Yesterday afternoon I had the house to myself and as steel-grey skies dumped an ocean of water over the house and garden, I gave in to the exhaustion of a far too busy weekend, sorted laundry and watched the DVD, Julie and Julia. I’d heard varying reports of the film but even in my tired state and with half an eye on finding sock partners, I was captivated from the opening. Well, it opens in Paris so what’s not to like with all that divine architecture and the 1950s fashions where women frocked up every day! But what ultimately had me putting the socks aside were the two husbands in the film. Both men quietly supported their wives in their endevours.
As Julia Child searched to find a meaning to her life when what she wanted most in the world was a child she could not have, her husband Paul was there saying, ‘if you want to try millinery, go right ahead.’ Fifty years on, in another relationship, a modern husband, Eric Powell was doing the exact same thing. Julie, almost 30, in a job she hates and surrounded by friends who appear to be “over achieving” is struggling. Eric sets up the blog, getting Julie started on the project that will change her life.
When Julie fell on the floor sobbing when her chicken fell off the tiny bench in her kitchen, and when Julia had the devastation of the rejection of her cookbook, I was able to relate to both women. How often have I had a meltdown and asked, ‘why am I doing this?’ My husband, I suspect like many men, is very uncomfortable when I burst into tears. I think the easiest thing for him to say would be, ‘if it upsets you this much, then don’t do it.’ But he doesn’t. He says, ‘I’ll support you in whatever you decide to do.’ Both Paul Child and Eric Powell did this and it isn’t always easy.
What I got from the movie is the sense that the men loved their wives dearly and that their approach was, ‘if you’re happy, I’m happy’ , but they also had such love and pride in their wives’ achievements. That is what made me tear up. That is what has me writing this blog today.
I am blessed to have my very own Paul Child and Eric Powell. I see the pride on my husband’s face most days (hey, we’re all human and some days life with me isn’t that easy) and on the dark days, when all seems too much, when rejections flood in severely denting a long-held dream, he is there, quietly keeping the faith. That’s what gets me back in the game even though giving up might seem easier. Talking of time, the weekend is over and it’s time for me to get back into the fickle game that is publishing 2010.