Sunday, June 21, 2009

Away We Went

Ok, it's been a really long time since I've had a serious, air-gulping, body-wracking, puffy-eyed, sleeve-soaking cry. But then we went to see "Away We Go" at the Alamo tonight.

I should have known this particular movie would leave my soft parts open to brutal attack, considering it stars the awkwardly adorable John Krasinski and was written by the heartbreaking duo of staggering genius, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida.

But you guys, I really didn't expect to dissolve into a puddle of snot and eyeball juice right there in public. Because here's the deal. Even though the movie had some really outlandish characters, and even though some of the dialogue was mildly overwrought, that shit felt so real to me I pretty much fell apart. I know there are lots of differences between my life and these fake movie characters, but damned if it didn't feel like they were me and Mike, except I'm not pregnant and Mike can't grow a beard.

If you don't know anything about this movie, the basic point of it is that this couple in their early thirties accidentally gets pregnant and goes on a quest to find the perfect place to live and raise a baby. They run into all different types of people on their journey, trying to figure out what type of parents they want to be and what city is the best fit for them. And you know what? Even though Mike and I are a few years off from having kids, in the back of our minds one of the major reasons we wanted to get out of LA and find somewhere that really feels like home to us is because one day we're going to be adding another person to our family, too. And we want to bring that new person to a place where we are truly able to be ourselves, and where they can easily figure out who they are.

I know this quest has been around since Bible-times, when people wandered entire, sandy continents for decades trying to find a better life. But something about "Away We Go" felt so fresh and relatable, it hit me just right. It felt good to be reminded that this experience of forming a bond with another person and then making a completely new path together is not unique. It's part of the human condition. And there's something scary and wonderful and satisfying about not knowing what's right, or else deciding to ignore what everyone else tells you is right, and then just making it up for yourself. Maybe that makes me sound like a douche, but sitting in the dark watching these two people find the place where they belonged made me so grateful not only for the amazing partner I've found, but also that we both had the courage to start down a new path together. It's not exactly easy, but it's so, so worth it.

So, go see "Away We Go." Because it's awesome. And it's totally not the chick flick I've made it out to be. In addition to many, many other very original and creative scenes of hilarity, John Krasinski yells "CUNT-SUCKER!" really loud in front of lots of people. You will laugh, you will cry, you will laugh and cry some more. You will sit in the bathroom stall sobbing for a few minutes afterward while the automatic toilet flushes three times. And you will love it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy(?) Juneteenth

Periodically I will learn some charming fact about Texas history that kind of makes me go, "...REALLY?" Case in point: Juneteenth.

So, I found out that my client at work had the day off for a state holiday. This happens frequently, these random days off for mysterious "Texas holidays," such as Armadillo Day or BBQ Ribs Day. I didn't think much of it because of the constant holidayness, but then people at my office were wishing each other "happy Juneteenth" and discussing the Juneteenth meals they were planning to cook. So finally I got curious and asked one of my co-workers, "What the hell is Juneteenth?"

Co-worker: "Were you born in Texas?"

Me: "Nope."

Co-worker: "Ok, basically Texas is an asshole. When Abe Lincoln emancipated the slaves, Texas just decided not to tell them. For TWO AND A HALF YEARS. Finally, a couple years later on June 19th, Texas said, 'Oh yeah, this thing happened where you are kind of free.'"

Me: ... !

Co-worker: "I know, shitty, right?"

So now Texas celebrates(?) Juneteenth as Emancipation Day. From what I've been able to gather, Juneteenth celebration(?) consists of black people being like, "Eff you, effing white people" and white people throwing parties where they serve fried chicken and watermelon. Does that sound super racist? Yeah, I thought so, too. But I am for reals not making it up. Every now and then something like this reminds me that, yes, indeed I live in Texas.