Growing up I watched Kevin Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables movies often. When I say often I mean it probably wouldn’t be exaggerating to say I’ve seen original and the sequal dozens of times. When Matthew picks Anne up at the train station, when Miss Stacey comes over for dinner, when Diana marries Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall.
And most of all when Anne goes to see Gilbert on his death bed and realizes that she does love him dearly, like he’s always loved her.
Through the mini-series, through the books, I grew to love Anne and Gilbert. In the books they grow to have a lovely marriage and wonderful children. Anne is a successful writer through sheer determination.
For years I wanted to be Anne and find my Gilbert – someone who would fall in love with me and set to convincing me he was worthy of my time. Someone who would love me despite my temper and my dreams and busy brain.
See, Anne is a smart girl. She’s very smart and it never occurs to her to hide that fact, even though she’s a girl and she’s supposed to want a husband and no man wants to marry a woman smarter than he is – except Gilbert did.
No man wants a wife who will challenge him as much as Anne would – except Gilbert did.
Now, Joe may not have had to work as hard to gain my affection and convince me that he was worthy of my time (no slate-breaking here), but we did become friends slowly, realizing those things we had in common, until we just clicked.
I’m allowed to be smart and loud and moody and rage-y. I’m allowed to be everything that I am and he doesn’t flinch.
Well, maybe he flinches, but he carried on.
When Gilbert first approaches Anne in love instead of just friendship she tells him she doesn’t want that, he needs to find a girl better suited to making him happy. I think we had that same conversation.
And here we are.