Sunday, July 12, 2020

Overheard at Booth 3: Movie Idea

So, my wife and I were taking our evening walk around the neighbourhood one day last week and we saw one of our neighbours at one of the house at the end of the street pulling a bunch of palm branches from the back yard to the front yard for the trash to pick up the next day.

We commented that it looked like she was doing a lot of yard work that day, and next thing I know we were getting this story:

"Well," she said, "I finally divorced my husband and my two boys are off in college.  Well the other one is, the younger just graduated high school.  But of course, you know, this year, there wasn't all that much of a graduation, with Corona and everything, and he doesn't even really know if he wants to go to college in the fall.  I don't really want him to but I don't want him to stay with me either.  The only time he comes out of his room is to ask me when I'm going to make dinner.  If he is gonna be like that, he can just go live with his dad.  But on a day like today, when I have to clean up the back yard to get the house ready to sell?  No help at all, neither of them.

"The older one can't be, of course.  He's my miracle baby.  Dad left when he was born and when he was five, my husband - the one I just divorced - was supposed to be watching him while they were out fishing, but he wasn't watching and he fell over the edge of the boat and smacked his skull open on the outboard motor - I thank GOD every day it wasn't running because it would have killed him right there.  They thought he was going to die.  They thought he wouldn't make it, and if he did they said he would be unable to finish fifth grade or even be able to walk. 

"But he made it!  He was varsity basketball in high school.  Then he went to college on an academic scholarship.  But even he never wants to come home to help me.  He just wants to stay on campus, but they've closed campus, so now he's just in the apartments on campus and I got NO clue what his plans are for the fall.

"But I'm downsizing.  So they can figure it out.  I'm 52 this year.  52!  Can you believe that?  But everyone says I look good for my age, so I guess it's time for me to get this 52 year old butt back into school and finally finish that degree and boy it's gonna be interesting getting back out into the work place after all these years.  I tell ya... I gave up any chance of a career just having my oldest and then nursing him back to health after the accident.   But he's my miracle boy, so I guess it was worth it.

"But it's my time now, don't you think?  Don't you think it's my time now?"

And the wife and I agreed.  I mean, how could we not. 

And to home, and processing, and as we discussed the 52 year old woman who was downsizing and restarting, what came to mind was the movie that we had just seen, "Just One of the Boys."  That movie, in 1985, this woman would have been 17 at that time - the same age as the main character.

Imagine this: a movie set in 2020, the time of Corona, the character of that movie, who had been so set on becoming a journalist.  Imagine that character as this woman... who had a child, whose father left, then married another man, who let the child get hurt horribly, then she had a child with that man, and now is divorced and looking to reclaim the career that she never had. 

What kind of movie could you make of that?   Definitely you would have to bring back the brother, but all the other characters from the original movie would be long gone.  But the possibilities are endless - for comedy, for tragedy, for introspection, for a deep delving into what it means to be successful, a peeling back of the sacrifices that we make for our children.

I think it could be a great movie.

My wife, on the other hand, thinks it would be boring.  Like "My Dinner with Andre" ... which she will never let me live down making her watch one time back in 1995.

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