I know you’re supposed to love your children unconditionally.
All the parenting guides talk about how important it is for children to feel they have a safe space to be fully loved, and fully known. The experts agree that a happy child is one that is respected and considered with warm regard in all circumstances.
But I can’t do it.
I just can’t love them unconditionally anymore.
I think if it were a moral failing I’d be able to recover from this. If it was poor decision-making or youthful indiscretion, I could manage it. But this.
… I’ll never recover.
I cleaned the back of the Suburban this afternoon. I will be haunted by the experience for the rest of my days.
Stella has been so good to us over the years. That beast of a burly vehicle has carted us across the country, literally from coast to coast in her almost 200K miles. She has been privy to laughter, secrets, arguments, and many, many viewings of Elf and Tinkerbell. Stella the Suburban has carried our children home from the hospital after their births.
And yet she’s been treated so poorly.
I found decaying slime of some sort in the cup holders, nacho cheese affixed to the seat, an entire bag of Honey Nut Cheerios scattered across the floorboards! Underneath the seats I discovered the remains of chicken nuggets, water bottle lids, juice box straws, and miscellaneous bits and pieces of toys, crafts (I HATE CRAFTS!), and love notes.
There were forks with broken tines, spoons still sporting oatmeal, and knives once used for good left to decompose in solitude surrounded by gray pleather and black acrylic carpeting.
I gained a yellow paper clip and 46¢ but lost my lunch.
What on earth could exhibit such appalling behavior?! What magpies of destruction could have come to kill and destroy our Stella?!
My children. The ones that sprang from my innards. I housed them, tucked in my very own guts and they, they have repaid that kindness with a trashy hatred of their own.
Based on their vehicular living quarters, I’m scared to even image how they left my uterus.
I am so very saddened by this event. I am scarred for life. What has been seen… can never be unseen.
I can no longer accept my children unconditionally. My love for my children, tempered by my defense of Stella, must now be offered with a trash bag and a threat.
This day will live in infamy as I pledge my intention to never… Never, never, never see such a thing again.
I’ve been all over the house this morning starting loads of laundry, washing dishes, making the bed, wiping down the table after breakfast – I don’t sit down much.
Bubby has followed me from room to room, generally making trouble everywhere he goes. The dishwasher, it’s like baby crack. He can’t stand it. If it’s open he begins to climb and I begin to screech. We play this little game of him wandering out of the kitchen to see what his sisters are doing and me quickly dropping the dishwasher door and loading what I can before he rounds the corner again, sees it open, and makes a beeline for the lowered door. I, in return, slam the door shut and he hits the closed door at full speed and slides down the front of it to an unhappy, crestfallen heap on the floor in front of the dishwasher.
Second verse, same as the verse. Repeat 12 times.
I caught him off guard when I went into the bedroom to make the bed, however. I watched him sail through the living room, search the kitchen, and bang on the bathroom door. He’s in the stage where his walking balance is better when he has something in his hands – today it was a wiffle ball and wooden block – and he lumbers like Lurch as he walks.
When he found me in the bedroom he literally cackled with glee. I looked down at him, his snot encrusted nose, his dimple, and his joy… and I melted.
This season is so short.
In the room next door I have a girl pushing 8-years-old who is almost too big to fit on my lap – and it happened in a heartbeat. The days felt like eternity, like I was being pushed beyond any possible endurance, but there she is, growing into a real person with hopes, dreams, desires. It happened so fast.
I have agonizing years in front of me with this little boy, but the reality is he’s already far from the precious nugget of life I held against my chest July two years ago. He was all hope at that point. Hope and tears and pooping and eating.
And now, a breath later, he’s dimples and “mama” and verbal excitement at the sight of me. In another six gray hairs he’ll be all t-ball, tie shoes and, “Can I chew gum?”
All while I’ve been loading the dishwasher, matching socks, and cooking meals day in, day out. Oh, the tedium of it all! And yet…
It’s so fast, so precious, and so significant. We’re weaving a tapestry of normalcy over here, a picture of laundry and peek-a-boo and find your toes, school work and reading clocks, cooking and laughing. That normalcy, while terribly boring in the moment, is incredibly significant in the long run. It’s creating a home.
