Saturday, 31 March 2012

Mission To Cure My Shyness: Part Two

I smiled at a stranger today.
Yup, it is newsworthy.

Screen Siren #3 Doris Day

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff
Born April 3rd 1924

I initially came across Doris Day when I saw Calamity Jane with my mother as a child. I was very young, no more than six years old, and had no appreciation for old films so I never paid much attention. But when I was much older I watched It's A Wonderful Life and fell in love with James Stewart and old films. The first film I properly watched starring Doris Day was Teacher's Pet. Her likable nature shone through and I instantly felt a lot of affection for her.

Doris was named after her mother's favourite silent film actress, Doris Kenyon. Her father was reportedly unfaithful to her mother and they divorced. Doris was initially interested in becoming a dancer but car accident damaged her legs to the point where she had no hope of ever becoming a professional dancer. While recovering from the accident Doris discovered that she had a talent for singing. Her mother arranged for her to have singing lessons and during this time Doris got her first professional job as a vocalist. This is when she was discovered by Barney Rapp and whilst she was working with him they changed her last name to Day as Kappelhoff was "too long for marquees." The origin on this name came from the first song she performed for him: "Day After Day."

Doris became a successful singer, singing with the likes of Bob Crosby and Les Brown. Her popularity lead to a career in films, which also provided her with more hit songs. Her talent for both singing and acting could not be ignored and in 1950 U.S. servicemen in Korea voted her their favorite star.

Doris married four times. Her first marriage was to Al Jorden with whom she had her son, Terry. Al was reportedly physically abusive towards her and committed suicide in 1967. She married George Weidler in 1946 but they divored three years later.Her marriage to her third husband, Marty Melcher, left her in debt after his death. He and his business partner had been squandering her earnings and in 1974 courts awarded her $22,835,646 for fraud and malpractice. She married for the fourth time to Barry Comden. When they divorced her claimed that she cared more for her "animal friends" than she did for him. Doris loved animals very much and was an animal activist.  She was the co-founder of Actors and Others for Animals where she campaigned for the rights of animals. 

Doris now lives in California. It cannot be denied that she was a beautiful and talented actress and singer with a heart of gold. They most certainly don't make them like that anymore.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Sociable Loner

Something has been troubling me of late. Normally I don't give it too much thought as normally I am quite content with being this way. I have many friends, but no real deep connection with any of them. I have learned the hard way that knowledge is power; the more people know about you the more they can use it against you. I desire deep and meaningful relationships where I can give myself fully to people and be an open book, but the ugly scars on my badly damaged heart keep me in check. 

I am becoming quite envious - an emotion I am not all that familiar with. Normally I am too busy inside my own head to feel envious of anyone else because I don't even notice them. Furthermore, I have always seen envy as a very pointless emotion. It my seem on the surface that somebody has things you want but that's all it is...the surface. You can not truly know how that person feels inside, what the feel they are lacking in, what they are actually envious of - they could even be envious of you. But is see friends together, talking of how they have known each other years and of all the experiences they have shared and I can't help but feel I am missing out. The solution seems so simple - just go out and meet people, make an effort to socialise and be more open. But I am shy. This is not an excuse, I am actually cripplingly shy. I am so bashful that I get bashful about being bashful. I know I definitely blush far more than the average person. I am socially awkward and unable to do "small talk." My heart just isn't in it, I like to get to the deeper stuff and have a real conversation but that seems to intimidate people or make them uncomfortable. Everyone else seems way more comfortable with superficial social interaction than I do. So the point is, even if I wasn't plagued by crippling shyness I would not be able to have deep relationships anyway. It makes me feel empty.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Susan "Genie" Wiley - Not a Wild Child, Just a Child That Should Have Been Loved

It bothers me that they refer to her as a "wild child" - as if she is some sort of animal. The only animal was her father who abused her. He decided that she was "retarded" and kept her in solitary confinement.  For the first12 years of her life he locked in her bedroom where she was tied to a child's toilet in diapers. Her mother, who was blind, was also a victim of her controlling and tyrannical husband and along with her son they were forbidden from seeing her. Genie's father beat her if she attempted to talk and would bark and growl at her to keep her quiet. When Genie was 13 her mother left her father and took her with her. After it was found out what had happened to Genie her father shot and killed himself. 

Genie was almost completely mute but often spat, sniffed and clawed. Psychologists and doctors seemed to have the intention of making her better but it seems to me that they just wanted to use Genie to make them famous. Jean Butler who was her teacher at the children's hospital did not hide the fact that she hoped Genie would help make her famous, saying that she was going to be the next Anne Sullivan (the teacher of Helen Keller). Most claimed they had a genuine affection and desire to "rescue" Genie but I feel that they treated her like a lab rat, not a child. Labelling her with the term "wild child" doesn't suggest to me that anybody has any genuine affection for the girl.

