In Celebration of Adrienne Shelly. Also, Sara Bareilles. (For the Waitress). She Used to be Mine.

I almost wrote about Adrienne Shelly a while back, when hbomax released a documentary about her life, as told by her husband…

…while most of it was her story, and it was interesting, and it celebrated her life, the ending ruined it for me, a little bit.

We will talk about that, in a minute.

First, let’s talk about Adrienne Shelly.

Back in 2006, Adrienne Shelly had finished production on a movie that she wrote, directed, and starred in called WAITRESS…

…that featured a bunch of women in a story about women.

And PIE.*


It was funny, but dark, the males were pretty decent as the supporting cast, it was somewhat realistic and very relatable, it was quirky and it featured pie.

Waitress had been chosen to go to the Sundance Film Festival that year. Adrienne Shelly was on a successful trajectory, her only daughter was 3 years old, and then a 19 year old male confessed to murdering her, while she worked in her office…

In court, Pillco changed his account of events. He said he’d gone into Shelly’s apartment and she’d caught him stealing money from her purse, and she’d picked up her phone to call the police. He’d covered her mouth, then choked her with a sheet and hanged her.

MamaMia, link above

He originally said that Adrienne had complained about the construction noise from his construction work, and he was so enraged that she dared complain that he attacked her and accidentally killed her in the process, hanging her body from the shower rod, in an attempt to make his choice to murder her look like she had committed suicide.

Who really knows? There were only 2 people present, and the human being that knows the truth is dead, leaving only the creature that chose to murder her. And it and its class of beings is not known for being truthful, are they.

So that year, her friends, widow, and coworkers went to Sundance to celebrate HER movie, HER work, and HER success, that was stolen from her by an unhinged dicksucker.

Moving forward to 2015, her movie, Waitress, was adapted into a Broadway musical, with the story written by Jessie Nelson and the songs written by the fabulous Sara Bareilles, and it was very successful.

Being a woman who lacks appreciation for musicals, the Waitress musical was known to me, but uninteresting, except for the fact that I was certainly happy that Adrienne Shelly’s success was continuing.

Until recently, when my closest friend began sending me videos for a song that she had heard somewhere called “She Used to be Mine”, this being the version that she originally sent to me, because it’s her favorite one…

…and I fell in absolute love with it.

And I wanted to share it with you. That’s when I discovered that it was from the musical, Waitress.

Knowing Adrienne Shelly’s story, about her life, and about her senseless death, lends a weight to it, changing it. While knowing these things can’t possibly make her art, and the art that came from other women who were inspired by her, and honor her with their own inspiration, more beautiful and perfect, her absence makes all of these women’s efforts a tribute, a celebration, and all of that is certainly beautiful.

Really, if we fail to honor each other, then who will?

The documentary that her male made ended with him going to the prison as Adrienne’s murderer prepared for release after serving his measly, disappointing “sentence”, and sitting in a room with each other, with the murderer crying and mr. Shelly ultimately forgiving him, because they each have a dick and only dicks matter.

After all, Adrienne is only one of multiple women murdered by a male, each day, in the states. She doesn’t matter to them, not really, not in the long run. Mr. Shelly replaced her, after all, so.

Mr. Shelly refused to properly honor her.

That’s ok. Because other women do, and will continue to do so.

“She Used to be Mine” is about what patriarchal existence does to women, about how living under male domination and rule changes us, disconnects us from our authentic, natural selves, and turns us into servants, and so often crushes the spirit of the girl and young woman, as she grows into an adult, so much so that she no longer recognizes herself.

But she remembers that young woman. She grieves her, knowing that she used to be her…

It’s not simple to say
Most days I don’t recognize me
These shoes and this apron
That place and its patrons
Have taken more than I gave ’em
It’s not easy to know
I’m not anything like I used to be
Although it’s true
I was never attention sweet center
I still remember that girl
She’s imperfect but she tries
She is good but she lies
She is hard on herself
She is broken and won’t ask for help
She is messy but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up
And baked in a beautiful pie
She is gone but she used to be mine
It’s not what I asked for
Sometimes life just slips in through a back door
And carves out a person
And makes you believe it’s all true
And now I’ve got you
And you’re not what I asked for
If I’m honest I know I would give it all back
For a chance to start over
And rewrite an ending or two
For the girl that I knew
Who be reckless just enough
Who can hurt but
Who learns how to toughen up when she’s bruised
And gets used by a man who can’t love
And then she’ll get stuck and be scared
Of the life that’s inside her
Growing stronger each day
‘Til it finally reminds her
To fight just a little
To bring back the fire in her eyes
That’s been gone but it used to be mine
Used to be mine
She is messy but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie
She is gone but she used to be mine

She Used to be Mine, Sarah Bareilles

Here’s a performance from the musical, to give context, this song is performed when the abusive male finds money that she has stashed away to buy things for her baby…

And here’s where I make the obvious joke about this abusive male being named Earl.

Finally, yes. She used to be mine. But she still is mine, she is still there, she is in each and every one of us. I see her. In all of us, in all of you.

She is still mine. She is still yours.

She always will be.

For Adrienne. For Scarlett. For Barb. For Gay. For the Wild Women of WP. For all of the fierce, strong, stubborn, badass women who I have been blessed to know. We are all still here.❤

*my love of pie has been well documented.

Jayne ❤️

One thought on “In Celebration of Adrienne Shelly. Also, Sara Bareilles. (For the Waitress). She Used to be Mine.

  1. The links should all work, even if you see a black box, if you click on it, it will take you to the YouTube video.
    This only happens in the WP app, if you view the post through a regular web browser, the videos show up properly.


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