30 Days of Carol: Day 30 – Dearest

Dearests,

There are no accidents; only month-long commitments. There are bits and then there are bits. This one, the latter. It would’ve found us one way or another, this two-year old movie that’s not old enough to even be a droplet running down the umbrella of nostalgia, but also not new enough to warrant such torrential – if we’re going to stay with this rain analogy, and I’d love if we did – coverage.

But everything comes full circle. Be grateful it was sooner rather than later. Some might say it was too later than sooner. To me directly, for reasons that will be a forever mystery to me. But what do you do, not have a little fun on the internet? Not make friends and connect with old ones? Not distract yourself for even three minutes – or however long it’s taken to read these posts; we’re not Medium so this is a rough estimate, and please no one correct me in the comments with something like, “It’s actually more like one minute,” which I will understand to be something that is meant to both undermine me and insult the caliber of the posts in this series –from the never-ending cycle of hell that awaits you in another tab?

You’ll think it harsh of me to say so, but no explanation I offer as to why I’d start something like this and then abandon it exactly 30 days later will satisfy you. Which is convenient for me, because I don’t have one. It’s a little bit like when someone asks you why you did something and you ask them back, “Why do you think I did it?,” and then with bits and pieces of their response craft a hideous papier-mâcheté version of an answer.

You’ll think it underwhelming of me to say so, but one explanation I offer as to why some of these posts seemed more thought out than others – even though exactly the same amount of effort (that became detrimental to my life in many ways outside of this) went into every single one (seriously! ((sad!))) – is that sometimes your girl’s got it and sometimes she doesn’t. But know I’ve loved every second of it. Truly.

Please don’t be angry when I tell you that you seek resolutions and explanations because you’re gay, but you will understand this one day. It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it grea— whoops, slipping into A League of Their Own here. But when you finally understand… I want you to imagine me there to greet you with a vat of creamed spinach. Our lives stretched out ahead of us, a perpetual Waterloo sunrise.

But until then, there must be no contact between us. I have much to do, and you, my darlings, even more. Please believe that I would do anything to see you happy. So, I do the only thing I can… I release you.

Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 207 articles for us.

74 Comments

  1. Erin this was no accident and you would have risen to the challenge one way or another.
    I’m so sorry that we’ve come full circle.
    I cannot be grateful that it was sooner rather than later.
    You’ll think it harsh of me to say so, but I’ve become shamefully addicted.
    Yes I know Autostraddle will go on, our very own perpetual sunrise, but right at this moment, the end of 30 Days of Carol is my Waterloo.

  2. When we first started this journey, I had no idea how deep it would take us.

    30 days of a movie starring Cate Blanchett’s perfect face? Yes please. A spiritual journey that would change all of our lives? Did any of us really know we were signing up for this?

    Thank you, Erin. Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better, but I have been changed for good.

  3. I think it’s apt that we have spent these 30 days of Carol in spring. While some may consider this the end, might the whole body of this work have been a chrysalis or egg, or some other kind of lifecycle-related mixed metaphor that I will forget to go back and edit to make sense of before I hit submit? Perhaps now, the pupa of Carolheadonism is ready to wriggle forth and metamorphose into its true form, which doesn’t really bear thinking about.

    Like those above, I am a profoundly different – if, objectively, no better – person after 30 days of Carol, and for this I thank you, or at least definitely don’t resent you, dear Erin.

  4. A perfect end to a perfect series. I feel like Mary Berry at the end of GBBO season six when she gets all teary and she chokes out, “I enjoyed every minute” and then walks off camera because old British broads aren’t supposed to cry. Thank you, Erin. And also “Please don’t be angry when I tell you that you seek resolutions and explanations because you’re gay” made me laugh very hard out loud.

    TO PRESIDENT MCKINLEY!

  5. I feel the bitter bile borne of grief rising up and I just know I’m gonna have to pull over and puke on my way to work this morning.
    Seriously, Erin, your commitment of time and thought and effort and talent in crafting 30 Days of Carol was “the most breathtaking and generous of gifts” (not to mention funny as hell).
    I thought I dissected and pored over and pondered and relished every frame of Carol to an unprecedented degree, and then you make the “This is June Christy!” 1958 release catch and I am floored! (kneeling before our Queen)
    I can never thank you enough for the joy you have given me, and so I’ll do the only thing I can — I’ll return in a few days and post a whispered “I miss you. I miss you.”

  6. It’s all they think about,
    The joy that must be hidden from everyone,
    Can they see anything else,
    As the walk together under the hidden sun,
    Do they know it’s Christmas time at all

    Carol & Therese,
    Carol & Therese

    Carol & Therese,
    Let everyone know that they’re in love,
    Carol & Therese,
    Let everyone know that they’re in love,
    Carol & Therese,
    Let everyone know that they’re in love

  7. Erin ~ we know the circle has now closed, and we will all loop into infinity.

    Waterloo – Promise to love you for ever more
    Waterloo – Couldn’t escape if I wanted to
    Waterloo – Knowing my fate is to be with you
    Waterloo – Finally facing my Waterloo

    Erin, thank you for inducting us into the sisterhood of the traveling gloves. You fingered our fate, and we are forever grateful.

  8. I was there all along for the ride. Not much of a commenter but this was so much worth it. Thank you so much for the great fun I’ve had, to you Erin and all the commenters who have made this the loveliest time I’ve had on the internet since its inception.

  9. Erin, thank you for not only keeping this film alive, but also somehow making it even better with every word you write.

    Except for the Carl thing. Please, for the (g)love of god, bury the Carl thing.

    Seriously, though. When Carol was first released, I had just moved to a country where I hardly knew anyone and certainly didn’t know any fellow Carol-headed queers. I went to see the film by myself and left the cinema buzzing with such mind-boggling joy, I couldn’t keep from smiling like a maniac all the way home.
    Like many people, when I really like something, I get the overwhelming urge to share it; to seek out folks who will scream and cry and hyperventilate with me. It’s one of the ways I feel really connected to others. There wasn’t anyone, though, and so I wrote pages and pages of ecstatic fangirling in my diary instead. It made for a poor substitute.
    Watching Carol for the first time was amazing, but it also heightened my sense of loneliness.

    Since then, I have met many wonderful people, all of whom will listen to me and sometimes even scream and cry and hyperventilate with me. It’s incredible.

    And then there are your articles. To me, they are a do-over. I get to experience the happiness and excitement (and totally neutral feels about Cate Blanchett’s face/back/hands/everything) I felt then and actually share it this time. And see it being mirrored by other Carolheads.
    All of it reminds me I’m not alone anymore, and it feels so, so good. Thank you.

  10. Erin, thank you for this labor of love. Because of 30 Days of Carol, I have been enlightened, and now I’m finally going to watch Carol for the first time tonight. I had given myself the forever gift of Carol on DVD a couple of Christmases ago, but I had been waiting for the right occasion for my first viewing. After going on this 30-day pilgrimage, I have realized that I should not delay my enjoyment of this masterpiece any longer, and that the ending of this journey is the special time for my first experience of The 2015 Oscar-Nominated Film Carol.

  11. This series has awakened me to the glory that is Carol and I have now gone from seeing this movie zero times to seeing it many times.

    If I were the cast and/or crew of the 2015 Oscar-nominated film Carol, I would MUCH prefer this series of Internet content to any “prize” that might have come out of the 88th Academy Awards.

  12. It took me a long time to finally see Carol…as in just this past week. I’ve been avoiding it because I knew it would DESTROY my queer heart. So thank you for this incredible 30 days and the insane amounts of validation for this taking up all of my free head space throughout the past 5 days a.k.a stage two: implosion. I haven’t talk about it much with people irl, but y’all always just “get it”. This page feels more like home everyday.

    You are an angel xoxo

  13. Dear Erin,

    Does this mean that I have to attend a random party, meet Carrie Brownstein’s eyes across the room, and share a brief and uninspiring conversation with her before I hear from you again? Please advise.

    Yours,
    Hannah

  14. ERIN. I’m a few days late to this, mainly because I’m in denial that it is over, but thank you for 30 Days of Carol. It kept me going through a long month and was part of the reason why I joined A+. Also “you seek resolutions and explanations because you’re gay,” had me laughing out loud. Thanks for the LOLs. Thanks for the CarLOLs. It doesn’t work, but I’m gonna make it work.

  15. Is nobody celebrating Carol Day? Am I too late to this fantastic game? I feel so alone!!

    I, for one, am meeting friends at Ella in Sacramento where I will drink a dry martini with one olive, and will then proceed to watch Carol. Again.

    Happy Carol Day!

  16. I also thought (hoped) there might be a new round of comments or even a new thread on this special day, but it looks like “the folks in 42” have checked out.

    Happy Carol Day, Happy Birthday to Rooney and it’s never too late to celebrate the masterpiece that is Carol…

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