Friday, August 24, 2012

Swallowing my Pride - Jaws Style


Jaws played on the big screen at our local theater for one day only. This movie terrified me as a kid.  I think I watched it when I was in fifth grade or so.  It was the perfect amount of suspense and jumpy.  It didn't cause me to need to sleep with my lights on at night or to crawl into bed with my mother.  It did make me uneasy about swimming - even at our public pool.  After seeing this movie, there were moments when I'd jump off the diving board into the deep end of our city's pool, and I was overcome with heart-gripping fear.  I'd try to think rationally - reminding myself sharks don't make a habit of frequenting public swimming pools - but I'd still end up high-tailing it to the side of the pool - afraid for my life.  I'd pull myself out of the water - heart racing - and have to go buy myself a margarita snow cone to calm down.

25 years later, the thought of Jaws crosses my mind every single time I'm in the ocean. I always experience a few moments of irregular breathing and have to fight my way back to rational thinking.  Jaws is a movie that sticks with you.  It forever freaked me out and I never watched it on the big screen.  I was thrilled to take our oldest son and his friend to watch Jaws last night.  There was something really satisfying about passing down the terror to a whole new generation.

The movie has been digitally remastered so many theaters are showing the film.  If it's playing near you - I definitely recommend it.  I loved experiencing this movie with Anson.  It was fun to see the clothes and accessories from 1975.  The women's swimsuits were dreamy and back in style.  The men's high-waisted, shorty-short swimsuits made us laugh.  This movie is every modern-day hipster's dream.  The movie is rated PG but only because PG-13 ratings did not exist in 1975.  It's definitely a solid PG-13 movie.

Last night was a total adventure for us.  We watched the movie.  We were scared out of our minds.  Then we started to drive home.  While I was telling Anson that I really wish those dorky men's bathing suits would make a come back so he'd have to wear one and he was dramatically swearing he'd never - not ever - allow one of those swimsuits to touch his body, I missed my exit.  Then I ran out of gas.  For the first time in my life.  Calling Aaron to tell him I had run out of gas was especially awful because of my long-held, vocal beliefs that people who run out of gas are idiots.

I try not to be a judgy person, and I despise a generalization right along with the next person, but I have managed to hold on tight to my cruel-fascination with people who run out of gas fairly regularly.  I mean come on - I ran out of gas in the middle of town surrounded by gas stations.  My car kindly reminds me I need gas when I start to run low.  When my fuel level gets really close to bare bottom - my vehicle gets downright annoying. I'd go so far as to classify my vehicle as a bully when it comes to the gas gauge.  "Get gas you moron."  I have a whole rant - possibly even a killer stand up routine - about people who make a habit of running out of gas.  Aaron has heard me perfect my running-out-of-gas-sketch for the past ten years. I pull it out at parties.  It's a real winner.  So imagine what a blast it was to call Aaron and say, "I ran out of..."  I could barely say it.  "You what?"  Sigh.  "I ran out of GAS.  I'm on the side of the road." "You ran out of gas?  Really?"  "Yes."  Gosh.  If Anson wasn't with me and we weren't stuck on the freeway, I would have gone to great lengths to make this all go away.  I probably would have even hitchhiked.  No, I definitely would have. 

Aaron headed to find me.  When I told him where I was he said, "What?  Why are you there?  Where were you going?"  Home.  I just forgot where we lived for a minute.  "You ran out of gas and got lost?"  This was getting better and better.

Aaron emptied the contents of a gas can into my vehicle.  I went to start the car - and the battery was dead.  "Did you leave the lights on this whole time?"  Yes.  "I didn't want a car to hit us while we were on the side of the road."  I didn't tell him I felt freaked out in the dark - and it was too soon to think rationally.  I was afraid a shark would swim out and bite a hole in the side of the car - and DUH - having the lights on would obviously prevent such a tragedy.  Aaron had to jump the car off. He was fabulous, patient, smiley - and even followed me to the nearest gas station (not even a half mile away) and pumped my gas for me.  He did point at me - raise his eyebrows - and say "YOU ran out of gas" a few times though.  I even got the eyebrow raise, wide-eyed finger point right before I was falling asleep.  I fell asleep growling the words, "I can't believe this," and "stupid," and "lame," and "now what am I going to talk about at parties."

Got any awesome plans this weekend?  Here's what we're not doing:  swimming.  Instead, we're going to a real-life skating rink that hasn't been updated since it was built.  Think carpet walls and brown skates.  Yes.  Can't wait.  My nieces are also coming to hang out.  I'm over the moon excited and haven't told the boys yet.  I want it to be a surprise.  I'm also forcing the Middles to audition for The Music Man at a local theater this weekend.  Are they stoked?  No.  But I want them to have this experience one time in their life and swore they never had to be in a production again if they hate it.  We had a heart-to-heart talk about trying new things, experiencing a wide-range of activities - about never knowing what we'll love until we try something new - and about regret.  Those precious kids agreed to trust me on this one - to go for it.  Just this once.  It was a beautiful moment.

How about some weekend links?

When I read this I laughed so hard I cried.  When I retold this story to Aaron in the car, I laughed and cried so hard he could not understand what I was saying.

This is cute - and it's fair trade.

Adoptive parent?  Thinking about adoption?  This is a must-read.

Got a pony-lover?  This could be the next best thing - and you'll be helping to fund an adoption.

This should surprise no one.

I think we may do this while my nieces are here.

Educators will find this intriguing.

Hope you have a great weekend!  And feel free to run out of gas if you want to - I will never make fun of you again.  Never ever.


6 comments:

Bob & Judy said...

Sometimes when the boys were teens, they would go see a movie and come home with this: "It was SO funny! Mom, you'd hate it."

There's a reason why I don't like movies that my family thinks are funny. I can't disengage.

It's not funny for a dog to be dragged behind a car until there's nothing left but a bloody collar. It's not funny for men to fall off the roof while they're putting up Christmas lights. In my brain, it's HAPPENING. And it's not funny.

There's a reason why I cannot, cannot, cannot watch Jaws without needing to throw up. Same reason.

Put me in front of a big screen - or, heck, my 2" IPod screen, and I become part of the story. I cannot disengage.

Jaws is too scary for Grandma. Period.

Sorry about the gas thing. I know Aaron enjoyed it a little too much.

Jen | Our Happy Family said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has been scared of sharks even in swimming pools since seeing Jaws when I was kid. I know it doesn't make sense, but you just get that feeling!

Anonymous said...

Just a note of caution, shaving cream burns if it gets in your eyes. I learned this years ago during a shaving cream fight with youth.

Denise said...

Too funny! I really needed that laugh... thank you for doing that for me ;)

beth lehman said...

i read that story with my 12 year old this morning.... i was completely incapacitated trying to read it... it just kept getting funnier and funnier... THANK YOU!!!

Shiloh said...

I was laughing "with you" about the gas story so hard that I was crying. Thanks for the laughs this morning.