Saturday Matinee Lessons — And My Thoughts on MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

Nothing today has quite gone as planned, but nothing bad has happened, and I have learned a couple of things.  Are you in the mood for a meandering, Southern tale?

So, I decided to go to the movies to clear my head even though there isn’t anything nearby that I’m itching to see.

Last night, I ordered Red on demand at a bargain price thinking it would be good to see it before checking out the sequel.  Then I made the embarrassing discovery that I had, in fact, already seen it but had forgotten.

Despite all the movies I see, this almost never happens.  Usually I remember something about a film, even films I don’t like or bland little numbers like this one.  Don’t get mad at me.  I know a lot of people really seemed to like Red but, really, what does it have going for it except the revenge of the baby boomers theme and some popular actors?

Still, I can’t believe I totally blanked until I saw Bruce Willis’s character chatting up Mary-Louise Parker’s character by phone and it all came rushing back.  Maybe I saw it on an airplane or something, and that’s why my recall was blank.

Even so, I started out today to see Red 2 – I do love Helen Mirren, after all – and discovered in the theater parking lot that I didn’t have my wallet in my purse.  Oh, yeah.  I went to Costco straight from the Y yesterday and just had my wallet, keys, and phone with me.  No purse.  When I tossed the wallet toward the purse after I got home, it must have landed on the chair beside my gigantic, black target.

Reminder.  Do not deviate from your routine.  Take your purse everywhere.

I drove home carefully coming to a complete stop where signs indicated and not using yellow lights as a signal to speed through.  But, I also thought about how powerless I felt without my wallet, without money either plastic or folding, without identification, without options.

How often I take for granted all the choices I am able to make about when and if I want to stop, want to look, or want to buy.  So many people have far less choice.  There is a great deal I take for granted.

At home I found my purse right where I expected it to be and looked up the show times at the nearest cinema.  Deciding Red 2 was not in the cards, I saw that I could just make Monsters University.

What?  Okay, so you’re thinking why have I not already seen that one if I wanted to and why would a middle-aged woman go alone to see a kid movie on a Saturday afternoon?

Good questions.  Fair questions.

I probably won’t see a lot of G-rated movies until I’m a grandmother, which hopefully will happen sometime but not in the near future.  My son will be a college senior in the fall, and he went with a buddy to see Monsters University (surprised me, too) and said it was very good (surprised me more).  When a movie savvy, 21-year-old man tells me an unlikely film is worth seeing, I take notice.

So, I got there in time to get one of my favorite seats, having had my wallet along to pay for the privilege, and hunkered down noticing but not worried by the fact that I was the only person in the screening room over 18-years-old who was unaccompanied by a young child.

It is a good film.  Ironically, it has the same message as 20 Feet from Stardom, which I extolled earlier in the week.  No, really, it does.

We all have talents but have to find them and figure out our place in the world.  We may have to work hard and to carve out a niche that is different from what we expect it to be, but there is joy and satisfaction in finding the fit and in working with a team.

Okay, so that may have been a stretch by a smidge, but Monsters University made me feel good, happy, hopeful, and satisfied that sometimes things do work out for the best (and not just in the movies).

Besides, the main character, Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) is my favorite color:  chartreuse!



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