Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling

*note: my Nanny is fading, so the blog has been languishing the last week. We will see how the rest of the month pans out, but bear with my absences. Also, this post is ridiculously long. I promise I was selective*

My sister and I have been quoting the movie Steel Magnolias for so long it has become part of our personal language. For all that familiarity, however, I had never read the original play written by Robert Harling. This week, I did just that. And then, last night, I had a "date" with my little sister, who lives over four hours away. We both had Steel Magnolias in the DVD player, we pressed play at approximately the same time, and sent over 100 text messages back and forth, many at the same time. Here's the edited version of our "conversation":

ME: Was filmed in the town where the playwright grew up. Very autobiographical. Lost his sis to diabetes.
HER: Bless. I would totally rock her glasses!
ME: Totes. I would rock his.

BOTH: Mama!
HER: Practically pink my foot!
ME: You shoulda drowned them at birth.
HER: Run, boys, run!!!
ME: Pretty talk!
HER: Do you have to be so crude?

ME: This is where the play starts.
HER: Guess a pistol in a play house was faux pas!
ME: Gunshots off stage. Dogs barking.
HER: What a piece of work he is.

ME: There is no such thing as natural beauty.
ME: And I think...there's a story there.
HER: Southern ladies and a back story.

HER: His coffee's kickin' in.
ME: Give me the sports.

HER: And then there was weeza!
ME: Ouiser!
HER: Is that how you spell it?? I never would've guessed.

ME: I love Tom Skerrit
ME: And I make it a point never to deal with my wife.

HER: Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa
ME: To cut the sweetness
HER: My work tends to be too poofy when I'm nervous
ME: Look at her hair
ME: Kay pay pay day
HER: Her culuhs are pink and pink
ME: My reception. MY reception!
HER: Armadilla
HER: Shoot it, stuff it, or marry it!
ME: I love how Truvy equates romance and sex
ME: Seriously. Look at her hair.
HER: Hairdo hall of fame!!
HER: Can't imagine what 'poofy' might be
HER: Oh Shelby
HER: Get her, mama
HER: She is so calm
HER: Cooperate, please
ME: Oh I'd love to see you try
ME: Don't talk about me like I'm not here
HER: God love her

ME: That is a lot of eggs
HER: That is one ugly dawg
HER: He is a boil on the butt of humanity
HER: Don't try to get on my good side!! I no longer have one.

ME: Closing in
HER: Like vultures
BOTH: Of course you can!
ME: My personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair

ME: Look at the organist
HER: Oh!
HER: My!
HER: Lawd!
ME: I actually like Clairee's dress
HER: Dadday!
ME: It's time!
ME: Good lord, that's pink.

HER: Only $60??
ME: The 80s
HER: When fashion was high and so were the kids

ME: You know I'd rather walk on my lips than criticize anybody
HER: It's like two pigs fightin under a blanket
HER: I love Ouiser!
ME: Token black dude!

HER: Corsages are stupid
ME: When you think about it
BOTH: Rubbahs!!
ME: Buckle up, Shelby
HER: Daddy's thrilled...mama's scared
ME: I think it was the other way around in my case
HER: I don't ... mama just puts on a better game face!

ME: The nicest thing I can say about her is all her tattoos are spelled correctly
HER: Annelle...a hot chick? No.
ME: A nativity made entirely out of sparklers

ME: Weeza's pants!
HER: Is it Ouiser or Weezer...don't confuse me
ME: Ousier but I say weeza too
HER: Whew!

HER: I have Nanny's reindeer like that! We love it!
ME: It would make me nervous. Always staring at me.
HER: It stays outside.

ME: What is she making?
HER: How many eggs is she cracking?

ME: It'll look tacky.
HER: Guilty!
HER: Mismatched manger scenes at incredibly low prices
ME: Since God was a boy
HER: Mama is Weezer!!!!
ME: Been in a very bad mood for the last 40 years

HER: If you can't say anything nice...
ME: Come sit by me!

ME: I want my hair short! Not the exact quote, but the one we say
HER: Just run my fingas through it and go!
HER: This hair cut is equally as bad as yours. Sophomore year?
ME: Freshman and yes. Yes it is.

ME: Maybe she's praying because the elastic is shot in her pantyhose
HER: Who knows! Christianity! The ultimate epidemic!
HER: Oh God, your hair is so short!
ME: Ouiser you're chipper. D'you run over a small child?
HER: Love her.
ME: Shelby's been driving nails up her arms
HER: That haircut is terrible
ME: It is atrocious
HER: Abominable
ME: Drum loves poke and beans
HER: It's in the freezes beautifully section of my cookbook

ME: Wink!
HER: Shut up!
ME: Barhoppin nuns
HER: A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste
HER: Looks good...
ME: Looks real real good
HER: Can cokes and indoor smoking...the healthy alternatives to heroine

ME: Those are some pitiful jackolanterns
HER: Don't be a Halloween snob ;)
ME: Yuck yuck yuck
ME: Are you trying to confuse me, Clairee?
HER: Broaden your horizons your way, and I will broaden em mine!
ME: I am pleasant!
HER: Too. much. to. type!!On overload!!

HER: Poor Jack, Jr
ME: One my biggest fears when the kids were little
HER: She was calling daddy before she made spaghetti? How did she not get him? SHELBY!!
ME: I always wonder about the child actor. What do they do to make them cry so?
ME: And she's gonna die with that terrible haircut. Shame.
HER: Bless

HER: Open your eyes. Op..open your eyes, Shelby
ME: The boys
HER: Helpless

HER: Get off me, Drum
ME: Who has it worse? Mama or husband?
HER: What a decision...a terrible moment
ME: I'd rather it be made though
HER: Me too. Dan knows my wishes
HER: Oh mama
ME: It's definitely the mama

ME: Nobody pays enough attention to how hard it is to lose a sibling.
HER: Like losing an extremity

HER: How do her best friends not know? I wouldn't leave
ME: Not a chance
HER: Love this. Love this. Love this.
HER: I. am. so. mad. WHY?????
ME: Stages of grief in one soliloquy
HER: Amazing
HER: I was supposed to go first
HER: Papa was supposed to go first

ME: Hit this!
ME: Are you high, Clairee?
HER: Whack at weeza!!!
ME: You are a pig from hell.
HER: Get. Off. My. Bench!!!
ME: I had forgotten!
HER: You are too twisted for color tv
HER: They were true friends I think!

HER: 'I love you and your life so much we want to name our child Shelby. That's not creepy is it?'
ME: This ending was always a bit off
HER: Always. We could turn it off. Is this in the play?
ME: Nope. But the naming the kid Shelby thing is.
HER: Silly

ME: Stupid overreacting. Ruint
HER: Ruint
HER: Oh muh gawd!
HER: Because it [having a baby] happens that quick
HER: You have time for Chinese!!!
ME: Indeed
HER: Indeed

In planning this post, I found this amazing interview with the playwright, Robert Harling, at Garden & Gun. Though it is brief, it gave me a lot of new information some of which I shared in this exchange. I love how this month has taken something I know backwards and forwards and given me more insight into it. I love having a sister to share it with. Thanks, Southland in the Springtime. And thanks, sis. That was fun.

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