Bee Afraid

Have you ever noticed that when you are “Netflix and chill”, TV and movie characters that wear glasses aren’t just mildly vision impaired, but in fact, practically blind people who can’t see without their glasses? From Velma in Scooby Doo to Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park, TV and movie characters that wear glasses would walk off of a cliff without them!

Ironically, when these characters remove or intentionally discard their glasses it is doing so to make themselves more attractive or more badass! – hint, Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory. Well, today we will take a trip down the memory lane of sadness as we dissect My Girl, Sony Pictures Entertainment (1991).

Meet Vada Sultenfuss, a bubbly, hypochondriacal 11 year old girl

A young girl, Vada, played by Ann Chlumsky is on the threshold of her teen years is living quite the unorthodox life. Raised by her father, Harry (Dan Ackroyd) a mortician and widower, Vada grows up in a funeral home where death has been fairly normalized. She lost her mother in birth (and she thinks it’s her fault) and has grown up in a funeral parlor; essentially her life has been consumed by death – in fact, she is quite obsessed about the concept through the entire flick.

My girl, talking ’bout my girl

Thomas J., played by McCaughly Caulkin is an unpopular boy that Vada befriends (he also has allergies – spoiler alert!). Throughout the summer, they share several adventures together, including one that leads to Thomas J.’s demise. But before we get into the infamous scene, let’s take a moment to recognize that Thomas J. can’t see without his glasses. What makes a terrible moment even more terrible? Well of course, that is being blind throughout the process.

Ok, now circle back to Vada and Thomas J walking through the woods and just having fun being kids. They stumble upon a bee’s nest hanging from a tree, which Thomas J. Decides to knock down (why Tom?!).. During this process Vada losers her mood ring and they both immediately begin looking for it. However, the search is cut short when the bee’s start swarming, making them both run away.

Now some time has passed and the heroic and noble Thomas J. decides to go back to the scene and try and find Vada’s mood ring. He finds the ring, but inadvertently kicks the bee’s nest while doing so. He loses his glasses as the bees swarm, and the scene cuts as he’s swatting away.

His face hurts and where are his glasses?

Thomas J. has died of bee stings due to an allergic reactions and one of the saddest scenes in the movie follows during the funeral services. As Vada enters, she immediately rushes to Thomas J.’s casket. She is intensely weeping and crying to Thomas J. To paraphrase:

…His face hurts and where are his glasses?…. He can’t see without his glasses! He was going to be an acrobat….”

She proceeds to run out of the building and runs away to see her English teacher, Mr. Brixler.

Final thoughts

Poor Thomas J. left us tragically, however if he wasn’t practically blind (on top of being allergic to bees), would he have been able to pull it together and escape to safety? If he didn’t lose his glasses, would he have been able to buy himself enough time to receive medical attention, ultimately saving his life?

I think so.

Share your thoughts in the comments sections!

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