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LJI, Week 14: I am not your Sally

'The Nightmare Before Christmas' came out in 1993.  I was 20, trying to figure out who I was in a small, southern college now that my boyfriend was away for the semester.

He called from his amazing adventure in California.  He'd seen this brilliant film, and I WAS Sally.  HIS Sally.

I was young.  I was naive.  I was flattered. I bribed a friend to drive me to the nearest mall so we could see it.

 She had long red hair and a penchant for sewing and loyalty.  Perfect.

On the way out of the theater, he said "You know, that really IS you."

I smiled crookedly over my shoulder at him when he patted my ass as I got into the car.

It was a narrative that has played out over and over in my life, and always the same characters:  my lover and his best friend, both trying to fit me into a patchwork template, both sure that THEY know "their" Sally best.

Unless it was the married man, trying to put the pieces of my shattered heart together as I did his.

Only to leave me with another sewing project.  Again.

He always signed his emails "Your Jack."

Stupid motherfucker never remembered to encrypt.  That proved singularly helpful in our respective divorces, and not in either of our favors.

Even the sweetly innocent red haired goblin, looking up at me in delight with my crooked smile.  "Mama!  She's just like you!"

In that moment, as only a mother can, I know he is going to grow up and break my heart again.  And he does.

We patch it together after years of estrangement, stilted emails making zigzag lines through my heart.

The one things that binds the fabric together is that none of these, not one, could accept my crazy quilt life.  I am not a Disney production, a facade of artfully constructed patches, each meticulously unmatched.  I do not fit that template. I am my own Sally.

Not yours.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
i_17bingo
Apr. 18th, 2017 01:57 pm (UTC)
I'm always wary of being compared to fictional characters. I understand where they're coming from, but the character, regardless of how much like me he is, always misses the mark.
d0gs
Apr. 18th, 2017 05:36 pm (UTC)
i really love this piece
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:28 am (UTC)
Thank you.
adoptedwriter
Apr. 18th, 2017 11:32 pm (UTC)
Hugs...This is fabulous!
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:28 am (UTC)
Thank you!
bleodswean
Apr. 20th, 2017 03:21 pm (UTC)
It can take a long time to get to that place, good for you!
rayaso
Apr. 20th, 2017 05:55 pm (UTC)
It can be hard when we don't fit the image people have of us. It is much better to be your own Sally than someone's expectations.
banana_galaxy
Apr. 21st, 2017 05:31 am (UTC)
I feel like other people's visions of us rarely match up with our own reality. I like the way you captured that.
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:51 am (UTC)
Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:39 am (UTC)
It's one of my favorites, too. I actually have an embarrassing amount of Sally stuff, because I *do* relate to the character.

And thank you for the compliment. *blush*
lolaslaughter
Apr. 21st, 2017 07:48 pm (UTC)
I love how you own "your Sally" at the end of this!! This was a really empowering story and I love how you find yourself and take back possession of that comparison!! <3
mac_arthur_park
Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:42 am (UTC)
Thank you. The funny thing is that I actually collect Sally stuff...and the spousebeast relates to Jack Skellington. We've just never tried to impose our views on each character on each other.
beeker121
Apr. 21st, 2017 11:36 pm (UTC)
We're the same age! I got to see "Nightmare" because a group of friends wanted to see it high and needed a sober driver - heh.

The last sentence of declaration is perfect - time to be your own you.
shadowwolf13
Apr. 22nd, 2017 01:49 am (UTC)
I love Sally and Jack .. but I'd rather be me. Great job!
halfshellvenus
Apr. 22nd, 2017 06:43 am (UTC)
It's hard being boxed in by other people's version of who you are, especially a surface version based mostly on hair and hobbies.

But as you've come to better know who you are over the years, and to speak up about it, you make yourself resilient to that-- even if others still need a little persuading.
eternal_ot
Apr. 23rd, 2017 05:01 am (UTC)
The last two lines made me happy and Cheers to that! :)
kajel
Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:16 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful. I love how you ended this.
alycewilson
Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:22 pm (UTC)
I found it endearing that your child also said, "Mama, that's you!"
xlovebecomesher
Apr. 23rd, 2017 06:50 pm (UTC)
Love this!
fodschwazzle
Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:02 pm (UTC)
Now I kind of feel like like the adoration Sally had for Jack would have been best used on herself anyway rather than on a bumbling egotist. One realization that she had been there all along doesn't make up for a plethora of occasions where she was barely a side character to his own story about himself.

She's not really a bad character to be if she stands alone, though. Thanks for making me see that with this really well built flow of events.
roina_arwen
Apr. 23rd, 2017 09:42 pm (UTC)
Great comparison piece!
tonithegreat
Apr. 23rd, 2017 09:59 pm (UTC)
Oh nicely said! It's tough when people throw you into a well-intentioned stereotype. Intentions or none- the stereotype still doesn't cover it.
murielle
Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:36 pm (UTC)
Brava! You are your own Sally! This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us!
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )