The Way We Were

Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford

It’s a sad reality when what starts as enchanted chemistry is actually never meant to be.  It’s a freak of nature when such circumstances; come together.  A fire is lit.  Yes, and even magic occurs.  Not so much as a rabbit coming out of a hat, but events that weren’t supposed to happen actually take place.  Such was the case as told in the movie, “The Way We Were“.  In it two people from opposite walks of life depicted by Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand, fall in love.  Perhaps Katie and Hubbell would have had a better shot at living happily ever after if they met 10 or 20 years later after the McCarthy Era.

But then there’d be no story.  Our hearts wouldn’t be tugged and pulled after seeing them briefly reunite in front of The Plaza in New York City towards the end of the movie

Like Romeo and Juliet, despite their contrasting social backgrounds, they experienced a keen connection. Spending the rest of their lives together was not part of the equation.

It’s not a miracle for two people each from different backgrounds to fall in love with each other.  But it is a miracle for them to walk off into the sunshine hand in hand.  Society casts a tragic spell.

My step-mom often stated “You shouldn’t marry out of your class”, meaning that couples from different social classes, were doomed.  As much as I didn’t want to agree with this observation, she was on the mark.  Our Dad truly was ‘to the manner born’.  He grew up in an exclusive enclave in, Queens, New York.  Our Mother however, was from a working town in upstate, New York.  During The 1930’s Depression while my Father’s family vacationed in Florida, our Mother’s parents took pride in being able to provide a full plate of food on the dinner table each evening.

Mom and Dad’s marriage ended 12 years later.  Need I say more?  Naturally other factors came into play most of which manifested within the realm of alcoholism.  Who know, perhaps if this destructive potent wasn’t on the scene, they could have had a shot at a happily married life.  And then again, without the booze there may never have been the magic in the first place.


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