100% Sally Field


Do you remember 2006? I do. That was the year I dropped out of college, moved to New York, and Sally Field returned to primteime television. Sunday nights. Brothers and Sisters. Nora was/is the character. Such a great name for a Sally Field character. As if she was born a Nora and somebody was like…. lets call her Sally before they really knew her. Y’know? Like when you meet someone named Ruth but she’s SUCH a Stacey. I tuned into the first episode. Nothing better to do on a Sunday night. I’d dropped outta school, remember? Plus her. Sally. Nora. She was magical.

I woke up today feeling the familiar weird feeling that I can best describe as a chaotic low or some kind of mania. I’m pretty sure thats not the correct medical way to describe the way it feels but…. for lack of a better word…. mania seems suitable, as the feeling does feel quite out of control, like a maniac, the Tasmanian Devil. I should come up with a less paralyzing term than mania…. something that sounds less like the medical issue of a character in an indie film co-starring Zooey Deschanel starting this weekend at The Quad. Whatever it is, its a feeling that leads to a lot of frustrations, angst, resentment, anger and wacky plotting. Its a feeling I find pretty overwhelming and tough to manage. It’s a feeling that upon feeling, stops me in my tracks.

Sally Field is great on that first episode of Brothers and Sisters. She’s the matriarch of the family. Perfect casting. She’s a cool liberal. She’s free thinking. She’s got a gay kid! Free Love! Norma Rae! She’s marvelous. I love her. I love the show. Why hasn’t Sally Field been playing this part ever since Mrs. Doubtfire. She’s been ready! Why hasn’t this started soon?! She’s great. Where has Sally Field been since Mrs. Doubtfire?

The feeling…. whatever we’re choosing to call it….. is so on the nose predictable…. literally like someone you hear walking up the stairs to come to your apartment but you have no choice to let them in, no matter what it is they’re carrying…. they arrive and you’re like…. ‘No go away! I want to enjoy this episode of ‘Cybill’ and eat this brownie… not deal with your crap’….. but it’s all…. nope…. I’m setting up camp buddy, so you better get used to me right here, right now.’ Like Cousin Eddie in the Griswald Vacation movies. And you’re Clark and you’re all…. Oh shit. Here we go again.

I wikepedia-ed it and Sally Field wasn’t doing much in the nineties or early 2000’s which surprises me…. she was in the sequel to ‘Legally Blonde’ which I don’t think I have even seen (and thats saying something) and she did a bunch of ER. I mean, yes ‘Forest Gump’ the year after ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ is something very big but I sorta think of those two achievements as their own period….. frankly, the tail end of something very very special, the end of an era. Its not like after that she went in obscurity or anything. Hardly that at all actually. But a guest appearance on ‘Murphy Brown’ does not a chapter two in a Sally Field biography make. She did some theater in the early 2000’s. That Edward Albee play on Broadway. And I remember when she did it, she was on a talk show promoting it, and my Mom and I watched it and my Mom said something like…. ‘I just think its so great that Sally Field is just being a Mom and living in New York and just doing some theater….. finally getting to relax.’ But I didn’t buy it, my Mom knew just like I knew that Sally Field didn’t want to just ‘relax’. Nobody wants that. Not my Sally. Sally wanted a movie, a something, who wouldn’t? She ain’t going down that easy.

I start to fall into old habits, a good portion of which are rooted in obsessive behavior…. tapping things a certain number of times, not wearing certain t-shirts because they yield weird luck, doing the same ritual every time I stand up. Stuff that in the moment, I am full aware is ridiculous and more than a little batty. Just now, I tried to fall asleep but it didn’t work. Too much crap going on. Too many worries, obsessions, voices, frustrations. All phony. All based on the same crap that arrived earlier, unannounced and unwelcomed. But like it or not…. its begun.

Then with ‘Brothers and Sisters’ she really nailed it. Awards, rave reviews, a hit show. FINALLY. The universe came together and we forgot Sally Field ever went away. Sally Field seemed to have always been there like the Statue of Liberty or Barbara Walters. I guess its because she never REALLY went away but she went from 100% to something like a 30 or 40….. but then poof, just like that, without any warning…. she’s back at 100% and I think thats just dandy. I can hardly remember back when she was at that 30 or 40 period. Who can? Because the good is good. And good is what matters. Congratulations Sally Field.

So now I’m here in my kitchen. I can’t really sleep because of all the crap, the garbage. Its upsetting, and there are moments where I become so angsty or resentful that I don’t think I can handle it but as we all know, I can. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. And I will remind myself that tomorrow or the next day or the next I will go from feeling 5% or 20% or whatever…. back up to a ‘Brothers and Sisters’ 100 and when I remind myself of these things, that nothing is permanent, that its always fleeting, then its like…. chill out weirdo, its all kind of cool. And okay.

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3 Comments on “100% Sally Field”

  1. Peter Says:

    You’re forgetting that in 1996 they let her star in “Eye for an Eye”. It was a huge bomb and people were very disturbed by it too. (Sally listens on the phone while her daughter is raped and murdered.) …After that people turned on Sally untill the public had enough time to forget. Then they let her have her big comeback in “Brothers and Sisters”.

  2. Andrew Says:

    I work on the show “Brothers & Sisters”, and couldn’t agree more about Sally and the show being perfect for her, and much of the cast, on many different levels. Part of that is because it’s brought to us by the folks that created “Thirtysomething” and other stellar relationship-driven shows. I know Sally – she is marvelous – I do believe she took a break to be a Mom. During an interview recently, when she was candid about her character and being a parent herself, she said a classic line that is all too true: “No one is a perfect parent. But I think the things to remember are: always listen to them, love them to death, and forgive yourself” So perfect.

  3. John Says:

    It’s very heartening how you seem to work things out or reminds yourself of the potential for things to work out on your blog. Better than medicating yourself into numbness, I think.


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