Sunday, December 14, 2008

missing george bailey

Something happened tonight that has never happened before. I saw that "It's a Wonderful Life" was on NBC, the same way that it is every year around this time. And every other year, if I'm around a television, I watch it. Because I love this movie, like not just love it as a Christmas movie, but love it in that all time favorites kind of way. I love the scene at the high school dance when they all jump in the pool, I love when George promises Mary the moon, I love "hee haw" and Sam Wainwright and poor, forgetful Uncle Billy. I love every single thing about this movie. But tonight, I couldn't watch it. Because under normal circumstances this movie makes me blubber. No matter how many times I've seen it, when George, this man who only scenes ago was so broken and so unhappy, runs down the main street of Bedford Falls joyfully shouting Merry Christmas I tear up. And then I just lose it when he goes home and runs down the staircase with all of his kids hanging onto him and throws his arms around Mary. And I'm just done by the very end, when the Bailey's living room is crammed full of people who have nothing but love in their hearts and who are willing to give what little they have, no questions asked, to help a friend in need. And then there's the music in the background and Clarence getting his wings, and it's just too much, in the best possible way. It's that rare movie moment that is pure emotion and zero cheese.

But tonight I couldn't watch it. Because I knew that I would fall apart. Like I said, under normal circumstances this movie gets to me. But right now, when I'm already a basket case, I think that I would have just dissolved into a messy, blubbering, nonsensical puddle (glass case if you will) of emotion. That's right folks, I'm a mess. I might as well come out and say it. I'm leaving Charleston in just a few short days, and well, I knew it would be hard, but it's proving too be very near impossible. I'm not going to bore you with the details of my very fragile emotional state or talk about how many times I day I seem to burst into tears (umm-let's just ballpark it at a lot), but my complete and total inability to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" for legitimate fear of what would happen to me and whether I would physically dehydrate myself from all of those George Bailey provoked tears, should paint a pretty complete picture.

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