These chores that chafe, the way I groan every time I see the pile of socks waiting to be matched, they are significant. The load won’t always be so heavy, and the years will fly. My son, the one that giggled when he found me and has dimples on his knees… he will exchange his all-encompassing love for his mama over time but I will always have his heart because I put in the work to make normal… normal. I’m building the base for his comfort.
That, to me, is good stuff. Make that the BEST stuff.
It doesn’t help me to think you’ve got it all together.
Now, reality says there are some people who really do have it together 98% of the time while I’m over here, grateful for the 43.8% of the time I’m not just totally losing it.
If you’re one of those who really, truly, deep down inside has it together… well, that’s awesome for you and I sincerely hope it works out for you long term.
But I’m hanging out over here in the land where my 7-year-old dresses herself in tights for church that are sporting the crotch down around her knees — and she doesn’t see a problem with this.
I’m in the land where a perfectly normal, reasonable conversation with the man I love can suddenly escalate into a full blown, relatively ugly event because despite loving each other we’re still working out the kinks in living with each other.
And in my world professionalism looks a bit different than I read about in graduate school. It’s not all best practices and new updates and all sorts of other things that are awesome but unessential.
So if you want to be my friend, to help me, encourage me, or walk alongside me in this journey, be real.
Be real because I need you.
Don’t hide your chaos from my sight because you’re trying to be impressive and fake it ’til you make it. Let me see you wrestle with your life and ask the Big Questions because it allows us to journey together.
Tell the truth. Invite me over for breakfast and serve me some scones, complete with crumbs in the butter tub. Crumbs are a side effect of living and they remind me that we can tell each other the truth, not bothering to hide the dirty business.
Hold my hand and keep on holding, even if your palms get sweaty. My palms are sweaty too but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s good to have a friend who can help you hold tightly to the important stuff, like God and family and inspiration and passion… even if it gets a little uncomfortable.
It doesn’t help me when you create a mask big enough to hide behind.
It helps me when I see you for who you are, and am given the opportunity to admire your humble spirit, the way you keep asking hard questions that encourage you to grow…
Be a genuine, bona fide friend, one I can trust with my life because you’re willing to reciprocate.
I think we’ll all end up the better embracing this change.
Perhaps you, like me, grew up in the era where we tell people, “Just do your best, win or lose, and I’ll be proud of you!”
I call BS! (Actually, I don’t want to call BS because I don’t typically use the word BS because profanity and I aren’t kissing cousins. But I need to call something on that sentiment… how about Farkle? If I call Farkle will you know I’m really saying there’s no chance the above statement can be true? Besides, farkle is a really fun word!)
I CALL FARKLE!!
We don’t really agree with the statement, “Just do your best.” Maybe we would in an absolutely perfect world, but when you get way down serious about your motivations, no one really does their best, so the foundation of the concept is cracked.
Now you want to cry Farkle! on me, right? “Of course we do our best! I do my best all the time!” you cry.
To do your best is to put everything on the table. Leave nothing in reserve. The best is the best, there is nothing more.
And that’s not how we live.
Carrying that extra 5 pounds around? Not doing your best. The unmatched socks on the sofa? Not your best. That crabby response you shot off to your child when they pestered you one time too many? Nope, that’s not your best, either. (FYI – these are all examples from my own life. So if you’re feeling called out, I’m right there with you.)
Your BEST would be good enough, perfect even, if you actually gave it. But you don’t, and neither do the people around you.
We are not a best-giving culture, despite our pretty, self-esteem lifting rhetoric. We are a culture of doing as much as is comfortable, taking a teeny step further, encountering resistance, and calling it Best to justify quitting.
I realize there are exceptions to this idea, but if the exception were the rule we wouldn’t be fascinated with stories about physician Ben Carson or watch the Pursuit of Happyness and cry.
What’s more, I’ve come to the conclusion we don’t want to do our BEST. We don’t want to exercise the muscle of conviction. Doing our true Best creates conflict and the majority of us are dying to avoid conflict.
