Saturday, January 21, 2006

Date With My Ladies

(SPOILER ALERT for movie "The Ringer". You've been warned.)

I generally post in the evenings (on those days when I have the time and feel I have something postworthy, or when I just feel like bloviating a little) but last night I had a social engagement. Stop laughing. I do too have a social life.

Anyway, "Josie" and The Wife decided before I got home from work that I would be taking them to the movies. (Any single non-fathers should understand as soon as possible that once you say "I do", you are basically handing your new wife the keys to your social life, and she'll be driving from there on. Oh, she'll let you drive once in awhile, but she's the main chauffer.) We checked the listings and decided on "The Ringer", simply because fixing the special olympics sounded like a hilarious plot.

This was a well-done movie. Many of the atheletes really were retarded. I know the term "retarded" has fallen out of vogue, but it used to be okay until "mentally challenged" or "mentally impaired" took over, and I'm not a very PC person...besides which they're often referred to as the even less-PC "tards" in the movie itself, so there. Anyway, there were a lot of running jokes with certain characters focusing on a retarded person's often uncanny ability to remember things and often annoying inability to forget them. There were hilarious scenes, heart-warming scenes, and heartbreaking scenes. As "Jeffy" procedes through the special olympics, he grows attached to the atheletes and falls in love with one of the volunteers.

The upshot is that by the end, "Jeffy"/Steve has himself a whole new bunch of friends and a new career working with them. It would actually be a pretty good life, and not too far from the life The Wife enjoyed before I came along and wrecked everything.

You see, she worked with retarded people for a long, long time. She loved many of them and valued them as friends. She still does. She really seemed to like this movie, and thought (as I did) that the representation of retarded people was mostly fair, positive, and delightfully funny. ( One lady I overheard in the parking lot afterward was less impressive: "That whole movie had funnyness". No, a quick look made me believe she wasn't retarded.)

I was amused to note that "Josie" couldn't bring herself to sit next to me on our date, even though there was a seat there. It would have really been a treat for me to have The Wife on one side and "Josie" on the other...but alas, when you're 15, you have to at least give the appearance of some sort of indepedence. She sat a row ahead of me.

Of course, her illusion was spoiled a bit by the fact that she kept reaching back to us to get the popcorn...but I remember how it is at that age. I didn't want to be seen with my own parents when I didn't have to be, either. Oh, how my folks and their friends must have laughed. Just like I did to myself last night.

But then she asked to stop by McDonald's on our way home, and we did, and then headed home. It was a nice homecoming for me, and provided a perfect time to reflect on how new and different this life is than the one I was leading just a year ago. It's amazing. New job, new town, new house, new friends, new blog, new everything. And every single bit of it is delicious.

I feel like I finally started living when I married The Wife after living in a cocoon for a dozen years.


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