Tag Archives: Love

A Smarter, Better Forrest Gump

The ButlerSome people are addicted to alcohol, or crack, or Cheetos, or Twinkies, or bad relationships, or, according to some weird show I watched, eating toilet paper.  Not me.  My big, dark, scary addiction is biopics.  Ok, so I would eat my own weight in Twinkies if I found a palatable gluten free version, but Twinkies truly aren’t my number one addiction.  Seriously, if a movie is advertised as “based on a true story,” I will immediately run out and apply for a loan so I can afford to go to the theater AND have popcorn. As we all know, it costs approximately $35,000.52 to see a movie, and get popcorn and a soda.

So, if you know me at all, you know that Forrest Gump has been my favorite movie since 1994. It is a love I have passed down to my son.  He and I frequently run lines from the movie together.  We take turns being Forrest or Lt. DanForrest Gump is a movie that needs a lot of analysis to fully “get.”  If you think it is just a dumb movie about a Southern idiot, you don’t “get” it.  If you think the feather floating around is just a feather, you really don’t “get” it.  Sometimes, I think only English majors and their offspring truly understand the symbolism of this film. Well, I imagine that the history buffs probably like it, too.  Even though Forrest Gump is not “based on a true story” it has a lot of actual historical events throughout the film.  The same could be said for The Butler. Here is a little article that talks about the differences between the movie and “reality.”  It even mentions the Forrest Gump connection.  So, I guess I’m not alone in this theory. The Butler

The Butler is one of those movies that makes me feel like I have done absolutely nothing with my life. I find that to be motivating rather than depressing. I have two college degrees, and I work from home, I take care of 5 pets, a teen son, and a husband, but what do I do besides stare at screens, clean, and shove food in my face? No, gym people, I’m not saying I need to cut out carbs and run a marathon.   I’m saying I think we all need to do something for people. The funny thing is that the character in The Butler, Louis, who does the most for other people is not a real person.  See the link at the end of the paragraph above, if you haven’t already.

The bottom line is if you haven’t seen The Butler, you should.  It’s not entirely a real story, but it’s a good story, just like Forrest Gump, but with a more intelligent main character.  The Butler focuses a lot on the history of race relations in this country, and by history of race relations I am talking about the fact that people have been treated like dirt simply because they have a darker complexion.  That is one of the best reasons to watch the movie, other than to see the amazing make-up work done to age Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, the butler and his wife, roughly 50 years during the course of the film, or to see John Cusack as Nixon.  The film discusses racial hatred, but it also focuses on love, and the fact that love does win.  Always. 

"WE ALL Want Something Beautiful."

I had forgotten how much I loved (Mr. Jones and Me) until it came on in the car earlier this afternoon.  My husband was driving, and I was singing along at the top of my tone-deaf lungs.  I’m glad my husband was still able to concentrate on driving.  I definitely did not get the “Petty singing voice” that I keep hearing about.  It skipped a generation and went straight to my son.

Mr. Jones and Me is probably one of the few songs I love that was not produced in the 80’s by a British band wearing extensive eye make-up.  I admire it because I’m a word person, and the lyrics just speak to how alike humans are.  We spend a lot of time pointing out our differences, but we all really do “want something beautiful,” whether it is a beautiful marriage, a beautiful home, beautiful children, beautiful scenery, beautiful art, or lots of beautiful money to count. Everyone has his or her own idea of that something beautiful. To me, Mr. Jones and Me is beautiful because it speaks about similarities that unite us, rather than differences that keep us fighting.  Really, if we are honest with ourselves, there are a lot of things that WE ALL do.

