Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the publishing of Margaret Mitchell’s epic Civil War novel, Gone With The Wind. I’ve read the book 20 times (that’s 20,960 pages in total, y’all!), watched the movie at least a dozen times, and have gleaned numerous lessons, particularly about relationships, with the turn of every page. I’ll share, after the jump…1. Flirt: With anything and everything, because you can. Scarlett O’Hara, in my opinion, was kind of feminist for her day. She flirted and wore her sexuality with pride, questioning what it mean to be a lady, not caring what the other more uptight and judgmental women thought.
2. Keep Your Friends (If You Have Them) Close And Your Enemies Closer: Scarlett wanted Ashley Wilkes like nothing else, but when he opted to marry Melanie instead of her, she did what any headstrong Southern lady would do. She married Melanie’s brother Charles so she could be part of their inner circle.
3. Blood Is Thicker Than Water: So steal your sister’s man, because she’ll eventually have to forgive you, because you’re family. After Charles died in the war and Scarlett was left pretty much destitute, she tried to woo Rhett Butler, who was profiting from the war. When he rejected her, she stole her sister’s beau, Frank, who was also doing well financially. Bitch gotta eat!
4. How To Make A Man Jealous: Marry someone infinitely more handsome and smarter. I don’t think there is a woman on the planet who has read Gone With The Wind and actually understands what Scarlett sees in balding, wimpy, mealy-mouthed Ashley, when that fox Rhett Butler is standing right in front of her. However, when Scarlett finally wed Rhett, her beloved Ashley finally turned green with envy. Charles and Frank weren’t real competition, but against Rhett, Ashley knew he paled in comparison.
5. Appreciate What You’ve Got: Before it’s too late. At the end of GWTW, after Melanie dies, leaving Ashley free to be with Scarlett (if he could possibly muster up the testosterone to pursue her for reals), Rhett walks out and Scarlett realizes she loves him. But, frankly my dears, he didn’t give a damn.
Additional Life Lessons:
- Do not let your small child ride a horse side saddle. She will fall and die just like Bonnie Blue Butler.
- Do get an epidural during childbirth. Melanie was in so much pain!
- Drapes make for amazing DIY dress fabric, especially in green velvet.
- If he drags you up to the bedroom kicking and screaming for sex, it’s totes rape. I don’t care that Scarlett seemed all glowing the next morning!
- Trust the local whore — Belle Watling helped save the hides of Ashley and his cronies when they got in trouble for attending a KKK meeting.
- Oh yeah, seriously, don’t fraternize with KKK members. They are trouble.