Well, it's officially here: summer.
I celebrated yesterday by going to see "Jaws" in the theater--it was the 40th anniversary of its release.
It really was kind of nice to see a movie in which people aren't all beautiful and botoxed and they're all just wearing normal clothes and as a result, they have to, you know, ACT. Because the "standing there and looking good" thing isn't really an option for them.
Needless to say, I enjoyed it. I knit a good 7 inches on a sock. That's not unusual for me with a two-hour movie that involves a lot of tension and suspense. (If it's a comedy, I tend to knit far less because I'm busy laughing, and I lose my place. If it's sad, I have to set the knitting down and just cry.)
The theater was already full when I arrived, even though I was a half-hour early. So I ended up sitting 3 rows from the front. The woman who sat next to me said, "This is how I saw it the first time around. Right up in the front. It scared the CRAP outta me."
I didn't see "Jaws" when it was first released, actually, because in 1975, I was 6 years old.
I do remember that I DID try to convince my mom and dad to take us to see it, using the two-pronged argument that "everyone was seeing it" and that technically, I was "almost 7."
Probably a good call that they didn't cave to that logic. Because I also remember that by the end of the summer I was asking my mom odd little questions about the possibility of sharks somehow getting into the deep end of our swimming pool and lurking there, unseen.
I remember lengthy conversations with my mom about the difference between "the ocean" and "a swimming pool," that I found not at all convincing.
And this was simply the result of the 30-second clips of the film's trailer that they showed on TV.
A child's imagination is not always the great asset that it's cracked up to be. I suspect this is what my mom was thinking by late August of 1975, actually.
In later years, I did see the film, of course, when it was on cable, with my dad and my brother.
So "Jaws" carries an odd bit of nostalgia for me, because it reminds me of spending time with my dad, and yesterday was Father's Day. That was also why I decided to go, when I saw that it was playing nearby.
I was riding along on a delivery truck with two guys who were constantly cussing and arguing about who got to drive and how fast.
Meanwhile, I'd be slipping and sliding just trying to get around and stay upright.
I'd knock something over and nearly break my leg or do something that could potentially blow the place up, and my dad and my brother would just yell at me and then laugh. I'd get stuck with messy jobs that were the equivalent of throwing chum into the water, and I'd spend most of the time desperately trying to figure out how to do something that was perfectly easy for both of them.
In short, working with my dad and my brother could be a bit of an exercise in survival, sometimes.
But I do think that everyone should do a stint of serious manual labor under... potentially adverse... conditions, at some point in their lives. It builds character. (And it makes being a professor seem like a really GREAT job, even on the worst of days.)
In an odd twist of fate, I always smile and laugh now when I see "Jaws," because it reminds me of summers from days gone by.
Here's to the start of another summer of memory-making.