The good news is, I remembered my wife’s birthday. Even better, the kids took control of the evening. They made dinner. Not my favorite but who cares. I did not have to prepare it. One son surprised his mother by showing up earlier than she had expected. All I did was suggest, early in the week, that I would take them all to a movie. Of course, with me paying the way, I got to choose. Ever mindful, of course, of what my wife would like to see. I chose the movie Hope Springs. Not because of the topic, a middle aged couple having bedroom issues, but because I like the main actors. Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep. I suspected it would be good.
I would be remiss in not pointing out that my kids were not that enthused about the movie pick I had made. One hates movies and did not want to go at all. Another one suggested that the Bourne Legacy movie was showing as well. He obviously knows my weakness for the Bourne movies. But they humoured me. We all went. By the time we got there the theater was almost full. We had to sit right in front. I did notice, however, that our kids were the youngest people there.
I enjoyed the movie. Had a few good laughs. Noticed quite a bit of laughter coming from behind us. Some of it seemed like nervous laughter. I was wondering if there were parts of the movie that was hitting some nerves. You know the old adage, truth hurts? I suppose that is what happens when you have a bunch of middle aged people watching a movie about relationships, particularly as it concerns the physical aspects of a marriage. It was hilarious to see Tommy Lee Jones playing the role of a man forced to go to marriage counseling. Frustrated, nervous, nonchalant. A roller coaster of emotions.
What I got out of that movie was that we need to make an effort at retaining and maintaining our relationships. It does not happen on its own. We need to work on it. No different than many other things we do in life. If I don’t practice and work on my golf game on a regular basis it goes awol. If I don’t keep up with training and working at my mediation skills I lose my effectiveness. If I don’t watch what I eat or drink my body does not respond the way I wish it would. Quite frankly, this age thing is wreaking havoc with that. The point is that we need practice, we need “updating”, we need to work on all aspects of our lives. And there are times that we need to seek professional help.
It’s called relationships. We have partners. All of us make mistakes. We are human. All I can say is hope springs. The lesson I learned from the movie is simply this. Communication is important. Jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, picturing in our minds what might happen are exercises in futility.
My wife and I are taking a break for the weekend. Take a little trip south. Grand Forks. Ironically that is where we went on our honeymoon 30 years ago. Hmmmm. Wonder what will be different this time around. I may tell you about it, but then again, I may not. Make it a good one.