Take-two Tuesday — Movie Moment and Advice: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This post originally appeared on November 11, 2009. I’m getting to be in kind of a dark place but a few good things have happened (I’ll share the spoils of the cool email I got from Milo tomorrow) and I’m trying to stay in a positive frame of mind. When this post came up in a random search to find a worthy take-two entry, I decided it would be good for me to get uplifted.

I am not ready to go all the way in to this movie. I feel a tremendous amount about it and have a lot of memories tied too closely to it to possibly ever discuss it. But I had a few quotes and a small piece of advice associated with these pictures to share.

Clementine: Am I ugly?

Joel: Uh-uh.

Clementine: When I was a kid, I thought I was. I can’t believe I’m crying already. Sometimes I think people don’t understand how lonely it is to be a kid, like you don’t matter. So, I’m eight, and I have these toys, these dolls. My favorite is this ugly girl doll who I call Clementine, and I keep yelling at her, “You can’t be ugly! Be pretty!” It’s weird, like if I can transform her, I would magically change, too.

Joel: [kisses Clementine] You’re pretty.

Clementine: Don’t ever leave me.

Joel: You’re pretty… you’re pretty… pretty…

(Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Gondry, 2004.)

This off-set picture below was taken the day that they shot the scene where Clemmy stops the children from making fun of Joel in his memory and hustles him out of there: that is such a great moment. I have always fantasized about being able to do that for people I love, my dearest and best friends, to be able to go back in time to their saddest moments and ease their suffering, do something to take their pain away and help them see that things will get better. But it is not just my friends’ times of despair that I apply this mental exercise to. I do it for me, too.

Sometimes when I find myself haunted by a particularly painful memory, I honestly try to walk backward in my mind and picture a moment of great agony as clearly as I can, and I give my younger self a hug. I promise me it’s going to be okay. Try it. Maybe that’s how you got through it the first time, to begin with.

Am I just a big ol’ girl?

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7 Responses to “Take-two Tuesday — Movie Moment and Advice: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

  1. milo McMiloson Says:

    don’t be down…turn on the all-star game have a beer and some ChexMix!

    • E. Says:

      THAT is an amazing plan! We leave for Idaho on Friday and I’m stopping on the way up and back in Portland. On the stop on the way home I will be getting some stuff to bring back down and I just know it’s going to be really sad.

      On the upside — Spoiler alert: Ty is tomorrow’s liberated negative space and you are the daily batman.

  2. milo McMiloson Says:

    ha ha that’s funny and awesome!! I’m a little embarrassed to be the daily batman! I was just goofin’ cause you asked for a comic~

  3. milo McMiloson Says:

    and don’t worry to much about going to Portland! just keep your head up. do what business needs to be done! you are strong!

  4. B. Says:

    Incredible blog. I’m just typing this because WordPress wouldn’t let me subscribe to your writing without telling me, “Please type comment”. Okay.

  5. P. Says:


    Do you happen to know the source for the off-set picture? I found a cropped version of it (here for example: http://erase-me.org/gallery.php?id=4), but couldn’t find the source for the full version.

    Thanks. I just watched again Truffaut’s 400 Blows recently. Your post made me think about it.


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