Every time something dire happens and I’m like ‘but what’s on Netflix,’ I assume that my heart is made of hematite (fashion first, then hostility) and that I am the most unfeeling and hideous person on the planet (but what’s on Netflix, though?), however, once in a while something kicks me with a cowboy spur right in the FEELINGS.
Generally speaking, it’s something to do with animals, queer rights or feminism, and I get all yelly about it (anger stems the flow of tears, said the most sensitive insensitive person on the planet – think of THAT the next time I offend you), but today my heart broke just a bit over The Velveteen Rabbit. Okay, seriously, I am not the best at liking anything to do with children’s anything because WHY, and you KNOW this; exhibits A, B and C right here, but perhaps it’s being an only child (“ahhhh,” said the audience, collectively, “that explains so much,”) and having an affinity for all things plush (exhibits DD, E-e-e-e-easy and F-U-C-K-I-N-G-H-E-L-L) that made my lower lip quiver over seeing this today:
Choking back sobs as I Instagrammed the death of childhood next to text from The Velveteen Rabbit, the metaphor penetrated my force field of uncaring princessness, as I’ve recently been talking a lot about people being REAL, and having dealt with innumerable instances in which individuals have been LESS THAN while claiming to be ADEQUATE (at best), I was struck by a wave of sentimentality usually reserved for pregnant women watching the Hallmark channel while there’s a special on “You Should Really Have Been A Better Granddaughter” featuring orphaned puppies. YEAH.
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
I won’t go through the whole re-posting of the book, but if you want to cry forever – presuming you have any soul whatsoever – here’s a clip of Meryl Streep reading the first bit, followed by some other random guy concluding.