January 6, 2008
Rainy Day in Goleta
I had a personal adventure the other day--went to the movies by myself. Hard to imagine that in all my years of movie going I've never done it solo, but it's true. Nora inspired me to change my ways. She didn't lay down a challenge, just led by example.
Last weekend she went to see Juno and Enchanted by herself. We had hoped to see these movies together over the holidays but due to a combination of circumstances we just never did. Nora gave both films "thumbs-up" reviews and inadvertently tossed down the gauntlet. If my 23-year-old daughter can comfortably go to the movies on her own, what the heck is the matter with her mother?
Friday was the big day. I had been diligently (sort of) writing for most of the week, but I needed a change of scenery. It was pouring rain so I couldn't possibly go for a walk (okay, I could have gone–didn't want to get wet), but I could manage a writing field trip. Justifying this as a writing experience was easy. I vowed to look for good storytelling techniques and watch out for the small "brushstrokes" that bring a movie and a book to life. Good rationale, yes?
Going to my local movie theater in the middle of the afternoon is not an intimidating experience but I was almost giddy with the thrill of a new adventure. Walked in with about ten minutes to spare and found a seat in one of the first few rows. I wasn't quite up to blocking the aisle, doing a total theater surveillance and deciding to sit in the middle of a row where climbing over people was necessary. At least not this time. I sat near a cluster of college girls who I half-suspected might be chronic talkers and text-messengers, but my fears were never realized.
To sum it up, Juno was great, and watching it by myself was great, too. Appealing story, delicious characters and terrific acting. There were a few tearful spots but many more laugh-out-loud moments. I believe I may have been the only one laughing at certain points, but I didn't exercise any self-censorship. After all, it's not my fault that others don't share my particular sense of humor. I enjoyed the movie on my own terms. The only time I regretted not being with someone I know was when I needed a kleenex at the end. The dark search through my purse only yielded a Starbuck's receipt–not very soft...or absorbent.
Driving home it was still pouring rain, but I was happy. Glad to have seen a good film and proud of myself for having a new adventure. I was also amazed that the relatively small amount of rain we were receiving had already caused the long dormant green grass to emerge along the side of the road and in the open fields. It seems like it happened overnight. When I got home I looked hopefully at my backyard. Had the miracle occurred here, too? No such luck. The lawn is still seriously dead. More rain on the way. I'll keep my fingers crossed.