The Mean Reds

By: Tenley

Confession: Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my all-time favorite films, even though I hesitate to say it.  After all, every girl has the iconic poster of Audrey embellished with diamonds and coffee in her room and I bet at least half of you started singing Deep Blue Something’s “I said what about…”  (If not, you are now.) So loving Holly Golightly’s mad-crazy charming self is truly not original nor does it make me the Old Hollywood connoisseur I dream myself to be. But that isn’t why I love this classic.

My love for Audrey’s long face, balletic figure, and doe eyes journey back to my moldable middle-school years.  I could go on about the immense film and book collection I’ve attained or my lust for every little black dress in existence but that would take way too much of your precious reading time and it doesn’t directly reflect my love for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

If I’m honest, this movie is pure ridiculousness camoflaqued with quirk. Holly’s character is complex. She is a dash of beauty with a whole lot of mixed in crazy. But aren’t we all just that? Aren’t we all just made up of 70% water and 30% of trying to figure out who in the world we are? I love this movie because I can relate to Holly’s true nature. I can see slivers of my mad-hatter thoughts in her and I appreciate her struggles.  She is a runner, desperate and conflictingly terrified to find a reason to stay. She is a lover and a sort of loner.  Yes, this movie is chalk full of conflicts and inconsistent ideas that dance together.  It’s about the harmony of being alone and at the same time belonging to universe, including the people that inhabit it. Plus there is a cat. Named cat. You’ll love it.

True, there are (500) reasons to fall in deep like with this movie, but the one on my heart tonight; the reason this post is being written is due to having the mean reds.  You know the mean reds. “The mean reds are horrible.  Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”  I know I do.

Tonight, I sat at my table with nothing on my evening agenda. Elbows up and nothing planned, nothing necessary to accomplish.  This should have been a moment of contentment but instead this solitude gave me just enough time to breathe in the mean reds. It washed over me.  One million little sparks of anxiety. One million little sparks made up of a cocktail of irrational and rational fears.  One million little sparks of confusion. And I know life is grand and that these mean reds mean nothing in comparison to the blue skies above. But oh man, when they hit you, they hit you something wicked.

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly would jump into a cab to find comfort in the greatness of Tiffany’s when these mean reds attacked. There is something safe there. There is routine, bigness, a sense of care, and a sense of getting lost without totally vanishing.  In this past year, I’ve been in search of my Tiffany’s in order to battle these brief but sharp mean reds. I find my Tiffany’s in writing, in hot tea, in warm blankets, baths, in dancing in the darkness, in department stores, and in deep life-filling breaths. (In through the nose and out slowly through the mouth. Try it.) I need a Tiffany’s just as much Ms. Golighty does. Just as much as I guess you do too.  So, here is my recipe for defeating these mean reds:

  1. Watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s to feel a sense of sameness

  2. Start a happy list (ex: short lines in the checkout, scrunchies)

  3. Practice Breathing. Actually practice it.

  4. Find something that distracts in a simple/positive way. Something just for you. (ex: watching a candle flicker or sipping cocoa)

  5. Ask for spiritual guidance. Pray.

  6. Talk to your friends

  7. Disconnect physically from the stress if you can (ex: turn your phone off)


Try one or try them all.  Or even, try them out of order if you wish. Make your own list- I’d love to see it!

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Oh, hello!
We're Sarah and Kaitlyn, roommates from Milwaukee who started this blog to promote creativity and life.
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