When I was a young guy (not when I was a young girl. We don’t talk about that part of my life) I received a magical sort of self-help book (more than one. I was really screwed up) which contained some sage advice on self-worth. My worth, said magical, sage helpy-book, was not tied to job, or marriage partner or any sort of “thing.” Things, book pointed out, were just things. I know now, in my wise, older state of being, that this is not true. Self worth, I’ve learned, has a lot to do with the way my lawn looks. When my yard is having a bad year, I’m having a bad year. The wife I love and adore may speak of how fond she is of me, but if my grass has withered and turned brown I’m inconsolable.
My front lawn is on a pronounced slope. I find myself jogging behind the mower as it takes off down toward the neighbor’s house. The people who inhabit my little street, hobbit-like in the way they poke their heads out to see what I’m doing, all think I mow three sheets to the wind. I end up with crooked crop circles in the grass. If M. Night Shyamalan ever saw my freshly mown yard he’d make movie in which some kid sees dead people just before he gets abducted by aliens. This year the yard looks very presentable. I used Scotts Insecure Homeowner 12-Step Program on it. The green won’t last, but the hope of spring remains eternal. I put cooking whiskey in the mole’s holes so they’ll hibernate longer and I sit up at night waiting for people to walk over the grass so I can go all Clint Eastwood on them (“Get off my lawn”). I forgive those who trespass as they would forgive me my trespassing. As long as they say something nice about the yard.
Somewhere deep within my heart of hearts, I probably enjoy the Twilight movies. Watching them without comment seems to be one of the ingredients for a happy marriage and a tranquil home life. Keeping that in mind, I’ll be watching every one of them with my wife and friends on Friday afternoon. Now, I don’t remember any e-harmony question when I was single about whether I appreciated pasty-faced vampire offspring, werewolves who don’t own shirts, or depressing Northwestern love triangles. When Lori (who added the prefix “long suffering” after we got married) and I began dating all those years ago, she didn’t once mention spending hours waiting for people to bite each other. It’s just a dating red flag to ask a bewildered boyfriend his feelings about drinking blood. Oh, sure I dated some pretty nonchalant necromancers back in the day. It was the 90’s and I mistook vampirism for ironic humor.
Not once in any of the Twilight films does Harry Potter show up and that’s what bothers me most. Never does the Boy Who Lived appear and cast a spell that might move these films along at a reasonable pace. Being the sophisticated male movie connoisseur that I am, there are certain things I expect from cinema entertainment. Edward Cullen should transform into a blood sucking robot and then a wise cracking car. Jacob should wear not only a shirt, but a poncho. In fact, he should be played Clint Eastwood. Bella should be less mope-tastic and more Jessica Biel. My answers for all of the film industry’s problems: animated robots, grizzled action stars and Jessica Biel. Oh, and Harry Potter. Therein lies the reason why I’ll never have a career in movies. Sigh. I’ll brave the Twilight movies, even without the presence of a scrawny English wizard.