I consider myself a good son. Despite living two hours away, I see my mother monthly. I talk to her a couple of times a week. When I do see or talk to my mother, I am polite, respectful, etc. Therefore, my actions this weekend should be no surprise.
We had arranged for my mother to come for a visit this past weekend. My family and I had not seen her in a few weeks. The boys really enjoy seeing their bubbe (Yiddish for grandmother), and I want to foster that relationship.
When my mother comes for a visit, she, Ms. MMK, and I often watch a movie together. We eat snacks – popcorn or ice cream – and relax after the children have gone to bed. As part of my preparation for my mother’s most recent visit, I checked out my queue on Netflix. I skimmed through the titles trying to pick a movie which I thought would appeal to my mother. After consulting with Ms. MMK, I moved August Osage County to the top of the queue.
I knew little about the movie other than the stars – Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep – were women, and it was a drama. It had all the makings of a movie that my mom would like.
After getting through the viewing of August Osage County on Sunday morning (we watched part of it on Saturday night), I’m not so sure my mother liked the movie. In fact, here is a partial list of the words the three of us used to describe August Osage County:
Ms. MMK missed part of the movie. Instead of asking for a recap of what she missed, she asked, “Did anyone smile yet?” My mother, ever the optimist said, “I think I would like it better if I saw it again.” My reaction was different. Watching August Osage County made me grateful.
You see my family is not perfect. Or even close. We don’t sit around a smile and wax on about how much we love each other. In fact, sometimes we yell and say nasty things to each other.
Don’t believe me?
Walk by the house sometime and listen up. Stay long enough and you are sure to hear my children fighting with each other, doors slamming, SJ crying, BR freaking out, Ms. MMK cursing, and me shouting.
Sometimes we are all in the house, but in separate rooms or simply not communicating. We are on our various devices, or watching television, or reading, etc. We can be oblivious to each other and perfectly content in that state.
Yup, my family has its challenges and downsides. In fact, when things are not going well it’s easy to believe that the grass is greener on the other side. Other families are happy, content, at ease. For other families, life is good and smooth.
Then you see a movie like August Osage County. The Weston family was in despair. Here’s a partial list of what one member or more of the family went through:
2. drug addiction
6. Broken marriage
Clearly, dysfunction was rampant in the Weston family household.
Thankfully, my family is closer to the Waltons than the Westons. We laugh with each other. We enjoy going out together. We support each other through all times. We are there for each other. We spend time together. We love each other.
The grass is greener on our side.
While my mother, Ms. MMK, and I agreed that the cast was very good in August Osage County and the movie had its interesting parts, we had no desire to live vicariously through the characters. Even worse, we didn’t have any snacks while viewing the movie.
After the movie ended, I adjusted my Netflix queue. Light fare is required for the next movie. I’m sorry my mother won’t be around with us to enjoy Delivery Man. Well, at least I’m not sending her to Osage County.