17 January 2010
Messy Waxes Sentimental... and a poll...
(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
Oh, all right. I admit it. After all the bitching and whining and slamming of morons is done, your Messy is a sloppy sentimental old fool after all. Proof.
The Boy is off across the Big Pond to conduct some Very Important Business that apparently only he can manage. This will apparently take only a millisecond. He left around dinnertime today and will get home on Wednesday around dinner time. It hardly seems worth taking the passport out of the safe deposit box, but there you are. When you gotta go you gotta go. I expect he'll come home tired and crabby, so I'll make sure to have some dessert on hand. When The Boy gets cranky, the only thing you can really do for him is throw food at him and tuck him in for a good ten-hour sleep.
In any event, I was feeling rather sorry for myself. I rooted around in the wine cellar and found a bottle of Mauro 2005 from Castilla y Leon. This sounds much fancier than it actually is. What it IS is a nice Spanish temperanillo that has a lovely nose with florals and fruits, with some tannin at the finish as well as a nice dry hint of gravel and saltiness that drinks very well now and for another five years or so and is available for less than $20.00 a bottle. It was splendid with the pasta I made for dinner and has enough heft to be splendid tomorrow night with cassoulet.
I WAS feeling sorry for myself, so I was wandering through the cable guide for tonight and found a movie that I haven't seen since it was in the theaters....in 1968. That's right kids, I AM that old. Mind you, I was five at the time, and it was a matinee. My mother took me to the theater and then to the Woodward's lunch counter (store now defunct, alas) for a milkshake, where she broke the news that I was soon to have a baby brother.
Now you have to realize that I already had a baby sister. When she was new, I apparently guarded her crib and was not at all thrilled at the idea of strangers holding her or even getting NEAR her, for that matter. As a three-year-old, I took the notion of "take care of your sister" very seriously. She was a stinkin' cute pudgy baby with black, black hair, very fair skin and bright blue eyes, like a summer sky in Alberta under a high pressure system, which is pretty damned blue if you know what that looks like. I was terribly jealous of her eyes. Mine are green which I felt at the time were VERY ordinary and downright boring, given that my grandfather and uncle had the same Sprite-bottle eyes. I didn't find out that MINE were the unusual color for a good many years after.
I remember that movie as being the most magical thing in my life to that point. I was lost the minute the opening credits ran. It was (for those of you that are old enough) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I remember it quite clearly. The song rang in my head for days after. (Chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang, we love you....) I was allowed my very own popcorn for the first time - there used to be a child size option - and I got to tell the lady at the concession to put double butter on it. I even gave her the money myself. Mom had a box of Smarties and a bottle of Orange Crush, which we shared. I felt very grown up and was allowed to wear my grey and black kilt with the ruffled shirt and the black patent Mary Janes for the first time. I had picked out the lace trimmed ankle socks myself and felt terribly grown up.
Tonight, I watched the movie on the Retro Channel for the first time since that day. The songs were still the same and I remembered all the lyrics, too. It was made at a time when Dick Van Dyke was still good-looking and we all thought of England as green and beautiful, with odd and happy people strewn over the countryside. There was the Baron of Vulgaria (a crude and no doubt non-politically correct character that was a parody of a German baron, which was all right because everone, 23 years later, was still stinging after WWII), the Toy Maker, the Child Catcher and the Baroness, all looking exactly the way I remembered them. There were little blond children that were weirdly well-behaved and a shaggy dog and everyone was smiling all the time, because truly bad things Just Couldn't Happen.
I remember getting my brother too, a few months later. Both my brother and sister were adopted, by the way. Up to the time I went to school, I firmly believed that to get a baby, one simply went to the doctor's office downtown and picked up a naked baby (you didn't even get the diaper, Mom brought all of the clothes with her). It was a grand adventure for me. Here was this platinum blond, blue eyed infant and he was OURS. Magic, just like the movie.
So, and you KNOW I have to ask.....
What was your favorite movie when you were a child? What is the movie that you saw that has stayed with you for all the time since? I think we all have one, we just need to think about it for a bit.