Even more… our true Best breeds fear. For if we lay our true Best down on the altar of effort — if we give every single, tiny bead of our fiber to the cause, right to the scrapings and smidgens — if we do that and it’s truly not enough we are crushed. We have nothing left. We have exposed our deepest vulnerability and been found lacking.
That’s terrifying stuff, friends. That’s the harsh reality of living most of us can’t even begin to grasp, so we instead come up with excuses as ways to pad our fear:
“I didn’t really get to study for that test as long as I should have because of PollyAnna’s birthday dinner the night before. You know, she’s been such a ray of sunshine in my life I couldn’t blow her off!”
“I finally told my wife if she couldn’t see how hard I was working to make her happy it was her problem, not mine. She’s always so negative. Sometimes I wonder how we’ll make it to the end.”
“If my boss wouldn’t give me so many hats to wear — this organization is growing so quickly it’s hard to keep up! — I would be able to stay on top of my workload. But there are only so many hours in the day…”
“Today little Malcolm was begging me to jump on the trampoline with him but I saw the mountain of laundry — and my bladder isn’t what it used to be — so I said, “No Way!” He’ll probably forget about it by tomorrow.”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the excuses except that they’re excuses. They’re explanations for why we didn’t give our Best. Why we don’t want to give our Best.
I propose we need a change of vocabulary. We need to throw all that “Do Your Best” business out the window and claim our reality. We are capable of doing our Best in some things — butnotall things.
What’s more important, that’s OK. That’s something you can embrace. You are not a super hero and you shouldn’t be. Intentionally prioritize your life so you can articulate what’s most important to you. Tell the people around you what really matters and let them take their judging to the Olympics, out of your life.
If you have created your set of standards based on your priorities (and, if you’re a Christian, God’s calling on your life), all that judging that goes on really doesn’t need to affect you; their judgement tells you more about their priorities than speaks to anything you are doing yourself.
Speak to yourself honestly:
“I can only spread myself so thin. So when it comes to losing the weight, I’ll be ok with holding on to that fluffiness around my midsection. But when it comes to educating my children – I will do my best and leave nothing undone that matters.”
“My priorities in this season are time-consuming. So I’m going to have to put that previous heart’s desire on hold in order to really devote myself to what is in front of me right now. When circumstances change in the future, if that desire is still there, I’ll trust there will be a way to accomplish it.”
My final thought on the Myth of Doing Your Best? If we can figure out a way to live authentically, with purpose, with nothing held back, I’m pretty sure we’ll discover that vulnerability we are scared to expose will be replaced by something breathtaking to behold. By something stunning, uncommonly beautiful because it’s rarely seen and infinitely cherished.
It’s your Best.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
I’ve been at a few training sessions lately for Classical Conversations (the organization we collaborate with in our homeschooling journey) and it’s forced me to answer a very important question for our children’s education: Why?
Why bother educating at home when I’m impatient, easily frustrated, always behind on housework, not formally educated in elementary school techniques, etc.? Basically, in all the ways that seem to matter from the outside this whole home schooling path we’re on as a family seems… well, idiotic.
And yet… here we are. Even worse, the more I learn about CC the more committed I am to seeing the culmination of this method within our education process. We’re choosing a difficult path… and liking it.
In all the world, of all the many ways we could choose to educate our children, Why would we choose Classical Conversations? Why would we accept more leadership in an organization when my life is full as it is? Why bother when it would instead be so much easier to take off some hats and find space to relax? Classical Conversations is not a religion. It is not a replacement for church. It’s just a model, a method, in the sea of other options, right? And even more importantly, Why CC?
My Why is that CC makes home education possible for me. This organization clearly places an exceptional, achievable educational journey in front of my family that I can follow as the primary educator in our family without freaking out because I may be missing something in setting up their knowledge base. It’s comprehensive – and the company’s explicit aim is to reveal God through the knowledge of Him and His creation, to know God and to make Him known. And that mission – that ability to make a monumental task like education my child achievable – is a gift I find a blessing, one my husband and I are willing to sacrifice our time and energy to promote!
