where the writers are
Zuzu, it's a wonderful life

It has not been a holly jolly time. I don't have to tell you; anyone read a newspaper knows it. Anything I write here will be a salve. But you need some salve to get through the day. A couple of weeks ago Huntington and I made plans to see It's A Wonderful Life. The Century theaters were doing a special showing on December 19th; we made plans to see the afternoon show.

 I tried to not listen to the news as I got ready for the City; funeral plans for the Newtown children. The fiscal cliff talks weren't going well. I wore a forest green top and jeans, then walked to BART. Caught the train. On the way to the City, I read Joni Rodgers' new ebook, a short about Santa. Then I started rereading her writing memoir, First You Write. I was feeling sad; not only because of the current news but that I made the mistake and checking how many ebook sales I've had. Not that many. I've been disappointed that my YA novel Ella Bella hasn't been selling. I felt like a failure. A big big failure. Then in Joni's ebook I read a quote by Orna Ross: "But without failure, not much happens, does it?" True enough.

 

  I hopped off BART and headed to the Century Nine. To get there you have to go on several escalator rides. They don't mark the mall entrance signs very well, so I was wandering around Nordstrom's for a while before I found the mall entrance. I met Huntington at the box office. We bought tickets then found seats. Right ahead of us there was a woman who looked a hundred and had the sourest I'd seen in a while. I was telling Huntington a story and she gave me a withering look. Now keep in mind the movie hadn't started yet; it was just commercials. So she had no right giving me the evil eye.

A commercial came on for Marshall's with this lovely young woman who was known as "The Giver" "You need to write a blog about this ad," Huntington said.

"That will be a nice change," I remarked. "All my blogs have been so damned depressing lately." We both chortled. Sour woman turned around again and gave me another look. I wanted to stand up and yell: "Look lady! I know I'm really disturbing your experience watching this fine commercial. Get over it!" Also for entertainment we had an old hippie guy who kept on shaking his fist at cell phone commercials. Fortunately the movie started.

I hadn't seen Wonderful Life all the way through in years. For so long it was on every channel, everywhere you went. There were Barbie and Ken George and Mary dolls. Bedford Falls playsets. And let's face it, you have to wonder was all the sacrifices worth it for George? Not going to college, stuck in a crummy town. Wasn't it a tad codependent?

   Okay, I was wrong. Yes you heard me, I was wrong. I forgot what a well written movie it was. The sacrifices George made are ones that helped others, including George. Be it saving his brother or stopping Mr. Gower from delivering rat poison, George tries to do the right thing. He faces down Mr. Potter and calls him on what he is:a selfish old man. Watching the movie I remembered how Wonderful Life wasn't considered a success when it was released. Yet it has provided so much comfort through the years.

 

   At the end when the lights came up, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Sour Faced woman put on a sequined Santa Claus hat. Old Hippie guy looked at us. "You know, I'm glad I didn't see this alone. It's better to cry with people in a theater."

That's right. That's right.  Attaboy, Clarence.