Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Ain't Gonna Be Maggie Smith No More

I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
No, I aint gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Well, I wake up in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin' me insane
It's a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more. - from "Maggie's Farm", Bob Dylan, 1965

Old Shoes, Second Avenue, Manhattan
The last week, if not a week from hell, was far from pleasant. A whole heap of bad stuff happened, and as they say in America, 'and then some'.

The worst single thing though, came  from two very different people. Two women who have never met  and who are different in age, nationality and location, living about 2,500 miles away from each other.

Independently, without prompting, out of the blue, for no reason that I can fathom, each told me, on the same day, that I reminded her of British actress Maggie Smith. You know the one. She's about a hundred and was the nasty mother in Downton Abbey. More recently she played a major role in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", a film that I had no interest in seeing when it came out, and now have even less so.

Here's what the New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden had to say about the Maggie Smith and her Marigold Hotel character. "The character has the screenplay's meanest and snappiest lines, but it is beyond even Ms. Smith’s capacity to make Muriel's eventual metamorphosis, from monster into sweet, caring old lady who befriends a low-caste Indian servant, remotely credible." (Seven Tickets to India, Please, and Reservations for an Adventure.)

Old Woman, Third Avenue, Manhattan
Two women independently telling me that I am like Maggie Smith. Yikes! Of course they each back-peddled. "Oh I mean your AURA!" explained one. "I just mean that she's funny in a sarcastic dry sort of way," apologized the other. It was getting worse and worse. As they dug themselves in deeper I tried desparately to change the subject, for both our sakes.

Two hours and 2,500 miles apart they simultaneously echoed, "But you would just LOVE the movie!" Sure. ASIF!  Do these people even KNOW me?

The next day was my birthday. I kept looking in the mirror. Looking back at me I saw a worried looking woman who looked as if she had no aura whatsoever, and who couldn't crack a joke if her life depended on it.

The birthday emails started coming in. The first one was from  my uncle. "Happy Birthday" in happy bold 42 pixel high red letters.

I replied in an instant - "Two people independently told me I look like Maggie Smith so am in deep depression! Quelle horreur!"

He answered me with, "Well, as the cliché says : The alternative is unthinkable."

I was devastated!

"The unthinkable alternative? That SHE looks like ME? Oh no!"


Vanessa said...

People are idiots. Period.

You are a vibrant, smart, witty, and warmhearted person who should celebrate the wonderful qualities of you.

Anonymous said...

Oh that the good lord, the gift to give us, to see ourselves as other people see us.

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