I don’t want to keep this opportunity to myself, or to for those lucky few families who happen to live within driving distance. I am so aware of the mom who is dying inside, knowing they don’t want to turn their children over to public schools to be wards of the state for 30 hours each week – but don’t know where to start to even attempt to teach their children themselves. I want that dad who aches to mentor his children to find a way to walk alongside their child in all aspects of life into adulthood with the support of a Godly community. There are people desperate to make the life change necessary to bring their children home who don’t know where to start; CC can be the diving board… at least it was for me.
I know we are all busy – too busy, truth be told. We don’t really want to pull our children home with us because we are intimately acquainted with their tricky personalities, the way they can push all our buttons 16 times before 7:30 a.m. We are already so very tired just with the day-to-day living that must take place to survive. Even so, there’s something valuable about this homeschool craziness that somehow, some way makes the sacrifice worth it (for me).
Here’s one more snippet from my most recent training session that gives me goosebumps. It was a written response to a person expressing hesitation about whether being a leader in the CC is worth the pay off, but the sentiment applies across the board to those who embrace this counter-culture idea of being your child’s primary influencer:
“… as home schoolers, we have a responsibility to work while it is yet day. The night is coming, when no man may work. We can’t be sure we will be able to home educate 20 years from now. What can we be doing now to make that a possibility for our grandchildren? So yes, our main responsibility as wives and moms is to our husbands and children first… [but] it isn’t going to do any of us any good to protect our home time and our family time if we have no freedom to home educate. There may come a day when we are compelled to give our children to the state to be educated. At that point, we will have much more time to devote to the cause. But a very much harder task to accomplish.”
Before you take me to task on being all death, doom, and destruction regarding the urgency of working to make homeschooling a viable option today, please consider the families in Germany seeking political refuge in the US because the German government wants to jail them and place their children in the state foster care system for daring to educate at home. Take a moment to consider our current US Secretary of Education publicly announced he feels Americans should not consider the ability to education their own kiddos a basic right of citizenship.
The night is coming, friends… but I want to do my best to keep it light for a few (figurative) hours longer.
Just for fun, here are several links to infographics regarding the home education movement and effectiveness:
In addition to the random things that give me shivers I’m going to add solid a capella.
Every time I acknowledge my love of a capella music I feel like I should be wearing an appliqued sweater and getting my hair set once a week. After all, a capella is the sole province of the Sweet Adeline’s and Barbershop Quartets, right?
A few months ago I dragged my dear, sweet husband to go see Pitch Perfect. There was only one other couple in the theater and once the show was over we chatted with them. They were enjoying their retirement years by directing their local Sweet Adeline’s group and eating their dinner at 4:00 p.m. so they’d be all tucked into bed by 5:30 p.m.
This gave me the impression my adoration of this film for the vocal stylings (not entirely for the content, although there were some laugh out loud moments) cemented my place on the AARP list of distinction.
Tonight I went on a search for a new Pandora station based upon Straight No Chaser, the Pitch Perfect soundtrack, and a group called Pentatonix. I followed a random link on Facebook to Pentatonix and listening gave me goosebumps and made my brain soar!
When our college student child wrangler came over for the evening I tried to tell her how excited I was to be listening to this new station. I bashfully admitted to liking Pitch Perfect and she said:
“Oh! I LOVE Pitch Perfect! All my friends do, too! It’s kind of the cult classic for my generation, right along with Mean Girls!”
And my heart did a happy dance of joy while also dying inside a little. Because Mean Girls… well, that’s one of the movies I made my husband watch with me when we were first married and he was ever so accommodating and if he finds out Mean Girls and Pitch Perfect are lumped together as a cult classic for the generations… well… he may not be able to forgive me.
So I’ll just try to keep that little tidbit from him for now.
All this long story can be summed up in a few things.
And it wasn’t because I spilled that actual substance on my being.
Somehow or another, probably because of something really complicated like the law of aviation or thermodynamics, the little bottle of perfume has turned. What used to be a lovely concoction of citrus notes of lemon, along with basil, white rose, and white jasmine has become a personally overwhelming aroma of lunchtimes favorite congealed liquid meal, tomato soup!
This is a continuation of random odorific events in my life. Yesterday I rode a plane (all by myself!) and switched seats because my original parking spot was saturated with the sour smell of body odor.
