Wednesday, December 23, 2009

George Bailey is My Kind of Man

It's the eve of Christmas Eve, and I'm not ready. This morning before work I baked 36 muffins and a pumpkin swirl cheesecake. While those were baking I emptied the dishwasher, folded two loads of towels, and organized my closet. I had intended to bake last night but Katie put Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" in the DVD player and I had to watch it. Even after seeing it countless times, I couldn't walk away. I must admit that know every dialogue, every physical nuance, every dramatic musical accompaniment. If I were to start playing that movie in my head, I could run through pretty much the whole thing.

George Bailey is the kind of person I want to be when the going gets rough. He is someone who sees no clear answer when every part of his life seems out of control. Only after wishing he'd never been born, saying that the world might be better off without him, does he realize that his life has had real impact and meaning. On that bridge, he has two revelations. The first is dire and desperate. The second is elated and joyful. Even facing jail time and a ruined reputation, the newly-aware George (through divine intervention in the form of Clarence) is deliriously happy in the reunion embrace of his wife and children, and at that moment, nothing else matters. It is then that he is additionally rewarded with an abundance of love and friendship from his friends and family, which he values much more than the money they've collected to solve his financial problems. He's always been there for them, and he never asked for or expected it, but they're there for him, too. Just love it.

Poster: Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" from

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