“Why did I agree to go out tonight?” is what the text on my phone read. The text message came in at a quarter to midnight. I was at home, watching the movie Die! Die! My Darling! for the first time on TCM (A film that I've wanted to see for a long time, but was mostly a disappointment). The text was not a cry for help from a night gone sour, not remotely, instead it was a text of despair from a friend of mine who makes up half of a superpower that fights crime in the most amazing way possible. We never actually go out and fight crime. We're like The Wonder Twins, only we're The Wonder Twins of Anxiety and Needing to Be Alone To Recharge.
That's exactly the situation my friend was in, she had spent most of her day out with people socializing, and she was desperately pining for the peace of being alone with a book. She pines for books, I pine for movies. On that particular day I was most sympathetic with her, as my day had been spent taking five hours to watch a 90 minute long Abbott and Costello movie. My day was filled with casual interruptions and giving relationship advice to friends. Now, all together, that doesn't bother me. I'm kinda glad that people feel they can come to me for advice.
However, I woke up in a mood that morning, and I was unable to shake it as the day went on. Finally around noon, I knew I had to do something to get my brain onto a happier path. “Why don't I watch some Abbott and Costello movies today?” I thought to myself, as their films were on repeat quite often when I was a kid, I had all the really good ones on tape, and I still keep my VHS copy of Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein on my desk. A few years ago for Christmas, my parents gave me the DVD box set of all the films they made for Universal, and the tapes went into storage.
I walked over to my DVD shelf, which is the land of wonder and happiness, and picked the good sized box off the shelf. Opening it up and reading over the list of 28 films I had to choose from I picked Hold That Ghost, one of their best films, and one that I loved as a kid, but hadn't seen in a number of years. It was exactly what I needed, my mood was being push away, and I found myself starting to feel back to normal. Until the phone rang 15 minutes into the film.
“Hey! We're in town and we're bringing the kids over to meet you!” boasted a family friend I hadn't seen in a long time. I paused my movie, and spent an hour and a half with them. I was happy to see them, but I was even happier to get back to my movie. Here is when being half of a unique brand of Wonder Twins comes in handy.
I bet that some of you reading this just stopped to say “He'd rather watch a movie then spend time around people? What's wrong with him?” Nothing, there's nothing wrong with me or my friend who desperate needed some alone time. We're not anti-social, just a little selective about how we socialize. When the times comes that we need to recharge, we need to recharge, and we can't do anything else with any sense of peace till we do.
We can smile, and we can fake that we're having a good time, even if we wind up sitting in the corner just quietly observing everyone else. For my friend and I, our books and our movies is our precious oasis away from the rest of the world. A chance to get out of our own heads for a while, and shut off that voice that keeps telling us what we can't do. A voice I think we all have, even if we don't wish to admit it or not.
I think that's why I was moody in the first place, I sometimes get short lately with people who always make it a point to critique my taste in movies. People assume I don't watch new movies, I do, but I just don't talk about those as much as my classics. What people don't understand is that I don't see this films as having an expiration date on them. A time when you have to stop watching them, and they become irrelevant. “This movie is 50 years old” says to me “Ok, so I have to think about when it was made and what was going on.” But outside of that, if it's a good movie, it's a good movie.
Yeah, I own more older movies than contemporary ones, because they're a big part of me who I am because they were always around me for as long as I could recall. Why it bothers people I never understand, because is one small way they're trying to say to me “You should change who you are to fit in better.” Which is a bunch of crap. So yes, world, my friend and I are The Wonder Twins, and when we recharge ourselves and activate our secret powers, nothing can stand in our way of doing amazing things. Would I prefer to “fit in” or be a Wonder Twin? I'd rather be a Wonder Twin. Because being a Wonder Twin along side my friend is saying that we don't need to keep up with everyone else to be happy. It's kinda awesome to live that way.