Who The Heck Is Molière?


Amy and I love to watch movies together. In almost every case, the movies that she chooses are not movies that I would choose for myself, and so our evening movie watching adventures become an opportunity for personal growth for me. I am not allowed to choose the movies that we watch, which is an additional opportunity for personal growth and refinement of my sense of self-control and patience. I am apparently partial to movies that Amy describes as “Gilligan’s Island in space.” She has no patience for Gilligan’s Island in space.

So, we watch “meaningful” movies. “Meaningful” is defined as “in a foreign language, with subtitles in a different foreign language, with characters that are indistinguishable from one another speaking to each other about obscure and arcane subjects that only they (and Amy) care about.” Documentaries are also popular during movie time. The last one we watched was entitled, “Death And The Civil War.” Historically speaking, there was a lot of death during the Civil War. There was even more death during this documentary. (It was actually fascinating – I had no idea that refrigeration, embalming, and many mortuary technologies were developed during the Civil War to manage the huge volume of KIA soldiers on both sides of the conflict. More fascinating than that was the shift in social convention and public and private attitudes about death that occurred during the Civil War. This little aside proves that I was not sleeping, but that I was actually watching the documentary, and gets me off the hook.)

We both have a set of movies that we call “blankie movies.” These movies bear rewatching on a regular basis, and we both have about 15 or 20 movies in our individual lists. We watch hers together; mine are relegated to “after Amy goes to bed.” Not a single one of my movies is entitled “Gilligan’s Island in space,” but like life, thirty-year plus marriages are not always fair.

One of Amy’s blankie movies is called “Molière.” It tells the story of a French actor and playwright during the mid-17th century. Molière developed into one of the first and most successful comedic playwrights in history. He fancied himself as a commentator on serious subjects of the day, and longed to be serious-minded and sober. His serious writings were terrible, though, and he was regularly pelted with rotten vegetables when he tried to perform anything but his comedies and farces.

One evening several weeks ago, I asked Amy if she had read my last blog post.  She had.  I asked her if she had any opinions about it, and she said, “Molière was better at humor, and came off as kind of a prig when he didn’t play to his strengths.  Good night, honey.  Enjoy Gilligan.”  I have no idea what she meant.  It’s probably the Parkinson’s, but she’s always been smarter than me in a lot of ways.

On a different subject, I have noticed a tendency in myself to rush the season, and declare that I need to stop doing this thing or that thing because of the progression of “the disease.”  Sometimes I unfortunately turn out to be right (even a broken clock is right twice a day – for those who only have experience with digital clocks, never mind), but just as often I’m wrong.

My brother and I have had a blast over the last several years traveling together.  We had to stop for a time while we both focused on other things, and when he was ready again, I made one of those “I cannot. The time for this is past, selah” pronouncements.  I’m in the process of retracting that pronouncement in a limited way.  No month-long junkets to Dubai or Constantinople, no fire-walking boot camp in Fiji, not even two weeks in Daytona drinking beer in the middle of a fascinating social experiment in the effects of loud noises and engine exhaust on impulse control.  We’re going to Front Sight.

Front Sight, as you may recall, is a firearms training institute in the desert southwest of Las Vegas. My brother and I are headed there in early March to take a four-day class in handgun safety and defensive handgun techniques. There may even be an opportunity to take a practical class from my brother in why you don’t draw to an inside straight; he’s always been very willing to share his knowledge with me, and it will probably cost less than some of my other interactions with him. Here’s hoping, anyway.

Amy is supportive, as she usually is.  She asks more questions than she used to, but at least this time the answers were acceptable. The real limitation in my travel schedule these days doesn’t come from her, but from the other two females that I live with. Izzy pouts when I’m gone for more than a day or so, and now Skitter pouts as well.  Unfortunately, Skitter pouts by torturing Izzy, so no one is happy when I leave.  The burden of adoration is heavy, but I bear it gracefully by sneaking away to Nevada.  I’ll Skype with them – they’ll be ok.

Not every day is a good day – I will no doubt struggle a little on this trip.  I don’t want to quit “going and doing” though.  Whether it’s outshooting my brother in the desert (he’s a good shot, but refuses to practice eight hours a day – wimp) going on 6-mile hikes occasionally with Iz, or going to a cooking class courtesy of my beloved daughter (thanks again, honey) I’ll keep going until I can’t.  And I’ll pray and hope I don’t stop too soon, out of fear or foolish desire to control the uncontrollable.

And i’ll try to keep it light.  I don’t like the rotten vegetable showers.

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