Sunday, October 02, 2005

Saturday Adventures

Yesterday I slept in until almost 9:00 a.m. This is unheard of in my world. I always wake up at 7:00 a.m., come hell or high water. I think the biggest factor was that I was absolutely exhausted, but a very important secondary factor is the fact that my bedroom has no windows. Close the door, and it's the dead of night in there.

Also, something interesting is that the sun doesn't rise here until about 7:30 a.m. The nice thing is that it sets at about 7 or 7:30 p.m. But after seven years in Illinois, I've grown accustomed to early morning sun, so this seems strange. Somehow it never really sunk in that the sun rose so much earlier there. I only noticed that it set so early there, instead of paying attention to when it rose. The late rising time of the sun also makes it more difficult to wake up at 7:00 a.m.

Also yesterday I went to Food Lion. Now I have been to all the major grocery stores in town: Wal-Mart, Food City, Kroger, and Food Lion. I didn't like Food Lion very much. I'd say the partial ordering of the grocery stores goes as follows: Wal-Mart = Kroger >= Food City >> Food Lion. When we move into our new house, we will be within a mile of Food City, so that's probably where I would shop the most, because it was pretty cheap. Kroger and Wal-Mart had a better selection, though, so I'd probably want to head over to one of them at least every so often. And they are about the same distance from our new house: they're across Illinois Avenue from each other. Food Lion is the farthest away and I think that I'm not going to be losing any sleep over that.

Also yesterday I watched the movie Love Me Tender on TV. It's a movie in which Elvis stars as the youngest of four brothers. The three older brothers fought in the Civil War while he stayed home and watched the farm. The oldest brother had a sweetheart whom he planned to marry when he got home, but at home they had received reports that he was dead, so the sweetheart actually married Elvis. So the oldest brother came home to face the fact that his sweetheart was married to his brother. Because he was such a tough guy, he swallowed all his feelings about the situation and acted like everything was fine. He told Elvis that he had never actually liked the woman that much. And he told his brothers to hide the fact that he had come home with a fancy suit that he was going to wear at their wedding. Lots of lies and cover-ups.

I was horrified by the dysfunction of that approach. Did he really think he had to hide his anger and grief? Who wouldn't be upset about something like that? Furthermore, did he really think that he could hide it? I guess that was the ideal male of the time: able to completely control his feelings at all times. It's sad that people growing up in that era had such rigid roles to fill.

If that movie had been written today, here's how the plot would have gone: oldest brother comes home, sees that his sweetheart is married to his brother, and pitches a fit. The woman reveals that she's always loved the oldest brother and only the oldest brother, and then they run off to California to start a new life together, but not before we get a chance to see some racy sex scenes. Either that, or they decide to revive the tradition of polyandry, and there's a gratuitous three-way scene. Or, the woman and the oldest brother have an illicit affair in the woods. Or, maybe, the woman chooses duty over love and the oldest brother runs off to California by himself.

The point is, everybody expresses how they feel, and then they figure out how to go from there. In the long term, it's not going to hurt Elvis to know that the oldest brother was disappointed and had planned on marrying the woman. Sure, it's going to hurt right when it's said, but did he not remember how close his brother and the woman were before the war? Ultimately, he'll understand that what his brother is feeling is perfectly understandable. What happens after that can be decided collaboratively. Why hide it when the truth is inevitably going to come out?

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