Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Movie Night

"You've never seen it?"

"No, I don't think so."

It was a Sunday evening, and word had come from the home aid agency that the caregiver lined up for that evening wasn't going to make it.  It happens on and off, and it's just par for the course.  The folks who work to make my parents's lives more manageable have lives of their own.  Their kids get sick.  They get sick.  They have unexpected emergencies.  One could complain and kvetch about it, but that'd be shallow and oblivious to privilege.  They're good about notifying me, and as I'm not the sort of princess who thinks the world exists to serve them, I just gird up my loins like a man and do what needs to be done.

So I combobulated myself, then hopped on over to my folks to insure their evening went smoothly.  It's simple, really.  Just prepping a light dinner, making sure Dad has taken his meds, and fetching things until he's ready to shut down for the night.

We were watching 60 Minutes and eating cheese toast, because it's what my folks always d on Sunday evenings.  We'd gotten to the final segment, a fawning puff piece about Nicolas Cage, likely a publicist-driven tie-in for his latest terrible movie about Dracula.  Not quite "hard hitting journalism," but hey.  It was the final segment.  He came across as...eccentric.  Which is not a surprise, because of course he is.  You expect Nicolas Cage to be driving a gaudy Lamborghini, wearing way too much makeup, and getting intense about things.

During the piece, some of his best films were featured.  Moonstruck, of course.  Leaving Las Vegas.  The dark, intense Pig.  And Raising Arizona.

As it turned out, my parents had never seen Raising Arizona.  Somehow, they just missed it back in the day, and life moved on.  It's one of the Cohen Brother's most delightfully silly films.  Wonderful, absurd, intelligently-written slapstick, the kind of movie that transcends its era.  As H.I. McDunnough, the endearing petty criminal who serves as the protagonist, Cage is just utterly wonderful.

It's a favorite, and I own it on DVD, so I suggested watching it.  "Sure," Dad said, so the next evening I was over at my parents place, we all watched it together over dinner.

Mom found it delightful, because she loves the Cohen Brothers.  Dad, who insisted it was "OK," nonetheless spent the portions of the film when he wasn't nodding off with an astonished smile on his face.  It was a thoroughly pleasant evening.

There's an assumption about caregiving for the aging.  It's a slog.  It's a burden.  It's Just So Hard.

But I love my parents, and I enjoy their company.  I like hearing them laugh, or watching them flirt, which they still do on frequent occasion.  I like playing ping pong with Mom, and hearing the old familiar stories from Dad.  It's not mining salt in Siberia.

Spending time with them is a pleasure.  Doing things for them is a pleasure.