Okay, bear with me while I reference a show that will either warm your heart or make you stick your finger down your throat in that very descriptive way, the 1980's non-verbal sign for gag me with a spoon.
Brace yourself for...
Yes that show. For the last month or so, my background noise for writing has shifted from the easy to ignore (until they slip a truly great flick into the mix) Lifetime Movie Channel to the Hallmark Channel.
And, as a newcomer to the Waltons scene I've been blown away by some great story lines and even better lines of dialogue. I also realize its shortcomings, but with the turns that modern television takes can we really be critical of the oldies?
Of course I've not written any of the great lines down and I can't call up specific exchanges between Mary Beth and John Boy or John Boy and the rich fellas he meets at college while wearing beanie and bow-tie.
But, two things stand out in my mind from the show. One is a scene with Mrs. Walton as she attempts to garner work while the lumber mill is going in the toilet due to Mr. Walton's illness. She's interviewing at a temp agency and the man rattles off a list of qualifications (three) Mrs. Walton should possess in order to be employable. Of course, the two types of shorthand and number of words a person can type mean nothing to her and she leaves absolutely mortified that she is trained to do zilch in the world other than bear children and care for the home that now is in jeapordy due to the illness!
It was an interesting scene in that Mrs. Walton was deemed unemployable after the man only offered three criteria, as though there was nothing else happening on the planet except for, apparently, women being warehoused and exploited for two very specialized office skills.
It was uncomfortable to watch Mrs. Walton as her mind processed what it meant that she was entirely skilless (not a word???) and incapable of contributing to her family once she wound down the road to the bottom of Walden Mountain.
It was a striking tv moment, really it was, and for that segment of time I felt trapped with Mrs. Walton, with the idea that there were limits to her life and some of them were self-imposed and others laid down by society.
And the whole thing made me think about the limits on me these days, many of them, in many ways, most of the time, happily self-imposed (in other words, life). And I thought of how fortunate many of us are, to sometimes see or experience the limitlessness of opportunity when a little good fortune is sprinkled on top of hard work.
And of course the Walton family wrangled their problem into submission, finding a little luck to go with commitment to saving their business and house. Yeah, that's the sugary part, isn't it? Nothing wrong with a little sweet once in a while...
Well, I ran out of time to share the funny little grave-site anecdote that took place between Grandpa and Grandma, but if you really want to hear it I'll post it in the comments.