Thursday, March 01, 2007

Me and Charlie Brown

The Peanuts comic strip debuted October 2, 1950.

I don't recall when I started reading it, but it was a fixture of my daily life for several decades, right until the final sweet goodbye on January 3, 2000.

Gotta love that Snoopy for his sense of whimsey, his keen imagination, his soaring daydreams. He could be -- and was, in his own mind -- anyone and everyone. Having for a long time lived in daydreams myself, I understand that fascinating Beagle. And we share a certain ambition: to write that great book of all books!

And who can forget Snoopy's devoted master -- the one and only Charlie Brown?

I feel that Charlie Brown and I have several things in common.

For one, we share the same October 2 birthday. (different years, though)

He's been called, among other things, wishy-washy.
Now, I don't consider myself wishy-washy. Perhaps I lack instant decisiveness. But you see, I believe in looking at all the sides, weighing all the angles (this odd cliché comes from mathematics!) Thoughtful delayed decisiveness is, to me, a signature Libra trait.

Like Charlie Brown I often felt as a kid that no one understood me, and I was something of a loner. I had a reason for that: you have to be alone to read, and I was a reader. I did have that Snoopy-like imagination to fall back on, as well as a large interesting family and, like Charlie Brown had, an array of diverse friends.

My husband and kids will say that at Christmas I usually selected what was known as a Charlie Brown Tree, some poor misshapen lopsided tree that no one but its mother could love. They wanted a perfect, lush, beautiful tree. I reasoned even the most grotesque set of twigs deserved a home at Christmas and would look beautiful when decorated. And I was right.

Snoopy called Charlie Brown "that round-headed kid." And I guess he was.

I was known as having a round-shaped face--as stated in the passport I had at age four:

Cat - age 4

The final Peanuts comic strips are here.

Charles Schulz died February 12, 2000, a little more than one month after he bid a beautiful sad goodbye.

I have missed that comic strip ever since. My gaze still automatically gravitates to the space it occupied in the daily newspaper.

I thank Charles Schulz for having created the best ensemble cast of lovable cartoon characters. Ever.