Thursday, August 13, 2009


I love going to the movies. I love the overpriced popcorn with the fake butter in spite of the fact that it upsets my stomach. I love the temperature in the theater...the way it is always at the exact point just between comfortable and cold. I think it is great that the seats are large enough to accommodate me. And I obviously normally enjoy whatever it is that I am going to see. (Except "City of Angels" - heinous ending - still mad about it all these years later). One of my very favorite parts of the "movie theater experience" - however - is the previews of coming attractions.

I sit wide-eyed in my seat anxiously awaiting the previews of the movies that I just know I am going to dying to see a few months ahead. Granted, I can also predict the ones I will rent, and can definitely determine which I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will not see...or will ever want to see or rent. I am fascinated with how the marketers take snippets of scenes or lines in the movie and weave them together to come up with a few minutes of footage designed to make me want to come back to see the full length feature. Granted, it is unlikely that I am going to see a Tyler Perry movie in the theater after my unfortunate experience at "Amistad" several years ago...for reasons totally unrelated to Tyler Perry...but I do love his previews.

Previews...just pieces of film designed to reel me in. Like little appetizers of delight created to make me go, "I definitely want to go see that one!"

Well, as life would have it, tonight I just got a preview of another kind. This one was a real life example of coming attractions that are anything but attractive. For just an instant tonight, in spite of the fact that my husband and son are in my home, my two dogs were stalking me for kibble, and I know my daughter is just up the road in the throes of Recruitment, I felt...lonely. Old lady lonely. Lady with thirty cats and a parakeet lonely. Person who watches television for company because nobody else has time for her lonely. And it was not a pretty picture.

As I felt the tears come to my eyes, I realized that the sadness that a lot of older people probably feel is in reality...loneliness. Over time, the loneliness turns to anger, and the anger to meanness, and the meanness to hatefulness. Like a bad movie where one bad thing leads to another and another...I see how easily it can begin. And I didn't like it at all.

My children were raised being hugged, held and kissed...and for those early years, they repaid me in kind. As they got older, the contact diminished somewhat, but I still felt connected to them. Now, I feel that they recoil when I try to hug them, and they apparently find it a burden to have to have any physical contact with me whatsoever. Is this a preview of coming attractions? Will they outgrow this? Questions that I honestly do not know the answers to at this point.

I'll admit that I am not exactly the person who has to hug everyone, and I am pretty content to give people their space. But my children? I was totally unprepared for it.
Maybe this is just a scene in the movie of my life that will eventually end up on the cutting room floor. Perhaps it is just a bad week and I picked the wrong time to try to show affection. I hope that it is. I am not ready for that part of my life to ride into the sunset quite yet.

For those of you who have young children in your life...cherish that. Enjoy their tiny fingers around your hands and heart. Hold a child on your lap if they ask. Because one day, you will reach out to hug someone...and you may find that they are too busy to be bothered with you.

Perhaps that is why we are given allow us to have a sequel to the stories of our lives. Not that I'm ready for that particular joy quite yet...I'm really not. But at least the prospect of knowing that little people will be there for me to hold and love gives me something to look forward to someday. And that is a preview of coming attractions that I truly do not want to miss. Later!

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