A friend tagged me in a meme on Facebook. It was a picture of Gomez and Morticia Addams of the fictional and freaky Addams Family, looking bored amongst a sea of happy smiling people. The caption reads: “When You’re Forced to Hang with Regular People”. I actually did laugh out loud because not only do I love the Addams family but being the ‘odd one out’ both physically and socially really resonates with me.
I’ve always loved the Addams Family but as a child I was particularly drawn to Morticia. Whether played by Carolyn Jones in the 1964 TV series or Angelica Huston in the 1991 and 1993 films, the character of Morticia was awesome. Morticia was my complete opposite: She had jet black hair, mine was blonde, she had what I consider to be a great figure; sadly I didn’t (and still don’t, she says, keyboard covered in crisp crumbs!), the Goth look was, literally made for her, whereas I was rubbish at trying to pull it off in my late teens; she lived in a massive gothic mansion, I didn’t; she was adored by her husband, I am adored by myself (although even that took some work!) and – most importantly, she was comfortable in her own skin.
The greatest thing about the Addams Family in general and Morticia in particular was their commitment to always being themselves. They never tried to ‘fit in’ because they didn’t want to. They were proud of their sometimes horrific history, embraced their culture and identity and adored each other all while being surrounded by a culture which was pretty much the antithesis of their own. They integrated (They sent Wednesday and Pugsley to camp in Addams Family Values – hilarity ensues) and they were welcoming of people unlike themselves so long as they didn’t cause trouble (think of Cousin Its’ eventual wife).
As a child, I admired Morticia for her Gothic beauty, a beauty which I so desperately wanted but could never attain; but now as an adult in addition to her beauty I also admire her character. She was, from what I can remember (as far as Angelica Huston’s portrayal of her goes) a woman of very few words but she was extremely powerful. She loved her children, adored her husband and always put family first but when they were up against it, she rolled up her sleeves and did what needed to be done, whether it was trying to talk some sense in to ‘Debbie’, Uncle Fester’s gold-digging wife (Addams Family Values) or, taking on a job and trying to lift her husband’s spirits when he became depressed at the loss of their family home (The Addams Family). The woman was a rock!
I eventually did become Morticia-like as I got older and it happened when I stopped wishing that I was like her and concentrated on being myself. I still don’t have the long black hair, the wicked figure, the gothic mansion or the adoring husband but I am very happy with who I am; I’m always myself regardless of who I’m with or what situation I’m in; I adore my family and, when the going gets tough I do what needs to be done.
Outside of her family, there is no-one like Morticia, she is truly unique, from her appearance to her view of the world. The character never tries to be someone she isn’t which makes her all the more endearing. In the fictional world of the Addams Family, this may be quite easy but in the real world, a world where there is an increasing emphasis on mimickery, self-promotion, fame and popularity, truly being ones-self means being in the minority, however, if Morticia and her family have taught us anything it’s that the minority can be a pretty fun place to be!