A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Movies

I have written in previous posts that my wife has laid down the challenge that we see all 9 Oscar© nominated movies befoscarore Sunday’s broadcast.  Surprisingly, we may just accomplish the task – we’ve seen 7 and have the time (weather permitting) to see the last 2.  We’ve been to Louisiana, Philadelphia, Iran, Washington, India, Afghanistan, and Texas; we’ve witnessed life in the mid-nineteenth century, the late twentieth century and today; we’ve seen slavery, warfare and loss from different vantages.  It has been a great experience seeing life from so many perspectives and my life has been enriched by the experience.

These past three weeks have been fascinating, but not because of the movies.  Every few weeks in a book or magazine I come across the concept of “married couples date nights” suggesting that husbands take their wives out somewhere regularly.  Well, four children and life’s obligations crowd the calendar and my wife and I rarely ‘date’ – except this month.  It began with a bit of guilt (“we can’t leave the kids that long”) and has now become an adventure (“maybe we could see every movie in a different theater!”)  We’ve now departed in rain, snow, and bitter winds and travelled into town and out to the suburbs.  We’ve reclined in overstuffed chairs, ate popcorn in an art-house theatre and experienced the splendor of Hollywood in every imaginable way.

But the greatest blessing for me in all this movie watching is sharing the time and conversations with Jeanine.  What began as an exercise in entertainment became a gift of relationship.  Sitting in the dark engrossed in cinema, quoting memorable lines to one another and then carrying the conversation long into the night about what we witnessed (“which of Pi’s stories was true?” or “did Lincoln really have an anecdote for every situation?”): these are the things that I will remember about this adventure.  We’ve been acting like teenagers, joking about the fact that we’re the only ones at the showing and rushing around together, and it has been great.

I went to the movies this month and rekindled my love for my wife.  This Sunday, when the awards are presented, I will watch and know that the real winner is me.

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