  1. We all talk about each other. Ever since elementary school, I have witnessed the same ladies’ room drama.  It usually begins with some angry girl or woman putting her hands on her hips as she stands by the row of sinks, and saying, “That @#$# was TALKING ABOUT ME!”  Really?  No way.  How dare she? Do you know that you are talking about her right now?  Everyone talks about everyone else.  It’s just what people do.  Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  Well, color me tri-minded, Eleanor.  Like all people, there are different sides to my personality.  This is because I’m not a hamster. Sometimes, I talk about ideas, sometimes events, and yes, sometimes, people.  People are interesting.  That is why EVERYONE talks about each other, and that is why trashy memoirs sell.  People want to know about other people. Get over it.
  2. We all find each other attractive.  We all have eyes, and most of our eyes can see.  I said most.  So, it is natural to notice how things, and people, look.  Even married people can find people attractive.  This does not mean they will have an affair with whoever they think is good looking.  Let’s face it, John Stamos and I are not going to run off together, but I still think he is pretty.
  3. We all change.  When I was going through a break-up, my ex looked at me and said, “You changed,” like I had just murdered a basket of kittens. Of course I did! I was 19 when we met, and 28 when we parted ways.  I grew up. I went to grad school.  I read. I met people.  I learned more.  I got my hair cut. I let it grow out.  I got it cut again.  A thousand things happened to mold me into a different person.  I have changed a lot from 28 to 41, too.  If you are not changing, you are not growing.
  4. We all have beliefs that others don’t understand. We want something to believe in, whether it is our spouse, our country, the universe, religion, science, or the kindness of others. I have a lot of Christian friends.  I’m not a Christian. It’s not a belief than ever rang true to me. I would never argue with my friends or ridicule them; I just don’t agree with them.  I DO find a lot of truth in other philosophies, like Buddhism and Ancient Astronaut Theory, that they may find odd.  We all have to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions.  People can believe in whatever they want, whether it is aliens, ghosts, reincarnation, resurrection, or countless other things.
  5. We all make tasteless jokes.  I did last week.  I was having horrible tooth pain when I found out that Cory Monteith from Glee died from an overdose of heroin and alcohol.  I told my husband, “He probably had tooth pain.”  It’s probably not funny to most of you, unless you have actually had major dental pain.  Then you KNOW I am telling the truth, and you are laughing.

Today is Sunday, and in my opinion, it is a day when a lot of people focus on their differences.  Some people go to this church; others go to that church.  Others went to church on Saturday, or they went to temple on Saturday. Others don’t go to church at all and try their best to go out to breakfast “before the after church crowd gets there.”  But, hey, we all want to eat, and who doesn’t like a good breakfast out?

“WE ALL Want Something Beautiful.”

I had forgotten how much I loved (Mr. Jones and Me) until it came on in the car earlier this afternoon.  My husband was driving, and I was singing along at the top of my tone-deaf lungs.  I’m glad my husband was still able to concentrate on driving.  I definitely did not get the “Petty singing voice” that I keep hearing about.  It skipped a generation and went straight to my son.

Mr. Jones and Me is probably one of the few songs I love that was not produced in the 80’s by a British band wearing extensive eye make-up.  I admire it because I’m a word person, and the lyrics just speak to how alike humans are.  We spend a lot of time pointing out our differences, but we all really do “want something beautiful,” whether it is a beautiful marriage, a beautiful home, beautiful children, beautiful scenery, beautiful art, or lots of beautiful money to count. Everyone has his or her own idea of that something beautiful. To me, Mr. Jones and Me is beautiful because it speaks about similarities that unite us, rather than differences that keep us fighting.  Really, if we are honest with ourselves, there are a lot of things that WE ALL do.

  1. We all talk about each other. Ever since elementary school, I have witnessed the same ladies’ room drama.  It usually begins with some angry girl or woman putting her hands on her hips as she stands by the row of sinks, and saying, “That @#$# was TALKING ABOUT ME!”  Really?  No way.  How dare she? Do you know that you are talking about her right now?  Everyone talks about everyone else.  It’s just what people do.  Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  Well, color me tri-minded, Eleanor.  Like all people, there are different sides to my personality.  This is because I’m not a hamster. Sometimes, I talk about ideas, sometimes events, and yes, sometimes, people.  People are interesting.  That is why EVERYONE talks about each other, and that is why trashy memoirs sell.  People want to know about other people. Get over it.
  2. We all find each other attractive.  We all have eyes, and most of our eyes can see.  I said most.  So, it is natural to notice how things, and people, look.  Even married people can find people attractive.  This does not mean they will have an affair with whoever they think is good looking.  Let’s face it, John Stamos and I are not going to run off together, but I still think he is pretty.
  3. We all change.  When I was going through a break-up, my ex looked at me and said, “You changed,” like I had just murdered a basket of kittens. Of course I did! I was 19 when we met, and 28 when we parted ways.  I grew up. I went to grad school.  I read. I met people.  I learned more.  I got my hair cut. I let it grow out.  I got it cut again.  A thousand things happened to mold me into a different person.  I have changed a lot from 28 to 41, too.  If you are not changing, you are not growing.
  4. We all have beliefs that others don’t understand. We want something to believe in, whether it is our spouse, our country, the universe, religion, science, or the kindness of others. I have a lot of Christian friends.  I’m not a Christian. It’s not a belief than ever rang true to me. I would never argue with my friends or ridicule them; I just don’t agree with them.  I DO find a lot of truth in other philosophies, like Buddhism and Ancient Astronaut Theory, that they may find odd.  We all have to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions.  People can believe in whatever they want, whether it is aliens, ghosts, reincarnation, resurrection, or countless other things.
  5. We all make tasteless jokes.  I did last week.  I was having horrible tooth pain when I found out that Cory Monteith from Glee died from an overdose of heroin and alcohol.  I told my husband, “He probably had tooth pain.”  It’s probably not funny to most of you, unless you have actually had major dental pain.  Then you KNOW I am telling the truth, and you are laughing.

