Thursday, February 19, 2009

Date night

If it is one of only a handful of date nights you and the father of your child have been on in the last two years, and the only one thus far to include a movie, for the love of god do not go and see "Slumdog Millionaire."

Don't get me wrong - this is an amazing movie. But within fifteen minutes I was weeping. I could not handle watching those children face horror after horror and continue to claw at survival. Between sobs I burst out: "I don't care if he wins a 'mill-on' rupees! I can't watch anymore!"

It was like stepping into a Rohinton Mistry novel. If you have ever read "A Fine Balance," you know what I mean. It's India. There is poverty and despair. Things are very bad. They get worse. They get even worse. There is a small glimmer of hope; the potential for happiness. Then things get unbelievably worse and then the book ends, teetering on devastation and hopelessness.

I read Rohinton for the writing, despite the inevitable ending. I stayed in the theatre because I could not stop watching, despite the horrors. And I knew the ending, at least, would have some redemption. But I can never watch that movie again.

(My father-in-law gave me a bootleg copy on the weekend, but I am trying to forget that I slipped it into a pocket of the diaper bag.)

So. Date night.

I highly recommend the Valentine's Day wedding of someone you don't know well (in my case, a husband's co-worker) but who has survived brain surgery and is taking this opportunity to celebrate both life and love.

It helps immensely if your table is next to that of the groom's elderly mother and her best friends. You will hear conversations like, "So her daughters are Jodi and Joanna?" "No, Jodi is Joanna!" and "Her purse fell onto the floor. She's making sure she got everything from under the table."

It is a bonus if the deejay has put together a playlist that is basically all the mixed tapes you made from 1990 to 1993. That said, be prepared to be one of only 2 other people who jump up and begin dancing crazily to "Home For a Rest" (one being your husband, the other being a strange and mythical "lady in red" you actually didn't notice during the Chris de Burgh song).

And if you see the elderly mother of the bride doing a line dance to the only song you don't recognize, don't be alarmed when she answers the question, "how low can you go" with her feet slipping out from under her, a granddaughter hoisting her back up, and continuing to dance.

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