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Kathleen always has the upper hand with her boss and love, Brad, but in the end she proves that she's playing for keeps. The Dark Corner, 1946.

With all of the dissolving marriages out there, I sometimes find more answers on what it means to be an exceptional woman and wife, not from family and friends, but fictional characters in film. Of course I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I’m not the only one who has learned valuable lessons through the passive act of watching movies. As a boy, my husband learned the art of being sexy (think young Mickey Rourke) and how to shave, from watching men on the big screen. Just as I learned it was ok to want more out of life than what I was taught, by watching Anne of Green Gables (with Megan Follows, as Anne). Happily, I know women who are amazing wives, and women who are amazing mothers; some of them thrive at both (you know who you are), so I’ll add their names to my three, silver screen examples of women who inspire me.

Nora Charles, the ultimate Wife Friday has fun with her husband and doesn't sweat the small stuff. The Thin Man movies, 1934-1947

First, there’s Kathleen in The Dark Corner. This is a Girl Friday who knows the power of her legs, but uses her head to help solve the mystery behind her man’s misery. Kathleen is played by a Lucille Ball many people have never seen before – no goofball here; she’s confident and street-smart. Second, and quite possibly my favorite, is Nora Charles of The Thin Man movie series. She comes from money, but married “beneath her,” to a man who solves crimes for a living. Nora may appear very casual about it all, but really she’s the one who feeds her husband the right questions, that help him succeed. Last, we have Carol in The Phantom Lady. Carol or “Kansas,” as she is affectionately (or annoyingly) called by her boss, is perhaps the most daring of the three women, and since she takes more risks with her life than the others – in truth she’s the real sleuth.

Carol, "Kansas" taps into her Doppelganger without loosing herself, in order to help the man she loves. The Phantom Lady, 1944

If you haven’t seen these women at work, do so ASAP, you will not be sorry. I just finished watching The Dark Corner for the 10th time, while hand-sewing zippers into several crocheted bags I made. Hey, some people enjoy listening to music while they work; I like listening to movies. Tomorrow I’ll listen to The Phantom Lady, while I finish knitting my last scarf of the season.

Over the years, I like to think that I am somehow putting the strong, adventurous spirit of a Girl Friday into each piece I create. This can be done with cooking – remember Like Water for Chocolate? So why not with woolen materials?

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