Thursday, December 28, 2006

movie etiquette

The last movie I went to with a boy was 'The Pursuit of Happyness.' It was a decent movie, though it reminded me why one should avoid a movie on anything but a 3rd date or after. I spent almost the entire time wondering whether we should be holding hands or not. I know, I appear completely committed to staying 14 forever with such thoughts, but it didn't occur to me until we went in that "date protocol" is never more present than in the dark hall of a theater.

Yesterday, I went to see 'Happy Feet' with my brother and his family. I sat between my 3 year old niece, Katie, and my 5 year old nephew, Andrew. Andrew gets scared easily so I knew there would be a point when I might need to ensure he knew he was safe. When the moment arrived and the scariest tiger seal an animator has ever conjured appeared on the screen, I grabbed Andrew's hand. It made me laugh how much easier it was to reach out and hold that little hand than it would have been to grab my date's a week and a half before.

This holiday has been full of kids, as they most holidays have been the last few years. Because I've been an aunt since I was three years old, I've had to remind myself of what it means as I've actually grown old enough to not just be like an older cousin, but to be another adult (albeit a fun one), another authority figure, hopefully some sort of mentor and most importantly, a friend. Two nights ago I had Dexter in my room for the whole night so his parents could get a full night's sleep. He was up at 3, 4, 6:30 and 7:30 - but I was able to comfort him, feed him and check (almost compulsively throughout the night) to see that he was still breathing as he lay sprawled out on the other side of the bed.

I suppose I recount these things because even as I wander aimlessly through the dating game, through the so-called quest for love, I am learning so much more about life as a whole - about the results of love (i.e., kids) and what it means to be a family, to raise a family, etc. Perhaps this is somewhat out of order - or perhaps this is all necessary before I am to find the person who I might start such things with. Either way, it's fun to be an aunt, and I'm thankful for the little hands I've been able to hold, the giggles I've overheard, the funny little bed mates (last night it was Katie who fell off the bed in the middle of our sleepover and was so asleep she refused to get back on the bed and thus slept on the floor for the rest of the night) and all the time with my family I've had this holiday. Blessings abound, and as such, I'm not in want for a whole lot going into the new year.

But oh, what a year it promises to be!


Blogger Airam said...

Love this post.

I haven't been an aunt since I was 3 (!) but I have been one for almost 6 years and counting now. I love that the first to be born (my almost 6 year old niece) is now old enough that I can take her to movies, just her and I (now that the booster seat can be easily transferred from car to car).

My nieces and nephews (all 6 of them) are little blessings and I'm in awe of them everytime I see them. (The story of you checking to see if Dexter was breathing throughout the night made me laugh a little because I did the same thing when I babysat my niece ... she was asleep when I got there and even though I had brought work to do, I didn't even look at it ... I just kept wandering in and out of her room to make sure she was ok).

I'm sure you're a wonderful and fun aunt that they love to hang out with. I think that you having these experiences will definitely help you in terms of finding the one. It helps because it'll be easier to see if the person you're having that coffee with (or watching that movie with) is on the same page as you ... even seemingly mindless conversation can tell you where this person is coming from. I'll bet that talking with you, your dates will see you as a warm and family-oriented woman with a fun streak.

And what guy wouldn't want that in their future mrs.??

(Sorry this is so long ... I seem to be running off on tangent's lately).

12/28/2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger Grad School Reject said...

I say if you want to hold hands with your date you should reach out and take it. If they pull away/act weird...kick them to the curb. It is a great gesture.

Further, there is this great line in a book by Milan Kundera (sp?) that says something to the effect of, "Relationships are formed within the first 10 minutes of meeting..."

This makes me think that if you are a hand-holder, and you want a man who accepts that, put it out there early. If they freak out then it really is their problem. And you could do better.

But that is just one man's opinion....

12/28/2006 9:28 PM  
Anonymous tiger said...

not only did i have that dream last night that i sent you a message about, but i had a dream two nights ago that i was pregnant, and also, in real life, my sister is pregnant! i am preoccupied at the moment.
talk soon.

12/29/2006 3:38 AM  
Blogger H said...


12/30/2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger Grad School Reject said...

Just wanted to stop in and say Happy New Year to you! I hope 2007 is kind.


12/31/2006 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here here. Nice post.

(Although personally I think the hand holding during movie should come much later.)

Happy New Year!!

1/02/2007 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of the yawn over the shoulder move myself. I'm not an aunt yet but I have some younger cousins that I have seen grow up into fine young people and I think it's just great. I spent some time realizing that my role as their older cousin has changed some. My uncle actually asked me to talk to one of my cousins about the pros and cons of moving out right after high school because he thinks it will sound better coming from me. It's odd being a grown up.

1/02/2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

airam - thanks, glad to have another aunty's perspective!

GSR - funny, I just finished Kundera's 'Unbearable Lightness of Being' - I'll look on my second read through! Happy New Year as well!

Tiger - check your inbox...

H - merci :)

Cherry - way to mix it up with the advice - I think I'd usually be with GSR in the 'go for it and grab it idea', but in this situation, the more I think about it, I think I was right to hold off.

1/02/2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Natalie - SO odd being grown up. I had a little heart to heart with my 5 and 7 year old nephews yesterday imploring them to be good in the car ride home from our cabin so that Grandma's and Daddy's heads didn't explode. They were great in the car - I'd like to take credit but it was probably just because they were sleepy...

1/02/2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hand holding thing is a tough one. I'm something of a romantic, so I usually go for it. I figure that if she likes me enough to be on a date with me... Plus I have an insane ego.

(Not really.)

(Maybe a little.)

Oh, I wandered in from Eve's blog.

1/02/2007 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I think that Kundera quote might be from "The Book Of Laughter and Forgetting" but maybe I am wrong. It could be Unberable Lightness.

1/03/2007 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, through second marriages, I somehow have a neice and nephew who are both older than me. I know Chinese have tough times explaining their families at the best of times, but that is a real eyebrow raiser.

Getting back to a post I put up about the holidays, it's been hard to get into the holiday spirit of it all. The weather has been very un-Canadian with no snow and plenty of rain. It wasn't until the family dinner here on the 24'th that I started to get into it.

And yeah, it was the family that did it. A good family life will make you a better person I believe. Though some of the little cousins are getting older and some of the little babies are still too little to travel, it's times like the holidays when they best help me put things into perspective.

So in that light, it sounds like you're just as good for them as they are for you. Everyone should be as lucky to get that feeling from family.

I'd write more but I think I may just turn the remaining thoughts into a post.

1/05/2007 12:06 AM  

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