I’m thinking the person in that seat before me was more nervous about flying than I! At least I don’t think I sweated so badly I left a funk embedded in the naugahyde seat coverings…
Regardless of that fellow travelers unfortunate aroma issues, the truth remains that after I got to the hotel (defying death once more in a hotel shuttle that appeared to be moments away from falling to pieces), slept hard, woke up, showered and then sprayed my first world scented luxury, I was stuck with an odor I did not expect.
Here’s the truth: I don’t like smelly like a soup, despite it’s undeniable comfort-food rating. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are a combination I remember vividly from my childhood. I just don’t embrace the soup. It’s a congealing food item and that scuzzy skin the soup develops is in the same gross-out classification system as spiderwebs, using words like “moist” and “probe,” and the sight of a rabbit wearing a Harvey costume.
It just doesn’t feel right.
I’m curious about what really happened to take my perfume to the dark side? I searched Amazon for a clue and found this disclaimer in the product description of my favorite scent:
“Recommended use: daytime.When applying any fragrance please consider that there are several factors which can affect the natural smell of your skin and, in turn, the way a scent smells on you. For instance, your mood, stress level, age, body chemistry, diet, and current medications may all alter the scents you wear. Similarly, factor such as dry or oily skin can even affect the amount of time a fragrance will last after being applied.”
OK. Seriously. Since when did a perfume need a legal abdication of responsibility for its stink??
This description helped me realize there’s a whole lot I don’t know about perfume, so it’s definitely time for a 10 Spot Ramble: Perfume Edition. Without further ado – your top 10 bits of fragrant trivia:
1. Perfume and Football go Hand in Hand. (And not just because of the copious amounts of perspiration on the field.) Perfume historians believe that they found evidence of the use of perfume 3,500 years ago when they saw a series of murals in Queen Hatshepsut’s temple in Thebes. These showed an Egyptian fleet sailing off to get myrrh and other exotic aromatics from the Land of Punt. I believe Punt is located to the south of Pass, approximately six miles northwest of Blitz.
2. It’s all about gods or poop. Your call. The word Perfume comes from Latin and means “through Smoke.” Incense was first and foremost used to waft prayers to the gods, but was also pleasing for the olfactory nerves and in addition it concealed bad smells from sewage drains.
3. It Might Make You Hungry. (Which validates the tomato soup aroma from today.) The earliest modern style of perfume was created in 1310 for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary. This fragrance, known as “Hungary Water” was a blend of rosemary, thyme, and verbena essence in brandy. Originally it was used as tonic water as well as a perfume, and physicians prescribed it to gargle with for all sorts of ailments!
4. Perfume Can Mimic Parenting. Perfumes can also contain animal ingredients, although nowadays many of these are created synthetically for ethical reasons. Some of these animal “fragrances” include honeycomb, civet, musk, castoreum, and ambergris(whale vomit!). Ambergris really is whale vomit! It’s a waxy grey substance regurgitated by Sperm Whales which often washes up on beaches.Aged ambergris has a sweet, earthy scent, and has a wonderful mellowing and enhancing effect on other fragrances. Because vomit makes you mellow.
5. The Most Popular Fragrances can Also be Monikers for Your Gal. The two most commonly used flower essences in modern perfumery are Rose and Jasmine; which are staples in commercial perfumers’ palettes.
6. Is That You I Smell or A Decomposing Animal? Back in time when bathing was a rare luxury even the rich didn’t indulge in very often, perfumes were used to cover up unpleasant scents that came as a result of such questionable personal hygiene. Rich but rather smelly, European aristocracy relied on these expensive mixtures to help mask the “scents” produced by days and even months of not bathing.
7. You Are Your Own, Self-Created Scentsy. You don’t need to waste half of the bottle to ensure long lasting smell, one spritz on your chest and one in the back of your neck is all it takes for it to smell great all day long. These zones turn into “hotspots” in times when we’re scared or excited (due to the increased blood flow) and the scent that was subtle just moments ago, starts releasing faster.
