Films reflect life. Domesticity has plenty of plots that include action, adventure, comedy, and drama, where every situation is motivation for good movie making. I mean what if I drop the coffee maker on my foot, jump up and down in despair, back into the counter pushing a glass to the edge where it’s teetering, I sneeze sending the glass to the floor with fond sounds of it breaking it into smithereens, I step on broken pieces, major blood flows from my soles, and I die. Then my entire family has to gather together and come up with niceties to say about me at my funeral, wipe up the mess, and clean out my refrigerator. I can hear it now. “I can’t come Friday, Tuesday there’s a Twilight marathon, Thursday is all-you-can-eat at the Home Town Buffet, weekends never, Wednesday I’m going to have a cold, maybe Monday if I’m done Facebooking.” And if they did come they’d probably say, “Did she think that the one who dies with the most crap wins?” I don’t want to boast, but I can still fit into all my hair bands and jewelry from the sixties. Though I’m not about to become a household name by appearing on Hoarder’s.
After the near death drama in my kitchen, I went door to door begging for a tourniquet, or at least an ace bandage. Because some necessities never get purchased, and at sixty years old I still don’t have any of those dang things around the house. No one was available to help cease my bleeding or call the county coroner if I bled to death. But at least it was a happy ending and I didn’t croak. I should get a lifetime achievement award for the most consecutive days lived. And my many movements could be more captivating to watch than most motion pictures.
I see now why no one answers their door, or phone. What happened next was like a scene from Scream. My phone rang. Only it wasn’t a sadistic slasher calling. It was a sweeper salesman. I had neither the time nor the patience to debate whether his vacuums sucking abilities were any better than mine. I have to worry when they find out my address and fling themselves through my threshold to hold me hostage till I buy their product. Once in the same week I moved, gave birth, was intensely engaged in producing milk while scouring the new place clean, unpacked, and had to participate in online traffic school. Do you think the sales person came calling armed with a housewarming or baby gift, Enfamil, Molly Maids, offered to help, or brought me a get out of traffic school certificate showing a clean record? As we grow up, it’s less important to gain new friends and more important to have ones who are gift givers. He wouldn’t leave. I mumbled some expletives and he stood there saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I threw my copy of Death of a Salesman at him and he still didn’t get it. He showed up a month later. Now I’m more prepared when A Stranger Calls.
Since I’m on the subject of strangers, it was about midnight one summers eve on the homefront. I had a Saturday Night Fever-ish feeling as I heard rumbling on my terrace. It was a sound I imagined thieves make when they are ready to make off with your TV or T.J. Maxx jewels. I turned on the outside light and saw a skunk staring me in the eyes. He had knocked over my sweet azalea planter. I wanted to tell him he was a stinker, but it may have initiated something terrible. I wanted to fling a book at him too. But that got me no where for the first fifty years of my life. He was still peering as if to say “I didn’t do it” reminding me of the time one of my kids ravaged through a whole box of Sugar Smacks and no one owned up to it. That was a miserable moment as well, considering my fructose levels devastatingly dropped and threw off my entire biochemistry that day. In any case, I refused to believe it was anyone else but the white striped menace prowling around the patio and told the skunk to scoot. He scooted alright, straight into the house. He cocked himself fully loaded and shot me with a lethal dose of despicable spray. Now my home held a stench similar to a potato factory in ninety degrees during a strike, and I smelled like Patty Le Pew. I wanted to erect an electrifying fence after that. But knowing me, I would back myself into it a few hundred times and burn my britches, or several more brain cells. I turned into unabated Uma when she was raring to Kill Bill. My skunk slaughter would have been a good sequel.
This tiny glimpse of events merited a red carpet walk. Why couldn’t I have banked two million dollars for my starring role as the stupefied mother after being in The Parent Trap? The minute I saw my babies at birth, I knew an action packed adventure was about to begin and disrupt everything I planned, plus put me in the poor zone. Power and pressure were substantially associated with a significant electric and water bills when lights and faucets were continuously left on. And dramas played out more frequently than all the Harry Potter movies combined. A good title would have been Mummy Goes Mad since I went completely and utterly insane. I’ll sum things up in a few films. True Lies. Torn Curtain. Ice Age. Downward Angel. Mission Impossible. Shaft. Les Miserables. Monsters, Inc. Tangled. Courage under Fire. The Perfect Storm. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
I could go on but there are movies that date back to 1880, and my life stories stem from 1953.
(Posts are published every weekend in The Parson’s Sun newspaper in Kansas)