Consumables #70, Holiday edition

Last week I was at work and I saw a colleague that I haven’t seen in a long time. She was really busily walking somewhere and I was really busily walking somewhere (did you know that sometimes I catch myself at work doing a very scary speedwalk? It is the prissiest rushed walk ever and I am embarrassed on behalf of me and my whole family whenever I realize I am doing it because the priss reaches across generations) and we were passing in the hallway. We spotted each other right at the last minute and she said “oh hey!” and I said “great to see you!” and she sort of reached out (for a handshake? a hug? a pat on the arm? a high five?) and so I reached out but we both kept walking past each other and neither of us knew why we were reaching so as I passed her I sort of grabbed her forearm in what I hope was a grasp of warmth but she was sort of waving so, well, to be honest, she smacked me pretty good and this about sums up my whole month so far. Just that whole exchange. That’s what I stand for this December.

There is also the possibility that she clocked me on purpose. Sure, true.

As you know, I am not a huge fan of Christmas. I have given it a good college try some years, but it has just never seeped in and I am just going to have to face it that I just can’t get it up for Santa. (I just made you shrivel up a little with that mental picture, didn’t I?). There are people who gather around the tree and hang stockings and eat turkey legs and hamhocks or whatever the hell it is on Christmas Eve, and there are people who get Chinese takeout, and I am solidly in group B. I think, as a grown ass woman, I am finally starting to be ok with this, but it’s hard. I know it’s a dumb thing to say (that it’s hard), but whatever. Feel free to judge me. I just think that for some of us who have never quite felt a part of majority culture on a regular day, there is nothing quite like the Christmas season to make us feel like outsiders. It’s the only time of year where I get sad about not being invited to things or included in yuletide infrastructure, but then confused because I don’t really want to have yuletide infrastructure, do I? I mean, really, do I? I am asking. Because I never have figured that one out. Mostly I am ok with it but I think there will always be that 7-year-old me that feels like I am pressing my nose up against the window, looking at Christmas, knowing it’s not for me.

Hey, I just admitted something really embarrassing on the interwebs. Wheeee! Just know that I know it’s stupid. And stop looking at me about it. STOP LOOKING.

Anyhoodle. The one thing that I do like and can heartily participate in for Christmas is to take in holiday-related pop culture. Surprise! I like watching movies and stuff. Did you know this?

Here are some Christmas things I have been tasting. I have lots but I shall limit to 5.

Christmas in Connecticut
Barbara Stanwyck, the only thing that I feel sad about regarding you is that the first time I encountered you was when you were playing that creepy old lady in The Thorn Birds. Of all things. Little did I know the bastion of awesomeness that came before until I was in my twenties. The shame of it! Carl from Casablanca and Schultz from The Great Dictator are in this one too, which can never be a bad thing.

Love, Actually
Everybody sing! “I feel it in my fangers, I feel it in my toooooes…”

Holiday Inn
Ok, so remember I told you once, a very long time ago, about the crush I had, an even longer time ago, on a boy I unfortunately called Taco when I was 15 years old? There was a significant evening I had with Taco, where we were at a party sitting next to each other on a couch with our friends, watching a movie, and his hand was next to my hand, and he pressed the back of his hand onto the back of my hand, and my knickers went up in flames because of it. I call it the Famous Knuckle Makeout. Anyway, the relevant thing here is that I remember that the movie we were watching during this event was Holiday Inn. It is a nice memory. The other night, I made Nordic Boy and Biogirl watch this with me, thinking it would be a lovely way to keep my Christmas in Connecticut feelings going. All of this is preface to say that YOU GUYS BING CROSBY BROKE MY HEART. Because he does a very long, very upsetting song in that movie in full on blackface. I know, I know, it was part of the times back then blah blah things were shitty that way. But dudes! I just! Oy. How could I have not remembered Bing blacking up from my night with Taco? His knuckles were just that overpowering I guess. Oh Bing. Not even cool. Irving Berlin, I blame you also.