8. Sensory Overload is Avoided with a Trinity. When you are testing new perfumes, don’t try more than three at once – your nose can’t differentiate the aromas. You’d better wait for a while till your nose is in a proper condition to evaluate accurate smells after applying on your skin.
9. Scented Gloves Started it All. Europe did not use perfume much until the sixteenth century when Catherin de Medici came from Italy to marry the future king. She wore gloves of perfumed leather and suddenly everybody wanted this because she was a trendsetter.
10. When Jewelry and Perfume Fell in Love. Van Cleef and Arpels are not bizarre examples of onomonatopoeias. In 1976 Van Cleef and Arpels introduced ‘First’ – a very appropriate name for the first perfume by jewelers.
Thanks for sticking around for the 10 Spot Ramble, my stinky friend. May all your days be joyful and missing tomato soup scent. Do you have any perfume facts to share?
I know I just posted a “Me Likee” Link Up but there have been so many good articles lately that I need to post on them more than once a month!
As you know, we homeschool. We are logically devoted to this lifestyle, largely because Classical Conversations gives us a roadmap that means Mama doesn’t FREAK OUT about what exactly to teach when all your children really seem to want to do is study their navels and pick lint from their toenails.
Because, yes, we are genetic overachievers like that.
Here are some of my favorite posts on homeschooling in the recent past – enjoy (and if you have your own, please post them in the comments)!
1. School Staring Age: The Evidence. For quite awhile I’ve been suspicious of the idea that enrolling your child in 6+ hours of school at age 4-years-old might be a little… dodgy. This study confirmed my gut instinct that little ones need lots of time to play – not worry about standardized testing.
2. Why I’m Not Cut Out To Be A Homeschooling Mom. When we tell people we homeschool the overwhelming response I get is, “Really? That’s good for you. I wish I could but I’m just not cut out for it.” While we are all called to different paths, there’s a chance that you were cut out for it… and just don’t realize that none of us are “cut out for it”! I appreciated this candid piece about how many ways we are inadequate – and yet wholly perfect – to teach our children.
3. Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy. This isn’t exactly a homeschooling article, but I think it’s a thought-provoking look at the choice to raise our children differently than we were raised, with realistic expectations instead of inflated perceptions of our own awesomeness… which really doesn’t make us happy!
4. Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School. I am susceptible to feeling like my children are good enough, smart enough, and driven enough to achieve, achieve, achieve! Except my oldest is currently 7-years-old. And children must be given the freedom to be a child. Our culture is telling us to push our children harder than we, ourselves, were pushed and it really isn’t the way to make our kids fall in love with learning.
5. And Then I Realized I Was Doing It All Wrong In Homeschooling. When your child is in the traditional school setting you get parent/teacher conferences and pick up waiting conversations to help you figure out where your kids are ranking in the general scheme of education. When you homeschool,you are constantly wondering if what you are doing is enough… or too much… or…? This article talks about the paradigm shift one parent had in their value system for homeschool success.
6. Myth of the Teenager. We have bought into the propaganda that teenagers will be rebellious and difficult and forgotten the long-held belief that teenagers are in their maturing capstone, moments away from adult responsibilities. This post debunks the idea that teenagers have to be difficult.
7. To the Moms of One or Two Children. Now that we have four kiddos in our family I frequently have people say they don’t know how I do it all. The reality? Whether you have one child or 16 children they take all your time and the parenting journey is one of high highs and low lows. I appreciated this note of encouragement!
8. Homeschooling by the Numbers. Have you ever wanted a quick snapshot of the demographics of homeschoolers in the U.S.? Your wish has been granted!
9. We are Going to Homeschool our Children but that’s Only because We Hate Education. I am falling in love with Matt Walsh’s writing! I admire the way he is able to grab words and shape them into something beautiful and passionate. He turned his skill and humor toward education in this blog post – and I liked it!
10. Mothering Young Children: Come Singing and Sighing Unto the Lord. I’m not going to lie. This isn’t the headline that catches your interest and makes you think, “Oh, yeah! I can’t wait to read that article!” But let me tell you something: a friend sent this to me and I was moved, almost to tears but its encouragement and honesty. Try it. Really.
What are some of your favorite homeschooling reads around the Internet?
