Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Owe It to Meryl

I've always been a watcher of people. There's something about the behaviour of people I know and people I don't that just gets the gears in my head turning. Some things are so very particular to one person while others are more generalized, some are cute, some are odd, others are downright perverse.

The reason I mention this is because I was at work the other day when one of the ladies from the administrative offices upstairs walked by me in one of the paint aisles while I was stocking the shelves. As she passed I noticed her hand go to cover her back end and she sort of waved it to and fro as if to brush away something. Normally I wouldn't even give it another thought but an interview I saw many years ago with Meryl Streep where she was talking to Gene Siskel about her career, and The Bridges of Madison County in particular, has permanently made me aware of this odd bit of female behaviour.

Siskel commented to Streep that he loved the scene where she was talking to Clint Eastwood on the porch because as she walks away and out of the scene, she brushes her hand behind her and ruffles the back of her dress. He thought it was a cute affectation and symbolic of how her character must have felt like a young girl at that moment, flirting with Clint and all, and that was an impish, youthful sort of thing for her to do in that situation. He wanted to know ehere the impulse to do it came from and if he was right in his assumption.

Meryl shyed away from answering at first but admitted that it had nothing to do with feeling youthful and instead was the byproduct of her character not wanting Clint, who she was flirting shamelessly with at the time, to see her fat ass as she walked away. That's what the impulse was for her to add that little moment to her character. They both had a laugh about it and life went on.

Almost immediately after seeing this interview, I was aware of this sort of thing going on all the time. Whether it was someone I knew, or a complete stranger walking down the street, probably 9 out of 10 women would do the little hand flap behind them as they passed you by. Probably assuming that you're, as a man, going to stare at their behinds anyway, it may not even be a conscious thing. Still, every time I see it (which is a lot) I get a chuckle and it always makes me think of Meryl and that ridiculous movie which I don't think I'll ever bother watching.

People, though, people I'll always bother with.


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