I have officially taken the plunge and gotten my first tattoo. The ruby red slippers.
Now this was not a spur of the moment decision, I have been saying I have wanted this tattoo for years. For my eighteenth birthday I was going to get it. But that didn’t happen. Then it was going to be before I went to go to college. But then it wasn’t. Next I was going to get it before I studied abroad and it’s obvious that at this point that didn’t happen either.
But finally here I am. Having just graduated from college and with no definite plan for my life. But with this new addition to my body, I couldn’t feel more like myself. The Wizard of Oz has always been my favorite film. It’s one of the best movies ever made but my love for this film goes deeper than just from a critic’s perspective. I grew up watching this film and saw it more times than I can count. It’s more than just a movie to me. The magic and innocent hopefulness of this story created a world of its own.
Though, it wouldn’t be until I was a teenager that my dad told me a personal story that impressed upon me the great significance this movie has on my life.
As a kid, my dad frequently had to go with his parents to social gatherings. There were no other kids or games for him to play, he couldn’t go outside, and pretty much just had to be bored for hours on end before his parents finally made the decision to leave.
However, one time it was different. One time they went to a house that had a colored TV. My dad’s family didn’t have one and playing on the screen was The Wizard of Oz. He had never seen it in color before. Just like Dorothy, he was enchanted by the Technicolor landscape. But before he could get too far down the yellow brick road, his parents came and told them they were leaving. He begged them to let him stay but they would not listen to him. My dad had to leave Dorothy to go on her magical path without him.
Well, fast-forward to when my dad got to have little children of his own. I must have been about five or six. My dad was getting out of his car in our house’s garage and before he could even get into the house I ran out to meet him.
“Dad, you have to come see this movie! It’s the best movie ever!”
It was The Wizard of Oz.
I don’t think the symbolism of this film will ever be untangled from the fabric of my life. And as if the universe hadn’t already proven this, the most spectacular rainbow appeared in front of my house today. The day before my birthday.
I hope this we all get the chance to experience the feeling of utter youthful magic that remains the essence of The Wizard of Oz, no matter what our age may be.