It was a hot date Saturday night and Mr. Casanova and I headed to dinner and a movie.
We don’t get out much, so the anticipation leading up to this event was huge. We picked out the movie, Gravity, about three weeks ago and looked forward to our dinner rendezvous on the other side of town.
We didn’t anticipate it’s Homecoming day for the local university. Our dinner location was packed. So was our second and third choice. We were all set to scrap the romantic plans and hit Taco Bell when we passed Cold Stone Creamery and decided ice cream for dinner sounded fabulous!
And then they didn’t have cherry pie filling and who wants to have cheesecake ice cream without cherry pie filling? That’s a travesty and it was not going to fly on Date Night.
We walked out of Cold Stone in dejection, wondering if we would be eating a movie theater pretzel for dinner, when we realized we were right near the Hot Wok. We’d never been to the Hot Wok before but it was on our list of new restaurants to visit and it’s called Hot Wok, which is a name I could chant under my breath repetitively just for fun.
Hot Wok was awesome! Loved the Hot Wok. Took the last bit of my cashew chicken in a to-go box and later discovered it was like having a styrofoam box of toots on my lap but that’s a different story.
Gravity. Gravity. Gravity. It was not uplifting. It was the worst case scenarios of EVERYTHING, set in space. And it was a poor date night choice.
I told Lizard we are never going to another movie the critics like. I’d rather go to movies with horrible reviews but make me happy, like the Cutting Edge or Elf. I had absolutely thought Gravity would be a romantic comedy set in space, instead I was on a continual, apprehensive adrenaline rush watching people’s faces get hole punched by space station shrapnel.
Kind of a downer.
It reminded me of the time I became scarred for life when a friend invited me to go see Seven by telling me it was the new Brad Pitt movie that Disney had produced.
True Story. Scarred.
The whole experience helped me notice there are some movies you should just know the whole story about before walking in to them blind, or you’re liable to walk out with a heaping portion of Regret you paid a solid $9 to experience. Also, sometimes movie titles are misleading. For example:
We Bought a Zoo. This is not a Madagascar version of a family film. The pictures that kid draws are eerie and the creepy crawlies still give me goose pimples.
Being John Malkovich. Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich! The redeeming feature of this movie is the 1/2 floor and that makes me happy, but the ending… you should prepare yourself that what you expect is not what you get unless you like… well… Malkovich.
Napoleon Dynamite. There is nothing French or explosive about this movie. It’s hilarious and to this day I make liger comments, but if I’d been looking for a piece of historical pyrotechnics I would have been sorely disappointed.
Cinderella Man. There were no chorusing birds or carousing mice. There wasn’t a fireplace to clean. It’s a boxing movie and it brought tears to my eyes and inspired me but, nope, no evil step mother and no prince to rescue them all in the end, they had to make their own rescue.
12 Monkeys. Brad Pitt was on a creepy roll there for awhile with Seven, Fight Club, and 12 Monkeys. Suffice to say there were no bananas, no throwing poop, and no monkeys. Definitely not a Disney movie, either.
Grease. Did I miss something? It’s a classic – that’s whhhaaaaayyy more raunchy than I ever realized when I watched it as a young thing – but I didn’t notice a bit of pig lard. Or vegetable oil. Or any lubricating ointments. Ew… I said ointment. Sorry.
Salt. Not a cooking flick. This is no Julia and Julia where you can garner some nice tips for how to flavor your food. It’s a gritty movie of deception and multiple double-crossings and Angelia Jolie pulls off being a passable dude. Not a seasoning. Definitely.
Chariots of Fire. I stole this description because it’s so much better than what I would write: Sounds Like: The most awesome film Ray Harryhausen never animated, crammed to the toga-tops with belching hell-lizards, winged racing carts and blazing skirmishes with chillingly rheumatic armies of the undead. When In Fact: A handful of stringy, translucent blokes in thoroughly depressing short shorts splash through the grey shallows of a windswept Scottish beach, recreating a true story about 1920s men running fast and winning stuff. A bloody good one, mind. But still.
What are the movies you’ve seen that knocked you off guard like a sip of Sprite when you’re expecting water?