Last month my mother and I watched Gone with the Wind. She loves this epic Civil War drama almost as much she loves her cats (so much). I enjoyed all 238 minutes of the film and not just because of my mother’s adorable and animated facial expressions.
At the end of the film, the handsome and wealthy Rhett Butler has been in love with the spoiled and vain Scarlett O’Hara for a decade. Although they are married, Rhett’s feelings of love and affection are unrequited by selfish Scarlett until the very last scene when he prepares to leave his wife for good.
“Where shall I go? What shall I do?” a tearful Scarlett asks, having realized that she finally loves Rhett back.
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” replies Rhett. He leaves, closing the door behind him.
Since watching this movie weeks ago I have had Rhett’s infamous last line on the brain. It was not until today that I realized why, that I, too, don’t give a damn.
I realized this today when someone asked me why my hair is blonde-ish and no longer red. But when my hair is red, people say it is too bright, too bold, that it looks better brown. And when my hair is brown, people say I should lighten it or straighten it. And when my is hair straight, people say it looks better curly. And when my hair is curly, people say it is too frizzy but at least my pink lipstick is pretty.
And when I wear turquoise lipstick, people say it is too much, that I should try a different color. And when I wear purple or blue or red lipstick, people wonder why I always wear lipstick. And when I do not wear lipstick, people ask how come I did not put on any lipstick that day. And on days when I do not put on lipstick, people say it is okay because I look good, look like I have lost weight.
And when I lose weight, people warn me not to get too thin, not to lose my curves. And when my curves are at their curviest, people say that I need to lose weight, that I can do so by avoiding gluten. And when I do not eat gluten, people say that gluten intolerance is fake. And when I eat gluten, people remind me that I am not supposed to, but at least I write such a good blog.
And when I blog about dating, people say I should blog more about social work. And when I blog about social work, people say I should blog more about dating. And when I blog more about dating, people say it is okay that I go on so many bad dates, at least my hair is such nice shade of blonde-ish.
And when my hair is blonde-ish….well, you know the rest.
‘Shoulds’ are like assholes—nothing pretty comes from them. And while there are so many worthy things in this life to give a damn about, Rhett’s last line reminds me that when it comes to the superficial, ignorant and hypercritical opinions of others, well, frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn.