Why I Didn't Like Lady Bird
April 4th, 2018
It started with her chosen name, Lady Bird, when her birth name was Christine. I too go by a different name than the one I was given; Adri, instead of Adrianna. People accept my choice of name and call me it, with varied pronunciations. So I don’t relate to Lady Bird’s struggle of having people sneer at her choice of name but I do understand why she chose not to go by Christine. She didn’t want to be Christine anymore, didn’t want to have to exist as something she didn’t feel fit. Changing her name was a form of escapism that I know all too well.
Her tumultuous relationship with her mother is something else I understand; when her father described them as having “strong personalities,” my mother and I laughed so loudly my brother came out of his room to see what was going on. Screaming arguments over things that didn’t matter three days later, or longer, icy silences because both of us were too stubborn to admit that we were wrong. We, like Lady Bird and her mother, are both women who know what we want and will do what we have to do to get it.
Lady Bird’s budding sexuality and her pursuit of people who weren’t necessarily good for her is another thing that’s all too familiar; I’ve had crushes on people who my friends would have to constantly remind me were no good for me. I would never listen and continue to frantically pine over them. It wasn’t so much the people I wanted, but it was the feeling I got from liking them. The feeling of reaching something unattainable, of wanting someone who didn’t want you, hoping and praying that they’d finally deem you good enough for them. It was a feeling of inadequacy that drove me toward them, and finally realizing that I deserved better than guys who wouldn’t even return my “pokes” on Facebook was what finally drove me away.
Filling out financial aid form after financial aid form, pulling out of parking spaces to have strangers honk at me, and slamming the door in my brother’s face, the list goes on and on, but the similarities between me and Lady Bird are simple; we’re both confused teenagers who are trying to figure out the balance between what we want and what we deserve. Lady Bird was a great movie but seeing my struggle magnified onto theater screens for people to watch was too much. It felt like I was watching a joke that I was supposed to be in on, but didn’t quite understand or find funny, but laughed at anyway. It was something I wanted to keep silent, keep inside until I was finally ready to talk about it. It was something that I still don’t completely understand, and probably won’t until I’m an adult. But it is something I will grasp with time, and will hopefully be able to laugh at.