I'd Rather Have Five Minutes of Wonderful Than a Lifetime of Nothing Special

A couple of weeks ago I went over to my friend Kerry's (HI KERRY) house for a socially-distanced movie date, after we got talking about Steel Magnolias. While I was there I told her my Steel Magnolias origin story. I was in first-year university and my boyfriend broke up with me. It had been my first serious relationship and we had dated for years at home and then he went to university the year before I did. I didn't exactly go to the same place because of him - I went with my best friend, and it was a great school for the program I wanted, and I have no regrets - but I didn't exactly NOT go there because of him either. I was devastated. I didn't know what to do with myself. After dinner, I left my residence and just started wandering around. I went to the chapel and sat down and realized I really wasn't very religious anymore, and even if I was this seemed like a really embarrassing problem to go to any deity with. I wandered towards the woods trail and then realized that would be extra stupid in the dark (yes, I did briefly flirt with pulling a Bella-in-Twilight and disappearing into the forest for days without food or water, but my ex wasn't a vampire or still in love with me, I don't like bugs, and I would have gotten over my sadness-related lack of hunger within a few hours. Plus it really wasn't a very big forest). I finally walked into the little downtown and eventually passed the tiny one-screen movie theatre and Steel Magnolias was playing. I don't think I knew anything about it. I had just enough money in change in my jacket pocket to get in - it was five or six dollars. It was the perfect refuge for a couple of hours, and I had the wettest, grossest, most cathartic ugly cry ever. Then I went back to residence and my roommate and friends were panicking that I'd been gone for so long and I felt like kind of an asshole.

Anyway, it holds up. It is sweet and funny and heartbreaking and in my Top Ten of All Time (I say, not really knowing what the other nine are because any time I try to think of it I can't remember any movies I've ever seen. Can I name nine other movies I love without googling? A Room With a View. Gattaca. Cinema Paradiso. Ummmmmm. Three? THREE? That's the best I can do? For fuck's sake. Oh, what's that South African one about the aliens? Station Nine? Plan Nine? Geez, life is hard without Google, especially in perimenopause.)

I'm going to try to move on and see if any other movies come to me, It's still really freaking hot, even at night. My stand fan in my room stopped working, so I ordered another one, but I couldn't get the same one, and the one I replaced it with isn't great. I have a bad habit of getting rid of things and forgetting to note the name of them so I can get the same one. A couple of years ago we got a ceiling fan and Matt installed it and then it didn't work, so he took it down and we've had a hole in the ceiling ever since. We finally decided to order another one, and I carefully researched which ones were highly rated. It came and he installed it way more quickly than I expected. I walked in and said "oh, looks great, is it on low?" and he said "no, that's as high as it goes". I blinked and he said "I think it's rated highly because it's so quiet". Like, excuse me? It's a FUCKING FAN, should it not be rated on it's, ya know, FAN-NESS? My old fan sounded like a jet engine and I LOVED IT. Anyway, my loving husband saved the day by then ordering vent covers with little fans in them. So I still need two fans going PLUS the AC, but now I'm not suffocatingly hot every night.

Terminator two! I freaking love Sarah Connor.

Die Hard. Toy Story.

DISTRICT, it's DISTRICT Nine. Right? Maybe?

I invited my parents over for dinner partly because I thought they'd like to go somewhere that wasn't their house or the grocery store during seniors' hours (or, full disclosure, the liquor store), and partly to force me to clean. I was somewhat less than impressed with my brilliant plan the day before when I was trying to do a months' worth of organizing and cleaning in a day, and it wasn't perfect because Eve is redoing her room and we're still sort of moving things around from when we got the new couches, but having my parents over was really nice and I can now walk through the living room/dining room area without experiencing extreme clutter-related stress and self-loathing.


I've taken my disposable cloth bags grocery shopping a couple of times, understanding that I would pack my own groceries which I was before the pandemic anyway. Now it feels a little more panicky though, because grocery shopping is so much more fraught and I really hate to hold up the line - and panicking in a mask is super not fun. Not sure what the answer is, because I also hate bringing home another whack of plastic bags every time I go.

Up. The first ten minutes of Up constitutes one of the best movie love stories of all time, fight me.

How many is that? That's nine. Am I a fake fan? Clearly I don't have a well-established Top Ten Favourite Movies. What I do have is an embarrassingly rambly blog post and a sneaking suspicion that I just said Cinema Paradiso to sound sophisticated. Oh well.

Twelve Monkeys!


