When I was a young girl, my mother and I would watch the 4:30 movie together after school. The 4:30 movie came on right after Merv Griffin, and it ran until the 6:00pm news. I loved these movies and the time spent with my mom on the couch. Some of the movies we watched and I loved were “What ever Happened to Baby Jane”, “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte” (two of the most terrifying movies of all time), “Splendor in the Grass” (Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty as star cross teenagers, she loses her virginity and then her mind) . I was a young girl and these films were definitly inappropriate for my age, but mom didn’t notice and neither did I. My all time favorite 4:30 movie was “Gypsy”- the story of a pushy stage mom and the shy, pushed aside daughter who goes on to be a stripper. Not just any stripper- the most glamorus, sought after stripper of all time. Gypsy Rose Lee is her name, and she was played by Natalie Wood, who was at her all time gorgeousness in this film. I must have been under 10 the first time I saw this film and I remember one day in grammar school a nun asked us all what we wanted to be when we grew up, I said I wanted to be like Gypsy Rose Lee, and that went over real bad. I only got away with it because another girl in my class said she wanted to be a gas station attendant, and, apparently, that was even worse than wanting to be a stripper.
Over the years, I’ve seen this movie many times, but I hadn’t seen it in the last few years. Until this moring. I woke up way too early today, at 5:30 am! Mother’s day is now a bittersweet day for me, filled with the joy of having two amazing children who don’t just love me, but actually share their lives with me and the sorrow of having lost my own mother. The joy certainly overshadows the sadness. I like to have a little time to myself on this day, just to sit and remember the mother who made me the mother I am today, to have my time to miss her. So, I got up at 5:30, made a cup of coffee and switched on the TV- what the heck is on at 5:30 am? “Gypsy”- that’s what was on at 5:30am on this mother’s day, started at 5:30. It could only have been more poetic if it had started at 4:30. I’m not a person who believes in coincidences, so I see this as a gift. From my mother. A way of her letting me know she cherished these movies and the time we spent together watching them. My mother’s day today is starting having my time with the beautiful memory of my wonderful, extraordinary mother, and watching the movie about the greatest stripper of all time. I think my mother would love that.