I To The World Am Like A Drop Of Water…

Source: Wikipedia

In pottery class we put down old newspapers because, well, I guess because the class is held in the basement of an old school and they want to protect those tables from the ‘70’s, or maybe because the clay tends to stick to those tables from the ‘70’s but not to the newspaper. And newspaper is cheap, easily available, and disposable because nobody reads newspapers anymore—except me, that is, in pottery class, where at least once a session I point out how old the newspapers are and say, “Hey, the Titanic is missing!” Or, in reference to more recent events, I’ll say, “Hey, it says the Cubs might win the World Series. Yeah, right.”

And then the other night my eye was caught by a headline about an Olympic athlete in the biathlon who couldn’t go so she was sending her twin in her place.

I pointed it out to the guy across the table from me and I said, “Is that really a story? It sounds like a riddle.”

He laughed and said, “Yeah, whoa, we’ve got some Parent Trap action happening here.”

Suddenly my brain was making lightning-fast connections and my mouth blurted out, “Hayley Mills or Lindsay Lohan?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Oh, Hayley Mills, definitely.”

Let me pause for a moment here to explain to those who might be unfamiliar with some corners of the Disney oeuvre. The Parent Trap was a 1961 romantic comedy starring Hayley Mills as a pair of twins separated early in life when their parents divorce. By sheer coincidence they’re reunited at a summer camp, hatch a plan to switch places, and, spoiler alert, everyone lives happily ever after. In the ‘80’s there was a series of sequels starring bona fide triplets and a remake with Lindsay Lohan.

I didn’t see the original on its first release, mainly because I hadn’t been born yet, but I did have a paperback adaptation of the film—Disney being Disney of course no credit was given to Erich Kastner’s 1949 novel Lottie and Lisa–that included a cast list and some shots from the movie. Disney being Disney of course the camerawork is amazing enough that it’s hard to believe it’s really one actress playing both roles.

In fact one Saturday night The Parent Trap was featured on The Wonderful World Of Disney and the next day I got into an argument with the other kids in Sunday school because I knew Hayley Mills played both roles and the other kids didn’t believe me. Even my best friend turned on me. They all found the idea of films having such advanced special effects in 1961 laughable.

I finally gave up. All I could do was sit there and stew, knowing that someday they’d look back and know I was right. Someday they’d know I was far ahead of them.

Source: Imgur

Or more likely they’d forget the whole thing, which I should probably also do.

And that moment in pottery class was therapeutic. When the guy across from me knew what I was talking about that’s when I knew I was not alone. For a moment it felt like we were twins.

And, if you’ve seen The Parent Trap, you’ll know what I mean when I say I’m the one from California.

12 Comments

  1. Ann Koplow

    I saw that movie when it first came out, Chris, and I loved it. The one with Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills.

    Are we twins?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      We certainly seem to have a lot in common, which is something to consider. I never thought of The Parent Trap as a cultural touchstone but apparently it is.

      Reply
  2. Kristine @MumRevised

    Hayley Mills! I think we had that video on VHS at one point because I saw it at least 20 times. I saw the Lohan version once before she was “Lindsay Lohan,” and am amazed at how sweet and innocent she was. We have old newspapers at our cottage left by the people who used to own the place. Every time we start a fire, we are amazed at the price of tuna.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      All these things are trips into the past. I’m not usually one to long for the good old days but there were some things back then that were a little bit better, although, comparatively speaking, I’m not sure the price of tuna has really changed that much.

      Reply
  3. Chuck Baudelaire

    The Parent Trap > The Patty Duke Show, because I always thought the idea of identical twin cousins was BS.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Well that’s one reason, but do you know what’s even greater than The Parent Trap? SCTV’s “Identical OPEC Oil Ministers”.

      Reply
  4. Jay

    How weird, I was having a very different conversation that also led to a Parent Trap reference – and the caveat of “the original, of course.”

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s bizarre. I had no idea The Parent Trap was such a cultural touchstone, especially since I only remember seeing it on TV twice: once when I was really too young to appreciate it and that second time when I was excited because I’d read the book.

      Reply
  5. Allison Everett

    Hah, I loved the original! But, I watched the Lohan one on a flight from Paris to Atlanta and I thought it was a cute distraction. I thought the little redhead was cute and figured she might have a decent career…oh well.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Well there’s still hope for Lohan to have a comeback of some sort. The original, surprisingly, seems to be so fondly remembered by so many of us of a certain age so maybe the Lohan version is fondly remembered by the younger generation and there’ll be a nice nostalgia to Lohan appearing in a sequel or future remake. Hayley Mills came back for the earlier sequels.

      Reply
  6. Paula

    We just watched the original Parent Trap last week. I don’t remember the one with the triplets. Was it also called the Parent Trap?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The one with the triplets was called The Parent Trap 2 and also had Hayley Mills in it and also Barry Bostwick, who, when it came out, my friends and I only knew as Brad from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And that was pretty funny.

      Reply

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