Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What I Learned from Going to the Movies

In case there's anyone reading this . . . .
I know it's been a month of Sundays since I've released an idea into the blog-sphere. I've been--I don't know--groggy. But I had a burst of brain activity today.

I rewarded myself with a trip to the movies. I submitted my grades, on time, and without waiting on and coddling students who didn't turn in work even after second and third chances. And I don't feel all sad about giving them the bad grades they earned, even though I really like some of them. What's really nice, though, is that I saw "The Best Man Holiday" for the second time. I love it! It's just an enjoyable, entertaining, fun film. AND it has Taye Diggs' perfect teeth and Morris Chesnutt's dark chocolate goodness. And the female actresses are stylish and Nia Long should still totally play me in the movie of my life. It's a wonderful rhythm of tear-jerking sadness and laugh-out-loud humor. I think that rhythm reflects the way life seems to me these days. It's a gut-wrenching mix of highs and lows.

Sitting in the dark, thinking about how nicely styled the characters are, I also thought about how the story underscores how vital friendship is. Our friends really are the family we choose. They help us mark the moments that matter as we are living our lives. They provide context and meaning. Those relationships are intimate in a very particular way. We need them. I'm glad I have good friends.

And I'm just going to say this, too: I like seeing black folk on screen doing the darn thing. These characters are people I'd like to know, not because they're perfect, but because they are emotional and have fears and desires and they fail and they do the wrong thing and then sometimes do the right thing. And they look good. There's something to be said about the politics of pleasure (Joan Morgan said it) and it's just pleasurable to view this world get lost. It does still have this weird, generic Christianity that I can do without, but I can forgive that. It makes me happy. It feels good to watch.

Finally, an unrelated side note: I gave in and "adopted" an Elf on the Shelf for our family. My children begged for one for the second year in a row, but realized that he's as creepy as I think he is. And yet, they say good morning to him as soon as they wake, and tell him good night before bed. It's rather fun to see where he's going to end up every morning. I'm glad he's here. This could be the last Christmas when both of my children fully believe the magic.

I like to re-read posts from the last few holiday seasons this time of year. I don't think I can do that this year, but I'm reminded that I've had some good ones.

So, all in all, I think I still believe the magic just a little.