The Help was so good–why can’t I remember it?

2 weekends ago, all 3 kids went on a church retreat which meant Scott and I were alone [raucous cheering and whooping].  I enjoyed many blissful activities including several hours each day to read.  I dug into Ling’s banned books (click here to read about that). 

All day Sunday I re-read The Help, which I had read a couple years ago.  It’s just my kind of book–chronicling the stories of Black maids in Mississippi in the 1960s.  Even though there’s been controversy around the book, with questions around a White woman writing in the voice of Black women, and a White character mobilizing Black characters rather than Black characters mobilizing themselves, I still loved it.

So I couldn’t wait to see the movie.  A month ago, I played hooky from work, kids and life to see a matinee.

Just me, myself and I. . .  and a crew of senior citizens.  Very senior senior citizens.  They rolled in with wheelchairs and nurses.  The whole movie long, their beepers went off, their nurses scurried to and fro to take care of them, and they squawked, “WHAT DID SHE SAY???”

I had to laugh.  The whole reason I was sneaking off to the matinee was so I could enjoy the movie without my kids squawking and fighting and asking, “WHAT??  WHAT JUST HAPPENED?”

But I didn’t care.  I wasn’t responsible for the senior set.  I could just enjoy the movie.

During the movie, I kept thinking, “This is different from the book!  The director really changed things!”
Yet re-reading the book last week, I realized the movie was actually incredibly faithful to the book.  I just didn’t remember anything from the book.

Re-reading, I flipped through pages in awe over various characters and scenes and dramatic moments.  So many were in the movie.  So few were in my mind.

Apparently I have a lot in common with the senior set with which I viewed The Help.

Although this all makes me worry I have early on-set Alzheimers (something my father constantly worried about by the time he was my age–so even that might be genetic), there’s a huge upside to losing my memory.  I can now look forward to re-reading, and re-reading, and re-reading all my favorite books without the hardest part of reading–finding a book I love.

I’ll already know I love the book, but won’t remember anything about it.  I can enjoy each book as much as the first time.

About Kathy Tuan-MacLean

CLOSE | X

HIDE | X