July 15, 2010

Mawaige--that bwessed awangement

Ten years ago today, my husband and I exchanged rings and vows and were declared married. We won't have much chance today for a fancy celebration. We didn't book an anniversary vacation, we won't be going out to dinner tonight (perhaps this weekend), and we're not exchanging gifts. No, today will be filled with the mundane. Kids to day-camp, work, my summer home improvement projects, and maybe plotting a visit from the Tooth Fairy for our six-year-old. The only real celebrating we have planned is to open a bottle of wine from the year 2000. Hopefully it won't be vinegar.

I never pictured such an ordinary day for our tenth wedding anniversary. At various times we've had visions of cruises or trips to Hawaii or any number of other grand plans. But priorities shift, as they often do, and we didn't end up planning anything really special. But thinking about what's in store for the day and the lack of "party" atmosphere, I can't say I'm disappointed. I don't need a fancy dinner or a diamond anniversary band to properly celebrate ten years of marriage. Oh sure, they'd be nice (though truthfully I'd rather have a Nook reader than expensive jewelry), but the real celebration is the home and family we've created over the past ten years. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

March 24, 2010

Those Other People

So. Health care reform. We all know the bill passed, was signed by Obama, yadda yadda yadda. I'm not here to add more to the debate over the bill, or universal health care, or whether or not Obama is the Antichrist. Find somewhere else if you want to argue those points. No, what has struck me in the last couple of days is the number of people I've seen online who have made comments along the lines of "how on earth did this pass when the entire country is against it?" or "no one wants this reform, our representatives are ignoring the will of the people!"

Ahem. I have news for these folks.

The entire country is NOT against it. Yes, there are protests and a lot of very vocal people who are against it. And there are of course those who are for reform but don't like this particular bill. But it's not everybody. Thinking back to 2003 and the invasion of Iraq, I don't think I talked to anybody who was for the war. That doesn't mean they weren't out there. It doesn't even mean I didn't know anyone who was for it. I just wasn't aware of them. I think what happens is that sometimes we get so wrapped up in conversations with friends and family, who typically have similar values and opinions to our own, that we forget about Those Other People.

For the most part, Those Other People are also intelligent, thoughtful, and caring people. They just disagree with you. Maybe you ignore them (I know of a couple of people who have taken to deleting liberal or conservative friends from their Facebook lists). Maybe they've kept quiet for some reason. I know I despise being painted as a "stupid liberal". "Heartless conservative" isn't any better. So it easily could be that Those Other People you know are more interested in hearing the news of your life than they are in getting into a pissing match over politics. Whatever the reason, we need to remember that the people we choose to talk about the issues with are virtually never a representative sample.

ps-This also applies those times when you feel like the only conservative/liberal/moderate around. You're probably not.

February 6, 2010

Demanding realism from the unrealistic

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" was the film tonight at Casa de Jentifred. Hey, what do you expect when you've got little kids? I was just glad it wasn't the 723rd showing of "The Little Mermaid". Anyway, for those of you who don't usually watch movies with less than a PG-13 rating, the basic premise is that a slightly wacky inventor creates a machine that transforms the water in clouds into food. Hence, the title. Realistic premise? Hell, no. It's a kids' movie--what do you expect, really? It's a genre that typically features talking animals, sentient toys, and/or fairy godmothers. My kids were laughing hysterically at the idea of cheeseburgers raining down from the sky, but even the 3-year-old knows better than to expect chicken nuggets from the next storm.

As it turned out, one of the main characters in the film has a peanut allergy (as do my 3-year-old and I) and has a reaction due to an unfortunate encounter scratching her arm against some giant peanut brittle. She swells up comically, argues with the wacky inventor over going to get her epipen, gets the meds, and is immediately fine after a shot in the thigh. Apparently, a lot of folks in the peanut allergy community had major issues with this unrealistic portrayal of allergy. I'm wondering if they missed the giant pieces of food landing on other characters and NOT killing them? It's a movie, folks. It's not realistic and isn't meant to be. In real life, no--it's not funny when someone's face swells up. But it's not funny when something falls out of the sky and lands on someone either. In real life she would have called 911 and gone to the hospital. In a movie, that doesn't advance the plot.

Honestly, I liked how it was done. You want realism from a movie? Go see a documentary. I prefer to be entertained.