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HomeBullshitOne and Only: The Fate of Mary Hatch in It’s a Wonderful Life

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One and Only: The Fate of Mary Hatch in It’s a Wonderful Life — 2 Comments

  1. A single woman “of a certain age”, I wish I had written this piece, which perfectly describes in detail why I absolutely detest IAWL with a passion. Growing up in the generation after this movie was filmed, I was taught to fear becoming a prim, unattractive, joyless, anxiety-ridden “old maid” and only the love of a man could save me from that terrible fate. Since no such man did materialize in my life, I am fortunate that things have changed since then. That being said, the awful characterization of Mary Hatch’s life of desolation in the alternate universe of Pottersville makes this movie infuriating, depressing and painful to watch. So, every Christmas — when it is invariably on — I make a strenuous effort to avoid it at all costs.

    • If it makes you feel any better, that mindset carried over into the 1980s, when I was a kid. We watched a lot of our mothers and aunts wind up with people they couldn’t stand for that reason, and I think it’s a huge part of why so many of us said, “I’d rather be by myself than with some asshat.” (Fun fact: a spinster originally wasn’t a bad thing — she as a woman who learned a trade and earned enough money to not need a husband, and family would often coming crawling to her for a handout. That knowledge tickled me pink.) What this long, rambling statement is meant to say: I’m so sorry that people made you feel that way. We’re working on making sure no one else has to feel that. I think that’s why I wrote this — Mary deserved way better than being George’s personal life coach.