Behind the Red Door: Molly Brown and Me

I'm goan' to move
From place to place
To find a house
With a golden stair
And if that house is red
And has a big brass bed
I'm liiiivin' there.

Those lyrics, from one of the songs in the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown have been with me since I first saw the show on tv, in childhood. Debbie Reynolds played Molly, of course, the Colorado hick who somehow became a wealthy woman, and later survived the sinking of the Titanic, but somehow, it's not her legendary activities that I remember, it's the line about the red house with golden stair.

The other thing that keeps her rattling around in my brain is that my grandfather used to tell me all the time about how she had small hands, like mine. “She would wear gloves and put her rings on over the gloves,” he said, “to show off how tiny her hands were.”

I'm not so sure about that, but it was a nice image when I needed it. (To this day, my hands are tiny, and no amount of stretching my fingers makes certain cello positions even remotely comfortable.)

In any case, I share other things with Molly – I've been instilled with a sort of bi-annual wanderlust. After two years ANYWHERE, I'm ready to try something new – it's been a pattern since I was a kid, and I'm fighting hard to control it as an adult.

It's funny, but until I looked up the lyrics this morning, I remembered them as talking about a red door not a whole red house, and I was excited because I have a red door. But then I looked them up. Still, while I don't have a golden stair, and our bed is a funky wooden thing with built in reading lights, my house is technically red. I mean, it's brick and all.

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