(photo credit: Il mago di Oz by Tyler Durdan on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.)
When I was a child, I looked forward all year for the one night when the television played The Wizard of Oz. It was back in the day when only three channels came in clearly, with a handful of others visible but not clear. Video tapes didn’t exist and streaming was what was done by a moving body of water.
I’m pretty sure that they played The Wizard of Oz around Thanksgiving, so when I saw it was on TV tonight, I felt like I’d fallen back in time. Even my husband (who doesn’t like to watch movies more than once) admitted he was looking forward to watching it again.
Because I relate to seven year olds better than I do to adults, I felt at ease singing along with Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Ding, Dong, The Witch Is Dead, and all of the munchkin songs (we represent the lollipop league, the lollipop league, the lollipop league.) My husband was the one doing the eye-rolling for a change.
About halfway into the movie, I was done. First of all, I knew exactly what was going to happen, scene by scene. I’ve seen the movie about fifty times in my life. Secondly, and more troubling, I found the acting and the writing and the scenery and just about everything not as good as I remembered them to be. Some parts, I found, laughingly bad.
Which made me sad. Which continues to make me sad. I didn’t even finish the show. Instead, I woke my snoozing husband up, sent him to bed, and came over to the computer (I’m stuck using a very, very old computer because my old and new laptop continue to visit the geniuses at the Apple Store) to write this blog post.
There are many things from my childhood that have disappointed me as an adult (cotton candy, for example, and the monkey bars), but this, this upsets me more than most things. I remember how exciting it was when we came back from the commercial after the house fell on the witch, and everything was is full color. I remember the field of poppies and how Dorothy could not go on because she was so tired. I remember how frightening those flying monkeys were. All of that was gone.
It feels a bit like another farewell to my youth. A significant one. And it makes me afraid to watch The Sound of Music again. I also looked forward to the annual showing of that movie on TV. I’ve seen it even more times than The Wizard of Oz. I’ve also seen it more recently and remembered loving it as much as I always did, even if I knew what was going to happen scene by scene.
Still, it’s been a few years. I’m a few years older. Maybe Maria will have lost her shine.
For now, though, the sun has gone to bed and so must I. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.
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