There is no longer any way to avoid admitting it. The truth is undeniable. Harper’s Other Dad and I have become curmudgeons. We are the living embodiments of the Muppet Show’s Statler & Waldorf. HOD is the younger, cuter one. I am the more distinguished of the two.
Consider the evidence. On our way to the movie this evening we stopped for a quick bite to eat. As is our wont, he was reading his book. I try not to take a book to the movies for fear of leaving it behind but I had my iPhone so there was no lack of reading material.
I received yet another promotional email from the local Symphony touting some aspect of next season. In this email they were featuring information on next year’s collaboration with the local Phoenix Theatre. We enjoyed this season’s offering of My Fair Lady. Next year their joint effort will be a semi-staged production of Oliver! I am familiar with the story, based on the Dickens classic, and I have seen the movie version many times over the years but I have never seen it done on the stage. That said, I have no interest in seeing it. I remarked to HOD that the Symphony would be doing Oliver!. As if of a single mind, we started talking simultaneously. I continued; “that could border on the precious“. At the same moment, ‘Statler’ observed; “well that would be cloying“. It’s safe to say we will be passing on the loveable singing, dancing pick-pockets and the anti-Semitic subtext. We chuckled at the synchronicity of our reaction as I hit ‘delete’ on the email.
A few minutes later we are in our seats at the multiplex awaiting the start of Malificent (the irony fairly drips) and watching the trailer for the upcoming remake of Annie. We sat politely through snippets of Jamie Foxx in the updated role formerly known as “Daddy Warbucks”, Cameron Diaz as “Miss Hannigan” and introducing Quvenzhané Wallis as the precocious orphan who teaches them, and all of us, the true meaning of love. Once again, as if in mind-meld, we leaned toward each other in the darkened theater and simultaneously whispered; “not even on cable”
I don’t recall the exact moment when “loveable” morphed into “saccharine” in my tastes but that moment has clearly come and gone. I’ll rationalize that my tastes have become more subtle and resistant to such heavy-handed manipulation but it’s just as likely that I have become ‘Cranky Old Guy’. In any case, I guess there is nothing for us to do except move our seats to the loge and let the hair in our ears grow out.