Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sunshine and Skeeter the Good

Today I was awarded a Sunshine Award by a fellow blogger, Mary at Life in a Small Town. Here's the trophy badge that came with the award:

Thank you Mary! But, as with the receipt of many honors, comes responsibility. I must pass the goodness along to others. I am supposed to...

1. Post the logo on my blog and/or within the post. (Done.)
2. Pass it on to 12 other bloggers.
3. Add links to these 12 bloggers within your blog.
4. Let them know they are receiving the award.
5. Share the link of the person from whom you received the award.

I must be an anti-social blogger because I don't think I know 12 other bloggers to pass this along to. But I will bestow it on the few I do know.  Here are my chosen few:

1. Cold, Colder, Coldest
2. Finding Home
3. Northeast Kingdom Photography
4. It's Just How I See Things
5. Just... a Moment

Okay, that's a short list but a really good one. I do know a few other bloggers but Mary has already given the award to them. Anyway, thank you again Mary!

Friday nights are usually "Family Movie Night" at our house. We do it up right. We all cozy up on the couch in our pjs and I bring out the movie treats. We have reusable popcorn containers, red and white striped, tall, rectangular, old style. And the popcorn is always laced with something sweet. M&Ms. Mini-marshmallows. Or both. Reese's Pieces, if we are feeling daring. I don't know how the boys will carry these nights into their adult lives, but these movie nights are memories that I'll reflect back on when I am very old. I won't remember the movies, but rather the laughs, the blanket snuggles, the sweet saltiness of my boys' childhoods.

Last night we watched "Bedtime Stories". You gotta love Adam Sandler. As I have said before, I find funny people attractive (see #83). I wouldn't say that Adam rates at high at Ben (#84), but he's cute in a sympathy-evoking sort of way, like a litter runt. You just want to take him home because who else is gonna love him?

"Bedtime Stories" is silly like most Adam Sandler movies. Sandler's character, Skeeter, is a hotel handiman who has been short changed most of his adult life by one particular evil-doer, his boss. Can you relate? But Skeeter maintains his good humor and full heart thanks to being raised by an all-wise, loving father who taught young Skeeter to keep the magical viewpoint of a child even as an adult. Skeeter doesn't realize this message until late in the movie and is plagued, until his triumphant ending, with the belief that "there are no happy endings". Thus we have to watch Skeeter suffer a bit before he blossoms into a fully self-actualized, balanced being. By the way, I don't think the kids appreciated this fine plot nuance; they liked the Bugsy, the guinea pig afflicted with elephantiasis of the eyes, and the Booger Monster best.

There is a pivotal moment for Skeeter when something happens that he perceives as miraculous when in fact there is a completely plausible explanation for it. As fantastically predicted by his young nephew, thousands of gumballs rain from the sky. Skeeter views this as a sign, a turning point in his life where his fortune is finally coming his way. Actually, Skeeter was below an interstate overpass on which a big rig filled with candy had wrecked and was accidentally dumping its load right on top of Skeeter's pickup truck. What the burning bush was to Moses, the gumballs were to Skeeter. A message.

Skeeter took his message and preceded to make changes in his own life which by no coincidence had dramatic effects on his fortune. Up to that miraculous gumball moment, Skeeter had allowed others to control his destiny, had assumed that he didn't deserve better, had believed that he wouldn't receive the good things in life. Until that moment, there were no happy endings for Skeeter. Through a self-serving interpretation of a random event, Skeeter takes personal responsibility for his life, changes his life view and makes a better life for himself. And in the end Skeeter the Good triumphs over His Boss the Evil. And he gets The Girl.

Typical Hollywood movie pattern, but I like the simple messages of good over evil, personal responsibility, helping others and not always thinking about yourself. I don't live in a fairy tale world where good things always happen to good people. Good people have a lot of misery sometimes. Life can stink. But our interpretation of the seemingly random events shaping our lives determines where those random events take us next. Did those gumballs fall because accidents always happen to me? Did those gumballs come crashing down and now I have to go get the damage to my truck fixed? Did I just get a year's supply of gum-chewing pleasure for free? Sweet!

I don't know how to end this reaching analysis of Skeeter as a prophet other than to say I hope some gumballs fall on you today and you see it as a good thing.


  1. Your boys will remember those movie nights forever! That's such a sweet idea. I'm going to have to check out the movie...we love Adam at our house!

  2. Love the new perspective on gumballs and appreciate being part of your award ... thank you!

  3. Congratulations on the AWARD! And love the movie nights idea!!! SUPER COOL!


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