Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I'll Be Riiiight Heeeere

Whenever a new Star Wars movie comes out, it seems to bring on a wave of nostalgia for just about everyone in my age group. One thing I particularly remember is that I actually thought the 20th Century Fox theme song was part of the Star Wars theme song. HBO showed Star Wars so often that it was a long time before I realized the truth.

The other day, a group of us were sharing our memories of our first movie seen in a theater.
Whether it actually was my first movie or not, I don't know, but the first one in my consciousness is E.T.

Most kids are pretty on top of stuff targeted for them, but somehow I dropped the ball on this one. I don't know how, because all we did at the babysitter's was sit around and watch TV, when we weren't be punished for some minor infraction (she once punished me for saying I didn't like Zorro...whiggedy whack, she was). How did I miss these commercials?

Mom, thankfully, was all over it. I remember her picking us up one Friday and telling Whack Babysitter that we were going to see "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (she said the full name, just like that) that weekend.

On the way to the theater, I asked her three more times what the hell the name of this movie was. And, for pete's sake, what is an extra-terrestrial? An alien, she said. I was totally not interested in seeing this garbage. Did my mother not know me at all? Why couldn't we go see a Laurel and Hardy movie instead?

Naturally, I equally loved the movie and was destroyed by the ending. I could barely walk upright as we left the theater, I was crying so hard. Heaving, wracking, blubbering, scene-causing sobs. Why did E.T. have to go home? Why couldn't he just stay with Elliot? They needed each other! Who was going to be Elliot's friend now? Why did the evil government agents have to get involved? It was too much for my 8-year-old brain. The only other movie to send me into such a tailspin of despair at that age was "Wizard of Oz." I made my mom promise that Dorothy was going to be all right without the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow.

Instead of my sobs tapering off as we approached the theater exit and back to reality, they just grew louder. People were starting to stare. Finally, my mom justifiably couldn't take it anymore and grabbed me by the shoulders and shrieked, "Will you just get ahold of yourself?!"

Yes, I come from a long line of scene-causers.