I’m watching the Netflix film Dumplin’.


I like the idea of Dolly Parton, but don’t really know enough to call myself a fan. I’m from a small, fairly backward southern town which I hated and couldn’t wait to leave, and have only visited once since my parents moved. (We were driving past it on the interstate and my husband had to pee. It was legitimately the most disgusting gas station I’ve ever been in. I held it for 80 more miles.) I had a small coming-of-age experience relating back to drag queens, but it wasn’t as personal and definitely not as drawn-out as whats going on here.

Lately, I relate a lot to grief in movies. Usually, it’s specific to people who’ve lost or are actively losing a father, but some reason the grief storyline in this one is getting to me. It’s a little strange, because I don’t have a lot of personal experience with loss - I’ve lost a grandmother I wasn’t that attached to, and FluterDog. (The dads in movies thing predated losing FluterDog, although saying goodbye to her definitely exacerbated it.)

Is this an age thing? A weird, backward homesickness thing? A deep understanding of how every moment is fleeting, thanks to yoga teacher training, etc.? Or the only side-effect of monthly hormone fluctuations that Mirena can’t hide from me?

I’m not sure it matters. I’m bawling away to a Dolly Parton soundtrack and Jennifer Aniston’s regrettable Texas accent.

Do you have a flavor of self-flagellation in film?