Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nothing Improves with Age but the Past

"Lydia" is a movie from 1941 staring Merle Oberon and Joseph Cotton.  It is about a spinster reminiscing her past (40 years later) with three rejected suitors.  She has contributed so much to the world by way of a Home for the Blind but she is trying to  tell them why she never married.  She tells the three that they never knew the real Lydia, that she was born when she started this month long affair and the real Lydia died when he left her, never to return.

This fourth suitor does show up as he was curious to what he was invited but he doesn't even remember her and he is the one she accepted a proposal from but he was a rover and playboy who had an affair with her and strung her on and kept her waiting at the altar.  All these years she remembered him as her great love and it was just another score for him.

It is true that we remember the past as we choose to and it may be far from reality and it is true that an encounter to one person can mean everything while at the same time not much to the other person.

In the end, she says they all loved an illusion of her, the blind pianist loved a blonde, blue eyed person because a child had described her doll Lydia to him and he thought she was describing the real Lydia who actually was dark haired with green eyes.  She told the older suitor he was in love with an angel, which she was not, she had actually sinned and never told him.  The football player suitor was in love with a young "idiot" which she was not.  And Richard, the man she had loved all these years only loved himself.

She said there was no real Lydia, there were dozens (as every woman knows).  She was "wise and foolish, clever and absurd, good and bad" as are all women.

I think you would have to be an old person to appreciate this movie but it surely rang true with me, it was especially interesting as she described her first ball and how it looked and then it showed how it actually looked--yes, 'nothing improves with age but the past' is soooo true.

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