Holiday in Handcuffs
I have been partaking in my usual amounts of Hallmark Christmas movies (or should I say Hallmark style, since Lifetime and Ion and others are getting in on this action too), and this one stars Mario Lopez and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and it was really weird. Sabrina’s boyfriend breaks up with her right before Christmas and so she has no one to take home to meet her parents so she picks up a fake gun and kidnaps a cute man (Mario) in a restaurant and makes him meet her parents. I guess we are supposed to think: WACKY! Which, mission accomplished. I really loved it a lot and when I say that I mean that I am totally JKing you.

A Christmas Tale (Un Conte de Noel)
This movie is the Frenchest shit I have ever seen in my life. It stars Catherine Deneuve as a mom who has just learned that she has cancer and all of her grown children come home for the holiday and there is lots of introspection and speaking in soft tones about life’s absurdities. Also, it is about 5 million minutes long. I’m not saying it wasn’t a good movie, but festive it certainly was not.

What are some other holiday movies that I should watch, especially ones that maybe get forgotten about? Email them to me or tell me in the comments.

Laters, peoples!

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7 comments

  1. When I was a senior in high school, my crush asked me to go see Le Mis with him (on a school night, just the two of us, at the performing arts center an hour away–miraculously, my parents let me even though they had no clue who he was) and we sat with our knees and hands touching for the ENTIRE musical. I was so distracted and confused and so full of the feels(!) that I didn't shed a tear at any point during the show. I feel your pain and in fact, if Bing Crosby had walked on stage in black face during that show, I wouldn't have even noticed.As for movies, I recently watched The 12 Dates of Christmas featuring Amy Smart and Zack Morris and it was kind of delightful. It's a total rip-off of Groundhog Day but it seemed like the girl was the one figuring it out and fixing herself (and not just to get the guy) instead of the guy being the one to swoop in and fix everything.

  2. "Some Girls" starring Jennifer Connelly and Patrick Dempsey (when they were young) is a little known movie — really smart and funny and beautiful and uncomfortable — about a guy who spends the holidays at his girlfriend's family's house in Montreal. The family is spooky crazy. In a nutshell, frustrated, undersexed male youth tries to please everyone so he can keep his flimsy grip on his girlfriend's fading affections learns to let go, but hilarity ensues on the road to enlightenment. Viewing it later with my wife I was embarrassed by it…it seemed a little puerile, like it was written by a young male for young males (and the unfortunate title probably ensured this impression for most people and contributed to its death in the box office) but it is still a smart, funny, beautiful and sometimes inspiring film. You've been warned.

  3. I've missed you! You made my holidays brighter today. I, too, am not a holiday-ish person, yet there are little things i like to do that make me feel all cosy and whatnot. The Thin Man is one of my favorite movies to watch during the Xmas/New Year week. I love the little icepack Nora wears on her head tied with a ribbon when she has a hangover. Christmas in CT makes me wish I had a restauranteur downstairs to bring me up plates of food while I type furiously in my bachelorette apt. trying to meet a deadline.

  4. Shop Around the Corner is a must and then Holiday with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Then, the 1930 something version of Scrooge with Alistair Simms (I think that's how you spell his name.) Primo holiday flicks.

  5. Hang in there–and get a copy of Desk Set: the perfect combo of Xmas and librarians, Hepburn & Tracy, with bonus Joan Blondel.Other favorites: Muppets Christmas Carol, Scrooged! with Bill Murray, and the PeeWee Xmas Special.Missed hearing from you lately–hope all is well…

  6. Holiday Inn! We only ever watched that on tv as kids, so the blackface scene was cut out (thank god), so when I saw it as an adult on DVD, my level of horror cannot be overstated. Wait… what are they….OH MY GOD! Haven't watched it since. White Christmas is my go-to. Love everything about it! Great songs, Danny kaye (sigh), love for a WWII general who is now down on his luck…so so good. But if you're still upset at bing for a while, avoid it haha!

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