November 22, 2011

If only I had some tap shoes

A few days ago, my parents sent out a message over the family email list, announcing a movie night at their house. It’s become a cold weather tradition. Eight of us gathered tonight near the warmth of their wood-burning stove. My mother made popcorn and poured lemonade while my father searched through his collection and pulled out a black-and-white film that featured Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

We congratulated Red-haired Niece on her new job, which starts next week. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter pulled up her shirt to show everyone the row of stitches on her abdomen. “My knife wound,” she said dramatically. That sounds infinitely more badass than the real story, which involves a dermatologist and a biopsy that showed the removed tissue to be benign.

It never matters which movie my father chooses because they tend to be all the same. This movie took place in Europe supposedly, although it looked suspiciously like a set. The women wore gorgeous dresses with swirly skirts that floated through the air when they danced. The plot involved love-at-first sight, a crazy scheme, mistaken identities, absurd gender roles, and corny dialogue, made funnier by the muttered commentary of the young people sitting next to me on the couch. The music and dancing were terrific, and I couldn’t resist dancing as we moved out to the kitchen for tea, cocoa, and homemade cookies.

The music was still going through my head as we put on coats and headed out into the cold rain to drive home.

6 comments:

Heidi said...

I love those 1930s movies!

Heidi said...

The cornier, the better.

Magpie said...

I'm old fashioned, I love the moonlight, I love the old fashioned things. The sound of rain, upon a window pane, the starry song that April sings...

If you're ever in NY, and City Ballet is doing the ballet called I'm Old Fashioned, go see it.

robin andrea said...

Sometimes those corny old movies are a great antidote to the world's woes. Whenever I see a promo on TV for a new movie release, I am struck by the violence, darkness, spooky despair of today's films.

jo(e) said...

Yeah, my father always points out that the movies made during the depression and the world wars were always happy, an escape from what was actually going on. Sometimes it's nice to get that stress relief.

Cathy said...

Those movies back then had an innocence we seldom, if ever, see. They don't sell on the big screen. Never really have to worry about the language - and, generally everyone lives happily ever after.