I wish that I could go back in time and take care of her. I don't think the damage could ever have been repaired, I don't think she would have ever been able to lead a "normal" life. But I would have liked her to have lead a happy one, one where she knew she was loved and that nobody would hurt her ever again. I am unsure where Genie is right now (I'm guessing she's in her fifties now) and I know she will never see this but Genie I do hope you feel loved wherever you are. You have touched the hearts of so many people and although you did not receive the love you deserved I can promise you that people all over the world love you more than you will ever know. God bless you, sweetheart.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Mission To Cure My Shyness: Part One

I'm going to talk on the phone some time this week. Yes really. They will probably think it's a prank call or call emergency services because they think someone is having an asthma attack but I'm gonna do it anyway...I think. I'm looking to do some volunteer work where I will be forced to initiate conversation *bites nails*. Strangely, I'm more anxious about enquiring about it on the phone. 

Wish me luck.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Screen Siren #2: Carole Lombard

Born Jane Alice Peters (October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942) 

Carole Lombard was a comedic actress in the 1930s. Her first ever role was in "A Perfect Crime" at the age of 12 after being spotted playing baseball in the street by director Allan Dwan. However, she did not star in a film for another four years. 

Although she is much loved for her acting abilities it must be noted that she was very kind natured and down to earth. She was known for her sense of humour and practical jokes. Due to her extroverted nature and kind heart she had many friends who loved her dearly.

She married William Powell in 1931 whom she met when they starred alongside each other in the film Man of the World. They divorced in 1933 but remained good friends. 

In 1939 she married Clarke Gable. Gable said of her: "You can trust that little screwball with your life or your hopes or your weaknesses, and she wouldn't even know how to think about letting you down." Their marriage was a very happy one and they brought out the best in each other.

On January 16, 1942 Carole died in an airplane crash which also killed her mother. Gable was devastated by her death and although he remarried two more times he was described by Esther Williams as "never being the same again, his heart sank a bit."

Carole was frank, honest, charming and kind. It is rare that you find a person who is equally as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside but she was, without a doubt, one of those people :)

And I Will Love People I Don't Even Know Until the Day I Die....

I often wonder whether I am the only person in the world who is actually troubled by the pain of people I don't know. It's one thing so sympathise and think "oh that's a shame". But to feel like you are that person. Hell, I sometimes feel even worse than that person. I have tried to stop but all I can do I suppress them for a very short time. They are still swimming around in my head, the water level rapidly increasing every time I try to forget. Then everything overflows and I can't stop feeling.

I am supposed to be at college now doing a very important maths assignment. But instead I am here because I spent all of last night thinking about someone I don't even know. I don't know what they look like, how old they are or even what their name is. I just know I am carrying their pain around with me. They don't know this, they don't even know that I exist. This is what troubles me. I want to find them and tell them things will be okay and that I went through exactly the same thing. I want to hold them and tell them that whenever they need me I will be there. But I can't, so I'm left with feeling troubled.

I don't know how to change the way I am. I know I probably should because feeling to this extent isn't normal. But my heart isn't in it. I don't really want to change because although these feelings are quite overwhelmingly painful at times I would rather feel at this depth than not feel at all.

I have an abnormally large heart. But I'm fine with it :)

Posted the the One Minute Writer Challenge "normal"

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Screen Siren #1: Louise Brooks

Mary Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985)
Although Louise was very well known for her beauty and style it cannot be denied that she was an extremely talented actress. She was strong and independent and cared little for norms and what others thought of her. Her most famous role was Lulu in Pandora's Box (1929) She was often compared to that character which sometimes overshadowed her other roles. She quit acting in 1938 at the age of 32 despite being at the peak of her career. She was tired of the ways of Hollywood and spent the remainder of her life writing, reading and painting. She became a rather accomplished writer and authored a number of books including her autobiography.
At the age of 9 Louise was sexually abused by a neighbour. This stayed with her for the rest of her life. She claimed she was incapable of real love, and that the man who abused her "must have had a great deal to do with forming my attitude toward sexual pleasure....For me, nice, soft, easy men were never enough – there had to be an element of domination." But she never let her past stop her from pursuing a film career and today she is regarded as one of the most iconic silent movie actresses.
On August 8, 1985, Louise died of a heart attack in Rochester, New York at the age of 78. To this day she is remembered for her remarkable talent as an actress, her interesting personality and her unique beauty. 

R.I.P Mary Louise Brooks. You were much loved. 

Things I Have Learned From My Life

I have learned that most people are good people and not everyone will hurt you and if they do hurt you it's a reflection on them and not you.

I have learned that I cannot save the world no matter how hard I try and this does not make me a bad person. Making a difference starts with small things e.g. smiling at someone you pass in the street. They could have been having an awful day and you smiling at them might cheer them up :)

I have learned that understanding is the greatest healer and that freedom is in understanding. This requires to let go of a perfectionist attitude and high expectations. Nobody is perfect, including yourself, and beating yourself up about what you should have done etc does not change anything. You get stuck in a rut and trapped in feelings of regret. Trying to understand why something happened allows you to be free, even if the solution is something like "it happened for a reason, I would not have [insert something good or important that came out of it here] if that had not of happened."