Saturday, June 18, 2005

Women who Let Others Orchestrate Their Lives

Okay, so last night while I was organizing my weekend activities, I was watching Lifetime Movie Network. Yes, I watch LMN. I ADORE LMN and the regular Lifetime TV.

Anyway, so I'm watching this movie titled "Betrayed: A Story of Three Women." Brief synopsis: Two women have been best friends since childhood. Both have children who are either in college or about to go to college. One is married and lives the typical "happy life" (Meredith Baxter-Birney plays her). The other is a widow (Swoosie Kurtz plays her--LOVE her name!). Swoosie's daughter is having an affair with Meredith's husband. Swoosie's character finds out and battles to decide whether to keep the secret (though she's pissed off with her daughter and orders her to leave the house) or to tell her best friend. It doesn't matter because the husband breaks down and tells Meredith. She's pissed, of course, and makes him leave.

Sounds typical and normal for her to do this. Well, here's the kicker. Her husband, when trying to get back into her good graces goes into this "conversation" about how lying has been around forever: husbands do it to wives, wives to husbands, sisters to brothers, friends to friends, children to parents, parents to children. It's life. But he's there, trying to apologize, trying to make it work between them.

Meredith goes off, telling him, so that's supposed to make it right? People lie and so we're supposed to accept it?

Later, when Swoosie is trying to patch things up with Meredith (who found out Swoosie kept the secret), she tells Meredith that the world she lives in is gone. Being truthful, being honest--those are things of the past. This is real life. Life is a mess. People lie. We can either live in our "boundaried" worlds and keep our morals, or we can open our boundaries, forgive, and keep people in our lives.

THIS PISSED ME OFF TO NO END. I understand the whole concept of forgiveness. I try very hard to practice it myself--to an extent. But I thought it was SO BOGUS that this woman was given the option to keep her morals and beliefs or to forgive (at someone else's timetable) and keep the people in her life.

In the end...of course, it looks like Meredith may "talk" to her husband to see where they stand, and she and Swoosie become buds again. I couldn't be happy about it because it felt like Meredith wasn't allowed to fully grieve over her situation and decide on her own what roads to take. Her friend and her husband made her feel like she was the wrong person for not hurrying up and giving them chances.

I think this pissed me off MORE because in many books I've read in the past, women often have to deal with things like infidelity, who they want to love and when they want to love that person, parents telling them what to do, life telling them what to do, and it seems like the women are often NOT living "their" lives but lives coordinated and orchestrated by others, and as a woman who hates for anyone to tell her what to do unless she ASKS them, that just infuriates me.

But yeah, just wanted to throw this out into the universe to get off my chest. Now back to my regularly scheduled program of grading English 090 papers.

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