark mode now)

      Heh heh…there’s a whole ‘nother topic of discussion!

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