I’m taking a little detour from my usual writing today. During my last memoir writing sessions, I read through several entries written from June 2005 to September 2005 and skimmed some from September through December 2005. While I think I’ve covered this subject a little here and there, I do not know how much I’ve reinforced how deployments were times in my life that I fell behind significantly on popular culture in the form of movie going. I worked so much during my first deployment, I never thought to check and see if our recreation center had movies for everyone to watch as part of their off hours activities. During the second tour, I worked a regular shift, but my husband sent me boxed sets of the shows, “That 70’s Show” and “Monk,” that I would occasionally watch with my coworkers.
Unexpectedly, in my life, movie watching became a particular pastime with my husband and I, starting in our dating years. We started working together approximately May 2005 but went on our first date October 14th of that year. I caught some movies that year with friends like “Constantine”, but on September 15th, I wrote this excerpt in a larger Myspace entry reflecting on lost love and what I wanted in someone to be my partner.
I thought about sharing these sentiments last week but being so close to the anniversary of September 11th and also with September being Suicide Prevention month, I was hesitate to share something so lighthearted. This week it feels ok to take a detour.
I am not a passionate person when it comes to moviegoing. I grew up as one of four kids and later one of six when my step siblings joined my life. It was far too expensive as a family to see movies often and I never imagined as an adult seeing movies would become a regular part of my life. Serving in the Marine Corps and having a pretty substantial regular paycheck due to little debt and no one to support gave me more discretionary income than I think most of my friends in college had around the same time.
When my husband came into my life, a common weekend date routine for us was a trip to Barnes and Noble, a dinner (or two out) and a movie, when and if something we’d like was out in theaters. It’s funny, too, that periods of our military service are reasons why I remember certain movies instead of certain movies reminding me about us also serving at the same time. We saw “Jarhead” with our fellow Marines in November 2005 in the worst seats in the theater. As CBRN Marines, the scene where the guys play football in MOPP is one of my favorites. The movie, “WALL-E,” stands out for me as we watched it in our hotel room during the 2008 Marine Corps ball weekend in Anaheim. We were experiencing fires in southern California and were advised to stay indoors. We had some great room service which was a delight after the catering for the ball disappointed me. Honestly, who serves apple pie for dessert when the occasion is the Marine Corps birthday?!
Movies have continued to play an important part of our weekend activities. By and large, I like comedies and Thomas encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone to see Marvel and DC Comics movies. He put up with watching “Memoirs of a Geisha” with me because I loved the book. We both were pained by the excessive frolicking in the woods during “The New World” and I think every other person in the audience was just as disappointed by the excessive length of the film. It needed more editing. I was embarrassed for a bit by picking out two movies that disappointed us that for a short while, I stopped recommending movies for us to watch.
Our silliest movie adventure was probably the time we ended up seeing “27 Dresses” in theater. We purchased tickets for something else and were misdirected to this theater. When the film began, we contemplated leaving but we sat through the film.
I’ve lost track of all the movies we’ve seen over the years, but I’ve found this person who stands beside me treats me how I wanted to be treated all those years ago, like a princess. He’s helped me cope with anxiety from my first deployment and unpacking those experiences for academic endeavors, building my claim with the VA, and in my work with veterans. We sent love letters and emails when the Marine Corps kept us apart. During one anniversary, he picked up some of our favorite things from Blue Wasabi, including my favorite soft shell crab. I cannot recall the many Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks films we’ve enjoyed over the years. He started a family with me and to give you a small peek into our family life, he was the one to master swaddling our daughter in her infancy. Our first adventure playing in snow was during our June 2006 adventure to see his family in Wyoming. We played in snow along the side of the road. We don’t live in an area where we rake our leaves, but we’ve done it before in Wyoming. Walks make up the majority of our exercise habits. We walked our dogs around the neighborhood during our apartment living days; we traipsed around town in Cody, Wyoming even around those uneven sidewalks damaged by tree roots; and it is really only the summer here in Arizona that keeps us from daily walks. We may like some pampering experiences but a lot of our best days are hanging around which doesn’t cost a thing. And how do I know he loves my family like I do? He helped my parents surprise my daughter and I when we planned our Disney trip last year. He lends an ear when I need support about how to a better sibling to my sisters and brother. He listens to me when I feel like a failure as a mother.
Thanks for joining me for this little detour in writing today. I’m not ready yet to do homework and wanted to share a little positive story this morning.
Have a great Sunday!