Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

      I can’t remember the last good rainy day I spent watching old movies.  But today I had off of work and I stayed in my pajamas until four in the afternoon!  I’m a big fan of old movies, of any movies really.  My first real job was working in a video store in my hometown and I was there for five years.  It was rare for me to not bring home six films at a time, and there wasn’t a day that went by I didn’t watch at least one film.  I have several favorite older films, and I’ve never met a Cary Grant picture I didn’t like.  (I ask you, who has?)  I think the best thing growing up with older parents and siblings is that I got exposed to all the classics.  We had the whole Rogers and Hammerstein musical collection, my sister and I would go around quoting from Singing in the Rain (“An’ I cayn’t stan’em!”), and I would print full lists of every American Film Institute Top 100 program.  (I’m currently working on viewing all top 100 romance films, however the remaining films are becoming difficult to find!)

Today, I was channel flipping and I landed upon TCM (Turner Classic Movies) who just happened to be running a marathon of Doris Day films.  The perfect anecdote to a rainy afternoon!  Nothing says sunshine like Doris Day!  The film that was just starting was Please Don’t Eat the Daisies and I actually had never seen it before today.  I’m more of a Pillow Talk and Move Over, Darling fan.  Little did I know what a treat I was in for:  Doris Day, David Niven, a household of four troublesome boys (Fans of the Goldie Hawn film Overboard will know where the inspiration came from), and a movie about theater.  The film centers around the McKay family.  Larry (Niven) has recently changed professions and become a theater critic at the same time as his busy household is being uprooted from a city apartment to a large, rundown house in the country where even the dog is scared of everything!  It’s full of great witty bantor!

Kate McKay:  “The dog is shaking again.  I’m afraid he doesn’t like being here.”

Dr. Sprouk:  “Just give him two tranquilizers and he won’t care where he is.”

Larry McKay:  “Save some for me, Darling.”

The main conflict in the movie is Larry’s changing personality.  Since becoming a theater critic, he’s becoming increasingly snarky and yet more popular in the posh world of critics.  His rise in the newspaper conflicts with the family’s simple, country lifestyle.  And this got me thinking.

In today’s world of writers, don’t we too need to worry about our reputations?  What happens if our writing coins us as rude spoilers of the writing process?  I’m sure much of it depends on what we write, but we’re in the business of baring of our souls really.  And the people that help us get there are the ones in the business of crushing dreams!  How do we balance telling the truth in our writing with being a public figure?  What do you guys think?  I’d state my opinion, but Rock Hudson is on!  (Ooooooooh, whenever I want you all I have to do is dreeeeeeeeeam, dream dream dream dreeeeeeam…sorry, I’ll crawl back under the covers now.)


12 responses

  1. This sounds like a divine afternoon. I need a pj day. And a movie day.

    Want to come to Calgary? 😉

    1. As your babysitter or partner in crime? Upon further definition of invitation, we’ll talk. 😉

  2. I’ll have to watch this one. I like Doris Day movies, Rock Hudson, too. Blessings, Jess…

    1. Yes, definitely Rock Hudson! “All That Heaven Allows” is a favorite of mine!

  3. Ah, yes, we would make fine roommates indeed. Love old movies. Love Cary Grant. Love Rock Hudson. Why has AMC changed their format? Why, oh why? Well, damn AMC, I have a NetFlix subscription now. Neh neh neh neh.

    I think Please Don’t Eat the Daisies was turned into a TV show in the late 60s or early 70s. I vaguely remember watching it.

    Where is this list of 100 top romance films? I must have it.

    1. Just google American Film Institute Top 100, and you can access all the lists!

  4. My question is, why’d you bother changing out of PJs at all? 4 PM is pretty close to the end of the day – you might as well have kept them on! Unless, of course, you had someplace to be. (I’ve seen people shopping for groceries in their PJs, and that strikes me as just a bit much).

    1. Yah, I had to get to the library before it closed, otherwise I may not have bothered to get dressed.

  5. […] I feel about my writing sometimes; and Jess knows that it’s nothing an afternoon in front of an old black and white movie won’t […]

  6. Totally off the subject, but are you on twitter???

    1. Of course! @jesswitkins

  7. I’m not sure if I ever saw the movie, but I did watch the “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” TV series that was on for a couple of seasons between 1965 and 1967…one of my favourites!

    I do worry about my reputation as a writer…I am very much a “what you see is what you get” kind of writer! Hopefully, the old adage of “Do what you love…the money will follow” is true…


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