Holiday time is a dramatic time
Holiday time is a dramatic time; The Three Faces of Eve faces turn in to five and each day can feel like you are living A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
Without the work/school/daily life buffer we look at each other more closely and do some navel gazing; the findings are rarely pleasant. Eve at this time finds she has more than her usual three faces – she is wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. At holiday time she is expected to give an award winning performance in each role, at the same time.
Take yesterday for example. Three generations under one roof, Grandmother plucks up her courage (or is she in the mood for a little sport?) and suggests that the first year Uni grandson who has bombed 3 subjects out of 4 in second semester should probably not be rewarded by his parents, with an overseas holiday to Thailand. Sandwich woman Eve could not agreed more. She wholeheartedly hoped that carousing son would have to do summer school, or at least have a few fingernails ripped off and not be able to attend the Full or is it Blue Moon Thai Festival. However, Grandmother does need correcting. Fun loving son has indeed paid for his ticket and spending money (although we fully expect financial communication around day 10.) Grandmother nonetheless embarks on a “life’s lesson” lecture that somehow heads back to a point 60 years ago when she decided not to go to New Zealand with a girlfriend because she may need that 300 (was it dollars or pounds?) in her upcoming married life. This crack about parenting skills opened floodgates with Eve and ended with the low blow that she had paid for her own wedding dress 25 years ago. Strangely enough this too cost $300. Grandmother can’t believe she didn’t foot bill for wedding dress and has made note to self to go through faded receipts and cheque buts from 1985.
The day groans on to dinnertime. Roast pork. Three generations are seated at the table when fourteen and seventeen year old girls decide to pick fight over possessions, namely hair straightener and camera – these are Irreconcilable Differences (another great movie.) Neither teenager is particularly interested in the delicious dinner that grandmother bangs on about to make noise over their snarls. In more notes to self (for future conversation with Eve’s sister) this fits with grandmother’s earlier pointed questions about fourteen looking skinny. It also fits with the fourteen’s recent announcement of vegetarianism, which Eve in the middle keeps forgetting about and refuses to take seriously.
Let’s clear the table and get Grandmother some dessert.
All should be well as seventeen year old has been to the video shop and we should be able to settle in front of the box and hopefully not attempt further communication. Despite the brief to “get something we all would enjoy” surly seventeen year old comes home with the only movie ever made whose shorts alone induce nausea and despair in Eve – Precious. Perhaps you are familiar with the story line of the tragic incest victim, pregnant to her father, whose mother is perpetually persecuting her for being hopeless, whilst fully aware of what the beastly father is up to.
Treat for Grandmother – what was seventeen thinking?
A bonnet movie is playing at the video store while we are negotiating the return of Precious. We’ll have that one. “Bright Star” is the beautiful and sad story of the doomed love affair between the Romantic poet Keats and Fanny Brawne. The performances are sublime and it is exquisitely shot. Despite seventeen’s refusal to watch with the rest of the family, Eve feels that, with the help of herbal tea, chocolate and comfy chair, she may be able to chill. Keats has no money so can’t marry Fanny; he gets caught in a storm and eventually succumbs to consumption. Grandmother barks at the screen – “get a job” and “wear a coat.”
Eve looks in on seventeen year old who quickly slams shut her laptop in bed. “What are you watching,” asks Eve. “Oh nothing I’ve uploaded a movie” says seventeen. “What is it?” enquires Eve. “Precious,” says seventeen. “Its awful.”
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