Perhaps it is the dry, relentless heat that saps energy and tests one’s patience before nine o’clock in the morning, but today I feel at odds with myself and with others. Do women get crabbier as we age? Is menopause one long PMS session?
I’ve always been rather reticent. Pardon my Catholic upbringing but it was drilled into me that drawing attention to oneself was shameful. Behave. Be polite. Don’t, under any circumstances, warned my mother, make trouble that would make her ashamed.
I get older and I’ve become more honest, more outspoken. Time’s short and I’m tired of playing nice, pretending to be the suburban someone that I am not.
It started with a conversation at the stables today, in a dirt aisle. Don’t imagine this is a place similar to where Mrs. Romney keeps her dressage horses. Some corrals are held up with plastic twine, tied twice for safety. Instead of jodhpurs, jeans and our shirts are covered in a fine layer of the dust in which Valley Fever lurks. We have a motley collection of discarded patio furniture where we sit in the shade beside the horses and chat when it is too hot to ride.
The topic turned to books and film. Ah, intellectual discourse. A friend turned to me and asked,
“Have you ever watched the movie, Jackass?”
I paused. It is my guilty pleasure and should I share this fact with the retired teacher sitting next to me? I look like the last person on earth who would enjoy that movie but put a margarita in one hand and the remote in the other and I will watch the shit out of that DVD. And laugh and laugh and laugh. Do I do those things? Do I approve of those stunts? Would I be friends with the crew?
No, no and no. But really, does low brow entertainment get any better than watching someone ride strapped into a quite-full port a potty dangling from a bungee cord? Just knowing what is about to take place before the bungee cord is released from the crane has me slapping the sofa.
My husband joins me, tears trickling out of the creases about his eyes. A Jackass DVD is a guaranteed good time to even Doctah D.
Just thinking about the stunts makes me start to giggle and what I hear next wipes the smile off my face quicker than a slap to the cheek.
“That film is dangerous. Teen boys copy those people and then they get hurt or even killed. ”
She added, “You know, I think less of you for liking that film. I’m disappointed in you.”
Plans were made for lunch, in front of me. And I was not included.
It took me aback. That all my passion for discussing science, culture, plays, writing and writing with my friends suddenly mattered not.
It was as if I had been asked if I had been convicted of a crime and when I truthfully answered yes, I was fired as a friend.
Over a movie. And I hadn’t even starred in it naked.