I can’t write a blog post about my mom and then forget about my dad, now can I?
My father is kind of a baby. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s just that he cries at movies and TV all the time and I make fun of him for it.
I remember when we were in Nags Head one year and we went to see A League of Their Own. Remember that part when Betty Spaghetti gets the news that her husband has been killed in action? Well, I remember looking over at my dad and he was wiping at his eyes while Betty sobbed on screen. I poked at him and giggled and he looked at me and growled, “I GOT DUST IN MY EYE.”
My dad would always get angry with me when I pointed out how he’d cry so easily. He’d say, “I used to tease my daddy, too. We used to go see war movies and I’d laugh because he’d cry when John Wayne died.”
Once I remember we got into a real fight over this. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I repeated a story that my mom used to tell about how my dad cried during an episode of The Brady Bunch when Marcia was punished for something and couldn’t go on her high school skiing trip. I distinctly remember us yelling at each other, which is weird given the cause of the argument. Usually I’d fight with my parents because I didn’t want to study for a math test. Or they wouldn’t let me watch Pulp Fiction. I had a relatively dull adolescence, probably because I didn’t actually hit puberty until I was a few months into my seventeenth year.
I thought of this last night while I was watching TV. I got home yesterday afternoon before five, realized that I had nothing to do, and I said to myself, “I’m going to sit here and watch TV.” It never happens. So I happened to click through the HBOs and saw that a movie was starting on HBO 37, so I decided to watch it.
It turns out that the movie was Field of Dreams. When the title came on the screen, I kind of groaned. Field of Dreams? Baseball? Kevin Costner? Bo-ring. I mean, it’s a good movie, one of the “feel-good” types that I’m generally against. And it’s about baseball. A feel-good movie about baseball makes me feel kind of uncomfortable, just like certain movies based on Stephen King stories that take place in prison. They just don’t sit well with me.
There was nothing else on, and I hadn’t seen the movie in several years, so I just kept watching. And then I got hooked. I had forgotten how good that movie is! Really! It’s a great, happy movie about the glory of the old days of baseball! And redemption! It has themes that not related to baseball! And the acting is great. Kevin Costner! (I know, I know. What happened to him?) Amy Madigan! James Earl Jones! Ray Liotta! Burt Lancaster!
By the end of the movie (stop reading here if you haven’t seen the movie – and if you haven’t, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS?) I was in a terrific mood. Shoeless Joe and the seven other White Sox got to play baseball again! Moonlight Graham finally got to bat! Kevin Costner’s kid fell off the bleachers and started choking but Moonlight Graham came out of the field to save her, making the sacrifice of never playing baseball again! His evil, corporate brother-in-law realized that they shouldn’t sell the farm! Terrence Mann gave a fantastic speech about the glorious memories of baseball and how people would definitely come to Iowa! Then Shoeless Joe invited Terry to go with him into the cornfield! AND THEN KEVIN COSTNER’S DEAD FATHER WITH WHOM HE WAS ESTRANGED WAS THERE AND HE GOT TO INTRODUCE HIM TO HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER AND GOT TO PLAY CATCH WITH HIM AND OH SHIT I GOT DUST IN MY EYE.
Are you happy now, Dad?