No, I’m not dead. Perhaps that’s not what all of you were thinking. I only mention it because in my neck of the woods if you’re not where you’re supposed to be at precisely the time you said you would be, there is only one plausible explanation. Somehow, and I am never sure of the precise details, you have landed in a ditch somewhere, left to face your rather tragic and untimely death alone. Without your cell phone which of course, you can see but is just slightly out of your reach. Because when you are late, even a couple of minutes, that is the only logical conclusion that anyone in my house could come to. I mean what is the likelihood that you ran into a childhood friend you hadn’t seen since high school and stopped to chit chat for a few extra minutes. Let’s face it, a lot can happen in 40 years. Or when walking past one of those fancy dress shops downtown you saw a cute little frock in the window you simply couldn’t resist and decided to step inside and give it try. Or maybe the bus, wending its way through the largest city in the country during rush hour, got stuck in traffic. Nope. In my house, when you are late the only real possibility is that you are dead.
Well that’s not the case this time. I’m not dead but I am, once again, late in getting this posted mostly because this is a busy time of year. Actually, truth be told, it’s not all that busy for me but it most likely is for you. Me, well I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in my chair. It’s not like I have nothing doing. As a matter of fact, while sitting in my chair I have come to a conclusion that surprises even me. You see, I’ve been watching Christmas movies and from what I can tell, the people responsible for writing these things are clearly and indisputably more shallow than I.
In case you haven’t been spending your time glued to the tube let me bring you up to speed on this year’s offerings. There are three basic themes from which a veritable cacophony of films are produced. As you might imagine, most prevalent are the Santa movies. These most often involve an evil creature, like an errant elf or reindeer who, in an effort to right some past wrong (unfair wages, poor quality hay or some other travesty of that sort), take it upon themselves to sabotage Christmas. And we all know that the best way to do that is to make it almost (I say “almost” because you and I both know how this is going to turn out) impossible for the “big guy” to get those gifts out to the kids. Inevitably things come down to the wire but with the help of the Missus, or one of the Claus kids, the sleigh takes off in time for Santa to get those toys out to all the boys and girls around the world. If only that were the case.
Then there are the single Mom/Dad flicks. Widowed or divorced (it doesn’t really matter how it happened as in either case there will at least be a cameo appearance from the Ex) the one constant in these films is a rather precocious child whose sole purpose in life is to find their now “single for more than a few years” parent a new partner. The child will most likely be aided by a mysterious older fellow who we can be pretty certain has some sort of special, angelic powers manifested through the wink of an eye. Usually there’s a visit “back home” where a chance meeting with an old high school flame, probably now the town vet or owner of the local diner, rekindles a romance that never should have ended in the first place, but did. It’s all a bit of a roller coaster, but in the end said child accompanies Mom and Dad down the aisle of new found happiness.
Finally, and this is in no particular order, there are the recently dumped who, rather than spend Christmas alone in the city they know, decide the best thing to do is trade homes with someone in any other part of the world, the only criteria being a climate completely different from the one where they currently reside. Serendipitously, within moments of posting their interest online, they find a compatriot in a like situation and before you know it, each is in the other’s home. Now I get why the one going from the cold to warm climate has shorts and T’s at the ready, but I am always baffled as to why the beach dweller has sheepskin coats and boots conveniently tucked away in the closet for moments like this. But nevermind the details. Suffice to say that each will find a new, permanent love in their heretofore temporary abode.
Now I’m not saying these are bad movies. I’m just saying their intensity pales beside flicks like “Eat, Pray, Love” where, after a four month sojourn at an Ashram in India to find her inner truth, or something like that, the heroine confidently declares to her besotted ex-husband who can’t seem to shake old feelings: “So love me. So miss me. It won’t last forever. Nothing does.” I know I could never have written anything that profound. But that other stuff. Well sometimes while watching those movies I think (but only to myself) maybe, just maybe, I really could have been a writer.