Gentle readers, I have a confession to make.
Think back to the days of yore, far back to the most wondrous year of 1997. *NSYNC was tearing up hearts left and right. Daria debuted on MTV. MMMBop was released. Twas, a glorious, glorious time.
And one cold December night in 1997, the life of this then 6th grade girl changed forever: I saw Titanic and became friggin obsessed. Remember those screaming fangirls crying over their Leo fan mags who saw the movie like 20 times a piece? That’s, right. You guessed it–I was one of them.
I already had a well-established crush on Leonardo DiCaprio, and like any pubescent tween girl, I adored love stories. I was also super into historical fiction at the time (I swear I read every Dear America book) and I knew a lot about Titanic after doing a small project on it in school. Basically, I had a Titanic fever that had been running dormant until the night I saw the film.
I loved the story. I loved that even though we all knew what would happen, Rose and Jack managed to make us forget for awhile. My critical faculties were not fully developed so the often-hokey dialogue did not hinder my enjoyment. In fact, I relished learning every line of it. I loved the pretty costumes. I loved the score and often listened to it over and over and over. I loved star-crossed love. Oh, Rose, oh Jack, I’m an outsider too. I totally get it. Oh life is so sad and wonderful all at the same time. Oh man. This movie was pure perfection in my eyes. It was as though James Cameron had looked into my heart and said, “Jessica, this one’s for you, girl.”
The day after I saw Titanic for the first time, I began cutting out every ad for the movie in the newspaper and every picture I could snag from my mom’s People mags and started hanging them on the walls of my room. I basically had a Titanic shrine in my bedroom. My family recently got AOL and I would search Titanic fan sites printing out pictures and chatting with fans. I actually printed out the entire script because I found it online somewhere. I read every book I could get my hands on. It was ridic.
And that’s not all. Oh no, there’s much much more.
There was this little movie theater that kept playing Titanic for months. Back then, tickets were only like $4 bucks a pop, and since I was only like 12 or 13 at the time and had nothing better to do with my life, my mom would drop my best friend and me off at the theater every weekend to see it. It was like 22 times. I still have all the ticket stubs in a special Titanic box somewhere.
I basically did like every school project for the next 3 years on the Titanic. In 6th grade I remember making a construction paper life boat with plastic fisher price figures in it for something. In 8th grade we did this big project where we had to do lots of research on one decade, and I of course picked the 1910s. I wrote a paper in science class about the ship’s structure. My friends and I made a video for Language Arts where we pretended to be like a history channel show.
We would have Titanic themed slumber parties where we dressed up, drank tea and sparkling cider, and timed our viewing of the movie so that it would end at the same time the ship sank. On New Year’s Eve 1999, my BFF and I fell asleep watching it after midnight because we wanted Titanic to be the first movie we saw in the new millenium. We were hardcore people!
Also, Every year on the anniversary of the sinking, I would listen to the soundtrack and light a stick of this incense I found at Target that was supposed to smell like an ocean breeze.
God, this is embarrassing.
Anyway, as I got older my obsession waned as school, and boys and life got in the way, but there will always be a place in my heart for Titanic.
This year, the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking has reawakened the old love a bit. Don’t worry–I’m not redecorating the apartment with Leo pics, but I told Jeff that he is taking me to see the re-release of the movie whether he likes it or not. I don’t care that the 3D is going to look like poop and that we’re going to have to pay extra for it anyway, WE ARE GOING!
What can I say, a true fan never let’s go. (Heh, see what I did there?!)
And I’m loving all the new books that are being released for the occasion. I recently finished reading The Watch That Ends The Night by Allan Wolf, a (fabulous) novel in verse that follows 24 people (all real) through the journey and the sinking. I got really excited when I found a list someone had made on Goodreads with all the new Titanic books coming out for the anniversary, but unfortunately, like half of them have some weird paranormal twist. Like a girl who falls in love with a boy on the ship and he turns out to be a werewolf? What the what? No thanks. If any of you know of anything more legit please pass on a rec! Vampire and werewolf books need not apply. A giant iceberg, and Bruce Ismay are the only monsters I need. And Cal. Yep.
Any other closeted Titanic fans out there? I know I’m not the only one!