When I was ten, my brother and I went to the movies to see the first Star Wars. We weren’t big theater-goers in our family, so this was a great treat. We were completely blown away, having never seen anything like that before on the big screen. Plus, I was only ten and hadn’t racked up too many “wow” moments… so relatively speaking, this was definitely a wow-able moment.
I’ll never forget a couple years later, sitting with junior high friends at lunch while a friend mentioned that there were two more Star Wars movies coming out! I can’t speak for the average kid, but this was huge news to the super-awkward completely clueless types like me. She probably didn’t realize how big a deal it was to tell us that (spoiler here, people) not only was Darth Vader Luke Skywalker’s father, but Leia is his sister. Put this into perspective- 1979 was a dark time for the casual fan- with no constant barrage of trivial information available to us via the intertubes. Either you read original Star Wars books or you had inside information. And when pressed, this pretty humble lunch mate admitted to us how she had such awesome inside info… Mark Hamill was a family friend. Luke Skywalker was her source. Talk about instant Cool Points!
I still don’t go to the movies very often. Thirty-Eight years later… can you imagine how much fun it was to sit in the movie theater with not only The Husband, but The Boy, The Girl, and The Boyfriend and watch another big screen Star Wars movie?
Ever take long family trips in a car? Remember when those in-car screen systems became available? I’ve heard the stories from friends about listening to princess movies ad nauseam while driving across the country; anyone in the car measuring an age in double digits had to tough it out or suffer sharing that space with crabby kids.
We came late to the vehicle video party. We arrived there, finally, when our friend with a car dealership found a used SUV that had every option we wanted … and one we didn’t. I really didn’t want that DVD player, but the deal on the car was too good to pass up. In the end, we told the kids that they could watch shows only on long drives, and that system worked pretty well.
The Husband and I would load up on DVDs that we could stomach hearing since the headphones were perpetually broken or missing. Best of Bugs Bunny, Guys and Dolls, and Princess Bride, were part of our on-board entertainment… great shows that were already burned into my mind’s eye. And the Star Wars movies. All of them, memorized, too. Or so I thought.
With the latest Star Wars movie release, The Boy was completely happy to oblige his mamma in a six movie marathon to lead up to our Force Awakens matinee tickets. Two minutes into watching the first prequel and I realized that I had never actually seen any one of these new movies- I’ve only heard them all. From the front seats of that SUV. I had next to no idea what these stories involved.
So this weekend, for the first time, I watched all the first three stories- the second set of three movies released, for those of us who remember the original trio of movies as the real first three Star Wars movies. Not bad! I hope the seventh movie lives up to all the hype surrounding it.
We still have the SUV and the old DVD player still works. I think the last time it was used was several years ago. The Boy and his friends watched a bunch of original, black and white Three Stooges shows- slapstick and pre-adolescent boys are a great match. I wonder if we will ever find or fix the headphones? Probably not, I want to hear the shows, too.
Last year’s Christmas Tree was too small, I decided. So were the previous trees we have brought into our living room. As a matter of fact, we’ve never had a really big tree in the house before. I arrived at this decision based on only one fact: the trees are too small because I’ve not been able to put up even half of the ornaments the family has made or collected.
The Husband and The Boy were helplessly dragged into doing my bidding, and I bid the purchase of a Twelve Foot Tall Christmas Tree. I swear it didn’t look as big at the tree farm, growing next to a couple other big ‘uns.
Aaaannd here it is:
The amount of profanity that was uttered in my living room in the course of getting this tree erect is matched only by the amount of times we laughed at the ridiculousness of its size. Another frequently sworn oath was “Never again!”
Happy, the Valentine’s Day Roomba (don’t be jealous of the depths of romantic gifting in our home), has put in his official 48 hour notice.
Let the ornamentation begin! I hear that today is National Cocoa Day, someone bring me a mug of hot chocolate as we decorate this bad boy. It’s not too much to ask, is it?
I don’t know anyone who can top my mom-in-law’s love of shopping for other people. No home can match the bounty you will find under her Christmas Tree. If you know her, you are remembered. As a goofy 18-year-old, I remember how surprised I was to be included in on her generosity- I had only known her son for a few months it seemed.
She has watched those made-for-TV Christmas movies for years, and has asked if I have seen this one or that one over the years. I have always had to respond with “No, that sounds sweet- so what was it about?” She will watch these while finishing the ironing or when wrapping Christmas presents. Lots of presents.
I finally remembered to DVR a bunch of these shows, and got around to watching one as I took down the last of the Fall and Thanksgiving decorations earlier this week (yes, later than most people, I know… I don’t like cramming one holiday into the next. Holidays need room to breath like a red wine… now I want some wine, where’s my corkscrew??). “Christmas at Cartwright’s was the first one I watched- how sweet! Interested in watching? These movies are often found on Hallmark, Lifetime, and ABC Family channels.
Give generously this season, people, remember your stylist, the postal worker you see every day, your paper carrier if you are as old fashioned as we are and still get the newspaper delivered. Drop an unwrapped present in the Toys for Tots bins that dot your city, and maybe put in some hours at a charity that speaks to your heart. Show your love for any and all of Mankind, our world could use our love.
And enjoy sweet, sappy, happy movies instead of the ones that scare, thrill, or terrify you. Take a break for some happy. ‘Tis the Season.
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…”
Shakespeare, As You Like It
I’m pretty jealous of my friend. Her daughters attend the relatively local and highly desirable San Diego State University. They have joined a performance club that meets once a week, and tonight we were treated to their Showtunes Showcase. From torch songs to comedy, these fabulously talented students dished out some great entertainment.
The Husband and I ditched the two high school boys and went off looking for the Experimental Theater on campus… getting lost… twice. We’ve never visited anywhere on the campus except the basketball stadium (Go Aztecs!). When we finally arrived at the right building we had missed the first of a dozen songs, but immensely enjoyed about a dozen more show tunes. Wow! What an amazing group of students! Seriously, if you have a university or community theater near you, get out and get viewing! I can’t believe we haven’t done something like this sooner.
Seeing these girls, friends of my girl, reminded me how close she came to attending SDSU and it makes me sad… I miss The Girl. But, as The Husband reminded me, I’ll probably be sick of her malarkey after only three days this Christmas break.