Thoughts by Richard Bleil
During an interview, Jack Black was asked what his favorite Christmas movie is. Seemingly surprised by the question, he thought about it for a bit, and finally said, “I don’t know, ‘Elf’ maybe?” Apparently, he had forgotten that he was a key actor (not quite the star) in a Christmas movie, and one of my personal favorite movies, an international “rom-com” called “The Holiday.” He seemed to have forgotten that that was, indeed, a Christmas movie, just as many people tend to forget that “Die Hard” is also a Christmas movie.
In “The Holiday”, one of the key characters was a retired producer, director, actor that explained to the British vacationer what a “cute meet” is. Apparently, in the movie industry, a “cute meet” is where two characters destined for a romantic future in the script meet for the first time in a cute, charming, unexpected way.
Today was a difficult day for me. I had hoped to meet my new fur-buddy at the Humane Society. I had a 2 PM appointment, but then 2020 hit once again with a snowstorm that necessitated the early closing of the shelter. Lucky me. They called me up and rescheduled for Saturday, which means that, once again, I will be spending New Year’s Eve alone. In a big house. That still echoes.
Needless to say, I was feeling very depressed and unmotivated to do anything. I slept in late, then got up and took a long nap. The day was basically wasted as night was falling in, when a friend of mine insisted that I eat something. Yesterday I purchased a set of pots and pans, a few utensils, and a drip tray that, of course, is too big for my sink. Imagine that. Not wanting to let her down, and on her decision that I should make Macaroni and Cheese and Sausage (actually it’s shells and cheese since that doesn’t require that I keep milk), so I got up off of the couch and started cleaning the minimum items I need to prepare and make this simple but tasty and unhealthy meal. My friend Kathy, the dietitian, would be SO disappointed in me.
Starting the water and microwaving the frozen sausage, I noticed a car out in the intersection where I live in my corner lot stuck in the snow, and literally in the center of the intersection. Her car had apparently gotten stuck in the snow and failed. I thought that I should go and invite her to sit in my house where she could keep an eye on the car and call for help, but then I thought, well, maybe I should not wear my slippers in the snow. So, I turned off the water on the stove, and put on my snow boots that I had purchased when married to my so-called beloved wife and trudged out into the snow.
By the time I got there, another woman was already trying to push the vehicle out of the intersection. It’s a rarely traveled road, so being in the intersection wasn’t as big a deal as one might think. None the less, I helped them to start moving the vehicle out of the street, and before we were done, a few more people joined us.
As it turns out, the woman that reached her first and was already helping was the neighbor across the street from me. I didn’t get my cat, but I did manage to help a stranger, and met my first neighbor, doing so with a kind act. I think it was a pretty good “cute meet,” although, no, there will be no romantic ending for us as she has her own family. None the less, I’ve been here for a month and nobody has reached out to introduce themselves or welcome me to the neighborhood. This will be a good way to turn the gossip and curiosity in my favor.
As far as the depression goes, well, one of the best ways to work your way out of a depression is by doing something nice for somebody else. I’m still blue, and very lonely, and catless, but I’m feeling at least a little bit better. I’m still not looking forward to cleaning the rest of these pots and pans, or fixing the upstairs bathroom, and I’m especially not looking forward to shoveling quite literally tons of snow off of my walkways. Still, I guess I took a few steps today, thanks to my friend’s insistence that I eat and a lady in distress, which is better than I thought I would. And one more day to 2020. I’ll be starting it very lonely, but hopefully I’ll have a little buddy to help me through 2021.