Monday, December 15, 2014

It's a Wonderful (Murderous) Movie

I was in my twenties before I finally saw It’s a Wonderful Life.  My friends had all seen it because, back then, the movie was aired repeatedly because of copyright issues and, eventually, NBC became the only station allowed to air it and then only a few times a season.   So while everyone seemed to be dead familiar with the movie, I was completely oblivious.

For years I assumed this was because we didn’t have a television.  I mean, I had seen some holiday specials, probably thanks to being at my Aunt Frances’, being babysat.  Most of my television watching occurred while at my aunt’s apartment.  (I even saw the first lunar landing and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.)  Of course, holiday specials only last an hour, or a mere 30 minutes, while It’s a Wonderful Life lasts hours, with commercials.

Recently I learned the truth.  My mother hates the movie.  Not just dislikes it considerably.  She loathes it. Two years ago she said, “If you watch That Movie, I’ll kill you to put you out of your misery.”  Of course, this is the same woman who allowed me at the age of 6 or 7 to drag her repeatedly to see The Sound of Music because I somehow fell in love with it and seeing the movie more than once became an imperative.  (Given my age, I’m assuming the movie was playing at a revival theater where the tickets were reduced to a reasonable $1.  I’m also assuming that she will someday forgive me for making her take me to see it seven times.)

My mother hates other sentimental movies (Sweet November, Dark Victory, Forrest Gump) but she has never promised to murder me if I were to watch, let alone like, any of them.  Clearly, It’s a Wonderful Life holds a special place in her heart, obviously a very different place in her heart from the place the myriad of Frank Capra fans keep it. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Tableau 2014

A couple of years ago, I got the idea to set up the tree I used to set up on my desk at work and create a sort of tableau.  Last year, I did it again, making it look like my dolls were decorating the tree.  Everyone seemed to like that one a lot.  When I told Rob I planned on creating another tableau this year, he hoped I would recreate last year’s, maybe using different dolls but still having them decorating the tree.

I am stubborn and refused to do the same thing I’d done the year previously, as you can see.  Instead, my initial idea was to have some of the husky toys we’ve collected and pretend they are decorating the tree. However, when you think about pets and Christmas trees, decorating isn’t usually the final outcome.  So instead of decorating, I let the puppies look like they knocked over the tree and were now having fun playing with the decorations.

I think it looks like I have succeeded.

One of the few things I miss about being gainfully employed is the fun I used to have decorating my cubicle.  In truth, I went overboard, and I knew it.  I knew it and I didn't care. I wanted to make my cubicle look festive and fun even if I wasn't necessarily enjoying myself day in and day out.  So it's nice that I'm finding ways to use the decorations I bought to be used for a particular purpose are still being brought out and scattered about our home.

Of course, I keep setting the bar higher, coming up with new tableaux without buying new things. I don't know how much creativity I have to come up with these little stories but I'm enjoying the challenge.   

Then again, the real challenge right now is making sure Holly doesn't live out the imaginary scene I've created.  She's already sniffing around the decorations. I guess you can say I've started a new tradition in the past couple of years.  And I'm not too worried about coming up with something creative and clever in 2015.  After all, I have an entire year in which to think about it.