Nick's Journal
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2021-02-21 18:32:27 (UTC)

Watching Movies with my Mom & the Disappointment

yesterday I watched "nomad land" with my mom (a great movie by the way) and I noticed that my movie viewing experience with her always takes on the same form. whether it's the crown (which is beyond awesome) or some other movie (by the way she has very specific movie tastes, no gore, little to no violence, slapstick humour is definitely a plus and anything with lady Diana is automatically watched) she is in one of two modes: (a) asking question or (b) narrating what is happening right in front of my eyes.

take last night's viewing of the masterpiece with one of my favourite actresses, Frances McDormand. the movie starts with some script on the screen:
"what's it say? I can't read that!" I explain what it says, "oh, I'm confused."
frances mcdormand appears on the screen: "that's Frances mcdormand. she played in Mississippi burning where she had that awful racist policeman as a husband, have you seen that movie?"
the character opens a storage unit to clean it out and put the remainder in her van: "is she married?" "what? how would I know if she's married?" "I thought you've seen this movie." "nope first time." "Huh, well I don't think she's married."
a few seconds pass by. "she's living in her van." "yep."

the best is watching the crown with my mom though because she knows EVERYTHING about the royal family. she revered princess Diana. so, whenever camilla, the floozy that prince Charles was in love with, graced the screen my mom would start with the shallow breathing, shake her head as if she was witnessing a gory scene and say, "she is just...ugh, I just don't know. I mean she is just the worst. how can Charles like her? she is a witch! she has him under a spell! seriously! how can he choose this woman over lady Di!??" and with this last line of questioning she turned to our dog, who I could see did not want to be involved in the debate whatsoever.

"she's boiling water." "I know, I see that." "she probably has to boil it because she doesn't have any plumbing in her van." "that's probably right." "is that her real hair?" "I don't know." "they did a good job with her hair." "when is the crown season 5 coming out?" "next year." "next year? good god, what's taking so long?" "corona probably." "hm." "but there's a movie coming out about Dianna." my mom's eyes widened like saucers: "ooooo we will definitely have to see that!"

the other night my parents had some friends over for dinner along with their daughter. the husband is a bankruptcy attorney and the mother is the office manager.

"so nick," the missus turned to me with her glass of red wine dangerously full, "I hear you've been a lawyer for 12 years. a CORPORATE lawyer" while accenting the adjective she leaned ever so slightly towards her daughter to ensure that she had caught it, "how do you like it?"
"oh I like it quite a lot, it's just challenging and it's been what I've always wanted to do."
"ah!" the missus said, raising her arms in triumph and now getting very close to bathing our dog in red wine, "see, he LIKES it!" with the second time that she accented she again leaned in to her daughter.
"and tell me, the bar you took, it is one of the hardest in the country is that right? I mean it's all essay? nowadays they're part multiple choice and part essay."
I started to feel a little awkward about this line of questioning which seemed to be to the (unsolicited) benefit of her daughter somehow.
"erm, eh, yeah. pretty hard, only about 66% or about 2/3s usually pass."
"and YOU passed it the FIRST time, right?" again she leaned in towards her daughter while accentuating the adjective
"eh, yes, but I've had some friends that have had to take it multiple times." this she brushed aside.

"you see," she began, turning to her daughter who was now timidly holding her ginger ale wanting to sink into the couch, "Abigail here has taken the bar three times and she can't seem to pass it!" with this she slapped the palms of her hands onto her ample thighs as if this last statement defied all reason and logic.
"mom, I'm trying, I'm just not good at the essay part."
"but HE...HEEEEEE had an ALL essay bar, not part multiple choice and part essay. ALL essay!"

"you see," the missus said, swinging herself back to me, "Abigail is supposed to take over the family bankruptcy business..." at this I looked at poor Abigail and I could tell that the last thing she wanted was to take over the family business.

so later, when it was possible to get her somewhat away from her mother I asked her about it all. it was the usual heartbreaking story where she just went to law school to win the approval of her mother and to be like her father. "is there a type of law you do like?" "I like animals." not exactly an area of law that is thriving, but when she said that was the only time that her eyes lifted themselves from the floor and looked into mine.

I wish I could give her the courage to do what she wants. I wish her mother didn't treat her like that. I wish her father weren't so oblivious.

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