Ernie said…
"Fight me." - bah, ha, ha. I love this post. I can so relate. I cannot think of songs that I like or how the music goes to the ones that I know I like unless they are on the radio. Also, I do love Steel Magnolias. So much. Your break up story reminds me of when a guy I liked (let's be clear, we were not dating. I was in high school and I have photographic evidence of why no one dated me then) started dating someone or we got confirmation that he was NEVER going to go out with me. Whatever, I was down in the dumps. My never-dated-anyone either BFF gave me advice: listen to some sappy music on the radio and have a good cry. OK, so not the same, but it made me think of it. We were so clueless. I am not great at naming movies that I love, but I do love Notting Hill and I love Pride and Prejudice and I love Blindside. And I also decide to host people because I know then I WILL get my house in order, and then I hate myself for doing that.
the queen said…
This is my favorite post ever.
Awww, Steel Magnolias. I watched it with my mom and she cried the whole time. The scene I remember the most is the dad shooting the birds during the wedding day. I should probably rewatch it because that's mostly what I remember. You've inspired me to write about movies!
Also, as I was reading this I thought "How does she not have AC? In Ottawa?" But I see, you have both! Excellent!
Swistle said…
Now I am trying to think of movies without looking. This is embarrassing, especially because it is easiest to come up with the ones I watched repeatedly out of boredom in my youth. I know I like Love Actually, as long as I fast-forward through about a quarter of it and say "I know, I know, this is very problematic" through at least another quarter. But I do really like it.

Nanny McPhee. My Fair Lady. Back to the Future. The one about the magicians---Now You See Me? I used to love the movie Sneakers, but I don't know how well it holds up now. I used to love Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but now the cringe factor outweighs my enjoyment. I used to love Clue, and I still sort of do, but I've seen it sooooooooo many times and it seems so FRENETIC and EXHAUSTING now. Same with Noises Off. Oh! Clueless! I love Clueless. I still love Better Off Dead, despite some Problematic. OH! Grosse Point Blank! And that one...Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, I think that is the name of it. I want to say I love Crazy Stupid Love because parts of it are so amazing, but it also has some very disturbingly problematic parts.

I ALWAYS spent the first few hours of a romantic disappointment thinking the heartbreak would make me thin and wan, but no. The appetite rebounded long before my heart.

Thor Ragnorok, do not know how to spell it, but it made me willing to watch superhero movies. And that reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy, which ditto.

Being hot is the worst. Yesterday I went grocery-shopping, and wore ill-advised sweatpants because I wanted to shower afterward instead of beforehand, and by the time I got home it was SO HOT outside and the sun was beating down on what had been a brief rain, so the humidity was astonishing, and I was running in and out of the house with bags because I didn't want everything to melt/thaw, and sweat was running into my eyes and fogging my glasses, and I was suddenly so hot that I BURST INTO TEARS.

The new Ghostbusters, with Melissa McCarthy, even though I don't like gross-out stuff. Spy, also with Melissa McCarthy. Pretty much anything with Melissa McCarthy, despite hating cringe and gross-out humor.
StephLove said…
I went to college with my high school boyfriend, too. He broke up with me during orientation, but I have no regrets either, as I drove the choice of college more than he did and it must have worked out for him, too, because he stayed.
Busy Bee Suz said…
YOU never fail to crack me up. I love steel magnolias too; I was telling Lolo about it the other day and referencing the groom's cake. Wasn't it an armadillo with red velvet inside? How fun would that be?
I also love Moonstruck.
I think I've mentioned this before to you, so if you're trying to ignore me, it's ok. I can't take a hint. You need a bedJet.
I got one last year and it's a game changer.
I'm surprisingly getting better with the grocery shopping.
Tudor said…
I think I might not have been sufficiently grateful through all this that my grocery store totally allowed bins the entire time, and never gave me the side-eye for using them and, in fact, the only discussion about the bins was when one of the lovely employees said, "I feel so sad that I'm not allowed to pack them for you" (although, please note, I always pack my own bins anyway because I have a system, thank-you-very-much, and whenever I pack my bins I think of Turtlehead Lynn who wrote a post about young kids packing your grocery bins in the store as a fundraiser and she was like "I will pay you NOT TO TOUCH my grocery bins!").

All to say, the grocery shopping experience would be too much for me if I had to bring home plastic bags, so I am immensely grateful I don't have to.

And I'm now going to watch Steel Magnolias with my child before he goes to university (what could go wrong with that plan?). Our family favourite from our (extensive) pandemic viewing has been Mad Max: Fury Road. It's good. I promise.(but in the past I have been hung up on Lost in Translation and Welcome to Sarajevo).
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I am not a movie fan, and yet I enjoyed this post greatly. My favorite movie is "Babe" - the one with the pig who herds sheep. I also like "A Room with a View".

For grocery shopping, we now put boxes in the back of our car. In the store, we use a "wand" - a self-checkout gizmo that allows me to scan the bar code myself. Safer for me and for the employees, I think. When I am done shopping, I wheel the entire cart of unbagged groceries out to the car. (Nobody has ever stopped me. It's probably white privilege.) Then at the car, I pack the groceries into the boxes, sorting as I pack - fridge/freezer items, canned/box items, etc. It works well. I spend a lot less time in the store. The grocery store does not allow us to bring our own cloth bags into the store. That's why we switched to this method with the boxes.

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