Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wrestling at the Movies

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Spoiler Alert!

Pat and I took my mother to see "The Wrestler" this afternoon and I was so happy to have gone to that movie, rather than "Frost/Nixon." I hated to admit that I had little interest in the latter movie's plot, even as I knew I should have cared more.

"Sarah," Pat schooled me, "David Frost got Nixon to admit that he did wrong after Nixon had kept saying that he'd done nothing wrong. That *made* his career as a journalist. Frost had a really clever program that my parents used to watch called, 'That Was the Week That Was.'"

Pat's father was British and wry himself apparently. The show pre-dated me by a couple of years and so I needed to check Wikipedia. Hearing Pat talk about Frost was a reminder that although I'm the vastly more mature one of the two of us, Pat is 15 years older than I.

"The Wrestler," I *did* want to see, as I recalled Mickey Rourke in "Diner," which was the last movie I ever saw with my dad of blessed memory prior to my dad's death, and all of us had loved it.

"The Wrestler" was deeply sad and made me supremely grateful for the life I have led so far compared to the wrestler's, his almost-girlfriend's and his daughter's, and altogether in any case. What if I had had a self-destructive talent, which fed my need for love?

What if I had a nine-year-old son to support as a single mother, and stripping seemed to be my only career option? What if I were getting too old to be a champion wrestler or to be considered an appealing stripper by the typical patrons of the strip-joint?

What if I had been abandoned by my father? (Well, it did feel a bit like abandonment when he died of cancer when I was just 17...but I mean, really abandoned, as a young child?) What if my father had been totally unreliable? What if my loved ones ultimately had broken my heart?

Seeing "The Wrestler" was a gift that I'll try to hold onto -- of especially poignant acting by Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, and of gratitude.

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