On Tangled (and why it’s wonderful)

After a long (but great) night at Bible study in the next town over, I’m ending it all with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and watching a movie that, in light of the Frozen obsession, everyone seems to have forgotten about.  Can we all just take a moment to appreciate what a fantastic movie Tangled is?

I mean, Mother Gothel is one of the most terrifying Disney villains.  I often find that the scariest villans are the ones with no superpowers.  Take Gaston from Beauty & the Beast.  He’s horrifying because he fights with ignorance, pride, good looks, and the popularity card.  Gastons actually exist in the world.

Mother Gothel is in that same boat.  She doesn’t have any superpowers, but what she has are words.  And oh, how skillfully she uses them.  She twists and wraps Rapunzel in her lies to the extend that Rapunzel doesn’t even realize she’s being emotionally abused.  There are people like that in the world.  Not just people, there are mothers like that in the world.  That’s why this movie is resonating so deeply this time around.

Well, that and the fact that I keep reading into it as an allegory for Christianity.  I went to an event at a local church a couple of years ago where a guy analyzed the entirety of Tangled (performing the songs as they came along) and tied it into Christian faith.  It forever changed the way I see this movie.

Also, stuck in a tiny town in the middle of the prairie with nothing to do but watch movies and freak out about my impending finals, I kind of relate to Rapunzel here:

P.S. This is my 100th post on Keep Your Feet!  YAY!!!

If I were a villain, this would be my tragic backstory

I.

You know the paper that goes around muffins and cupcakes?  At six years old, I was convinced that they looked like sunflowers.

One day during kindergarten, my mom packed me a muffin.  When I finished eating, I boldly approached Mrs. Hopkins and gave her the paper.  I was filled with the can’t-sit-still anticipation that six-year olds feel when something wonderful is about to happen.  My heart glowed as I watched my teacher inspect my thoughtful gift.  Her expression, though, was not one of pleasure.  Disgusted, she demanded “Why are you giving me garbage?”

I tried to explain that it wasn’t garbage–it was a sunflower!  It was a beautiful, thoughtful gift!

She threw it away.

I was crushed

II.

When I was eight, I desperately wanted a pet fish.  Around this time, it just so happened that my second grade teacher’s classroom goldfish had babies.  Mrs. Anderson told me that I could have one when they got bigger.

Determined to become a fish owner, I went home and did as much research as possible.  I inspected my dad’s old fish tanks that were in our pole barn (all broken) and scoped out the pet section of Wal-Mart for potential bowl accessories  (Castle?  I think, yes.)  My parents were hesitant, but I assured them that I would feed them every day and clean the tank once a week.  Grudgingly, they agreed.

Every day, I pestered Mrs. Anderson about the fish.  She had placed the babies in a separate bowl.  I’d gaze at their tiny bodies swimming about and constantly asked: “Are they big enough?”  “Are they big enough?”  “When can I take mine home?”

One day, Mrs. Anderson combined the fish bowls.

The mom and dad ate the babies.

To this day, I have never owned a fish.

III.

In middle school, I had to take this class called F.A.C.S.–also known as Family and Consumer Science.  Each week, you’re given a partner and assigned to a station.  At these stations, you learn practical life skills like budgeting, marketing, child care, how to properly set a table, cooking, etc.

One week, I was about thirteen at the time, I was assigned the sewing section.  The task was to make a wall hanger with pockets using the sewing machine.  At the end, we attached a wooden rod and string to our creations so we could hang them up at home.

All week, I battled that machine.  It was a long, valiant struggle, but I made the best wall hanger I possibly could.  I even decorated it with permanent markers, spelling my name in colorful block text.  I knew that my project wasn’t anything amazing–nothing like the spectacular wall-hanger that I saw Lisa making the week before.  But I had worked hard, and I was proud of my accomplishment.

At the end of the week, I presented my wall-hanger to my teacher (also named Mrs. Anderson) for my grade.  She was a kind-hearted, soft-spoken woman and I expected a “well done” for my efforts.

That’s not what happened.

Mrs. Anderson looked down at my sewing project…

And she laughed.

I haven’t touched a sewing machine since.