Today is Sunday, and in my opinion, it is a day when a lot of people focus on their differences.  Some people go to this church; others go to that church.  Others went to church on Saturday, or they went to temple on Saturday. Others don’t go to church at all and try their best to go out to breakfast “before the after church crowd gets there.”  But, hey, we all want to eat, and who doesn’t like a good breakfast out?

Boy George had it right.

Time won’t give me time

And time makes lovers feel like they’ve got somethin’ real

But you and me, we know they’ve got nothin’ but time

Time

A lot of people talk about their romantic relationships in terms of time.   The teens say things like, “OMG! I can’t believe we’ve been together for 11 months!”  Translation for the older folks: That’s a super long time.  The older folks say things like, “Well, we’ve been together 40 years.” Translation: There’s really no sense in dumping the old nag now.   Young or old, time seems to be very important when it comes to dating, marriage and all romantic partnerships.

My husband and I went on our first date a little over eight years ago.  It was a lunch date on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day off for me.  I ordered wine because I was nervous.  Chris was jealous because he had to go back to work and could not have wine. All noon-time wine buzz jealousy aside, we really hit it off.  We were married within ten months, and I was not pregnant.  While eight years may seem like a long time in today’s world of marriages with shorter lives than Tootsie Pops, the length of our relationship is something I usually don’t think about.  Depending on the day, it feels like we have been together for twenty-five years, or one month, and I mean both of those in good ways.  I knew that my husband was the right partner for me early on, and I continue to want him in my life for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the calendar.

First of all, we laugh a lot.  Just a couple of days ago, we were almost crying laughing in church because the chorus was singing a Bob Marley song.  We go to a Unitarian Church, or as we call it The Church of the Misfit Toys, and we are always amused by song choices among other things.  I’m pretty sure that the older couple in the pew behind us thought we were drunk, but that is OK because we were having fun.  Our shared weird sense of humor comes in handy, especially now that we are raising a teen.

Technically, Sergio is my son from my first marriage.  He was 7 when Chris met him. Chris has never used stepson; he refers to Sergio as simply “my son.”   My husband proved himself to be good father material very early in our relationship.   My son was sick, so my then new boyfriend stopped by on his way home from work with a bottle of Sprite because he knew that it was the only thing my son would drink when he was sick.  When Chris arrived with the Sprite, I made Sergio come out of his room to say hello.  As luck would have it, my son barfed on the dining room carpet shortly after greeting Chris.  I quickly escorted him to the bathroom to clean him up and help him change his shirt.  By the time I got back to the dining room, the puke was gone.  Chris was on his knees blotting the carpet with paper towels and holding a spray bottle of carpet cleaner in his hand.  That’s when I decided that he could be in charge of all things icky.

A few months later, Chris once again proved his talent for dealing with gross things.  We were at Bonnaroo, which is a very crowded music festival that takes place on a farm in Themiddleofnowhere, Tennessee.  It is not the place for a neurotic, claustrophobic neat freak, but I went anyway.   Shortly after we got there, I discovered that Port-O-Potties were my only bathroom option for the next three days.  I wasn’t counting on that.  I stepped in to the first available stall, armed with a small pack of Lysol wipes, and I immediately stepped out while gagging and dry heaving.  “I can’t do this,” I told Chris.  So, he did what any absolute prince of a man would do, he took the wipes and went in to the stall.  He came out about two minutes later and pronounced it ready for me.  I went back in.  He had cleaned the seat and threw an enormous amount of toilet paper in to the potty itself, thus covering all evidence.  This is when I knew that I should marry him.  Shortly after that, we got engaged.

Since we got married, we have lived in three states, gone through a number of stressful events, including health issues. Just recently, my husband had the pleasure of giving me shots in the stomach because I had a blood clot.  To me, that is more impressive than any bouquet of roses, or box of chocolates, or even the Chanel No. 5 gift set Chris got me for Valentine’s Day.  Love is about taking care of each other, listening to each other, and dealing with the icky side of life, sometimes.  Time is almost non-existent.Wedding