My (Birth)Date with Hannibal Lecter

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I was born on April 5th, 1992 at roughly 7pm. Today I turned 23. And, as I am reminded each year, I owe a portion of my birthdate to Mr. Hannibal Lecter.

Let me tell you the story:

When my mom went into labor with my older sister in October 1988, she and my dad had just watched a made-for-TV Jack the Ripper mini-series. Apparently the fear quotient, mixed with my mom’s low tolerance for horror, was enough to get the proper hormones pumping and chemical reactions reacting. A long 28-hours later and my parents welcomed their first child into the world.

Fast forward three and a half years and there I am, getting bigger and bigger by the day. By April 4th I am a week late and my mom really wants me out. Terrified that I am simply hanging on for dear life, she suggests that my dad rent a horror film…

…and what better one to choose than Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs. Just one month prior, the film had become the first of its genre to win the best picture Oscar, along with the rare screenplay, director, actor, and actress quartet.

Sure enough it scared the bejeezus out of my mom and as she tossed and turned (as much as one can with an ever-expanding baby bump) in the night, thoughts of Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lecter running through her mind, she went into labor.

After an apparently pleasant—and mercifully short—ordeal, I came into being: a living, breathing baby with unnerving khaki-colored eyes. Needless to say my parents were concerned that they’d remain that way (thankfully they got darker almost immediately), but most importantly I was chunky and cute and, I’d like to think, vivacious. And I was and am forever blessed with April 5th, obviously the best day of the year: thanks, Mr. Lecter!

I love that Silence of the Lambs is my birth movie for a few reasons. One, its Oscar connection and stellar film craft exemplify so much of what I have grown to love in my adult life, as evidenced by this blog. Two, the wink wink silliness of supposing that horror just “does the trick” for my pregnant mother makes me laugh; it really is a testament to my parents’ wonderful senses of humor. And three, I am thankful to be reminded that though the power of film is mighty, it cannot and will not make you become a cannibal.

Does anyone else have a birthdate-movie connection? Share it in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “My (Birth)Date with Hannibal Lecter

  1. Pingback: Weekly Scene(s): My Mom’s Favorites | I Wish I Knew How To Quit Film

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