Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, May 16, 2015

In Hot Pursuit: Movie and Lunch Day



Before our monthly movie date, my club went to brunch at a place that was a favorite of my husband’s. I call it the Breakfast Only Café because, 1) they’re only open between 4 AM and 2 PM, and 2) they specialize in breakfast food with a few token items thrown in for those who don’t like eggs or gluten. The tables on one side of the place are crowded close together and striking up conversations with fellow customers is the norm rather than the exception. On the other side it’s like the old-school diners with its long counter and line of stools where you can sit and watch the ten waitresses and five cooks hustle. And I do mean hustle. I’ve never been there when they weren’t swamped with customers. If you don’t like waiting in line you don’t go there because getting seated usually takes a half hour or more. They have fantastic food, but it’s not a good place to go if you’re not going right home in warm weather because they serve twice as much food than any one person can eat. Knowing this, I came prepared with a cooler and ice packs in the car. No way was I going to pay a fortune for brunch and see so much food go to waste. And did I mention the bakery goods you have to walk by to pay your bill?

The cafe was a terrible place to bring a person in a wheelchair, though, because Don’s chair bottle-necked the place even more than it naturally gets. There are only three tables that a person in a wheelchair can even get to and use, so our wait was often longer than other people’s. But how do you say ‘no’ to a guy who lost so much of his life with the stroke? I rarely could. If he wanted to go to the Breakfast Only Café we went even though I felt guilty doing it. I must say, though, the waitresses and other customers never, ever once showed annoyance of him being there clogging up the place. He was treated like royalty by the owner/hostess who, no doubt, set the tone for the others. I can’t say that about every place we’d been to over the twelve years of me pushing a wheelchair. Some people treat the disabled like they hate being reminding that life is fragile. Movie day was only the second time since Don died that I’ve been back to the place. I swear a widow would have to move to another city if she needed to avoid all the memory triggers. 

The movie we saw was Hot Pursuit with Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. IMDb sums up the plot like this: “An uptight and by-the-book cop tries to protect the outgoing widow of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.” Don’t you just love how some people can sum up an entire movie or book in one sentence like that? I could never do it. The reviewer at Rotten Tomatoes called the movie, “shrill and unfunny” and “bungles what should have been an easy opportunity to showcase Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara's likable odd-couple chemistry.” The New York Times review said, “We are in the midst of a comedy boom, and within it an explosion of feminist and woman-driven humor, but the news has apparently not reached Warner Bros. headquarters. Hot Pursuit is cautious and tentative in its pursuit of laughs, and almost entirely unsure of how to go about being funny.” 

Personally, I think both the reviews above were a little harsh and I suspect they were being pickier than they’d be with males in the leading roles. But I didn’t go into the movie expecting to see a classic in the making. It’s a genre film, after all---slap stickiest and silly and dependent on the kind of humor you’d see in a Paul Bart (Mall Cop) movie. If I wanted to see smart humor, I’d stay home and watch The Big Bang Theory on TV or reruns of Frasier and Barney Miller. I like both Reese and Sofia---what I know of their off camera lives---so I won’t bad-mouth their acting in anyway. The characters they played weren’t the type that gave them an opportunity to stretch their craft like Reese's character in Wild did. And who cares? They’re making a living doing what they love and how many of us can say that?

How did the other fourteen ladies in my group feel about Hot Pursuit? Pretty much the same as me. We agreed it was lighthearted and funny enough to give us a break from the type of movies we usually see and we all found things to make us laugh out loud. But at the same time it's a forgettable movie that I doubt any of us will be adding to our video libraries when it comes out on Blu-ray. ©
  
See the movie trailer here.


8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good time! I don't think I'd like that movie, but then--I rarely go to the cinema. The movie has to be really good and then...I wait until it comes out on Comcast On Demand, LOL. I am such a stick-in-the-mud.

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  2. I like the Movie and Lunch Club more for the restaurants that we go to than for the movies, although most of the movies, at the very least, give me something to think about. We never go to the same restaurant twice and many are places that have earned some kind of notoriety and have been reviewed in our Sunday paper. This movies is not in my favorite genre of movie. Like a book club, it's hit and miss finding something everyone will like.

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  3. I'm with Judy...I don't go to the movies much...I recently saw the movie that Jon Stewart directed and the documentary about Edward Snowdon because I was curious but that is all recently. And I don't have a television but on occasion when I am in a hotel or on an airplane I do watch Big Bang Theory which is amusing!
    Regards
    Leze

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    1. I just discovered the Big Bang Theory a month ago and I'm catching up on past episodes. I've got a crush on Lenard. LOL

      I wonder if Jon Stewart will do more documentaries after he retires from the Daily Show. I sure am going to miss seeing him every weeknight.

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  4. The Cafe sounds great. I love to go to a busy place because you know that the food is going to be good. They treated your husband good too. That rocks.

    Hubby and I haven't been to a movie in so many years. Probably close to 20 years. Too many rude people the last few times we went. Talking on their phones or to each other.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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    1. Go to the matinees and you'll have the place practically to yourself. That's what we do and many times we are the only audience or their be 3-4 others. But you can wait until the film comes out in video which sure doesn't take long now days.

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  5. Good for the owner of Don's favorite cafe for setting the right tone in her interactions with him. I think American culture has a lot of trouble with disability, and we deal with it by either infantilizing the disabled (hmmm, just like we do with the elderly -- maybe a connection there) or acting as though they don't exist. My disabled sister used to just seethe when she went out to lunch with her teen-age daughters and the waitstaff asked her daughters rather than her what she wanted to eat. I served for several years on my college's ADA compliance committee and it was like banging my head against a brick wall over and over and over again.
    About 15 years ago, when I was on vacation in England, I was struck by how many people in wheelchairs I saw there on the streets and in restaurants and how normal and unremarkable people's interactions with them were. -Jean

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    1. I don't understand why businesses don't want to at least try to comply with the ADA laws. My pet peeve is bathroom stalls that technically comply but the business pull things like cabinets or fake plants or whatever in the room taking up the wheelchair turn or transfer space. Your sister's experience with waitstaff happened to us as well. A lot of people talk to the person pushing a chair instead of the person in.

      The worst so-called handicap accessible bathroom we ran into was in a brand-new hospital. They had installed the door to swing in instead of out and once Don got inside with his chair, you could not close the door. It took two years before they corrected it. We complained twice and I image a lot of others did as well.

      That's interesting about England.

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