I recently returned from a much-needed, week-long vacation and the in-flight entertainment for the first leg was The Amazing Spider-Man.
Without context, this doesn’t sound nearly as poignant to you as I it felt to be for myself. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever written a sentence with so many hyphenated words. I guess you could say I’m getting…wait for it…hyphy. (Shout out to my folks in the bay!)
Normally, I would take advantage of the opportunity for a complimentary, commercial-free movie presentation. This time I did not because of what movie it was. No disrespect to Emma Stone (love her), or Denis Leary (I had some of his stand up on cassette tape. Yes, cassette tape.), or anyone related to the production and success of the movie. The movie itself I enjoyed. Movie, my quarrel is not with you.
But on our honeymoon cruise, I discovered that my wife had neither sea legs or a stomach for when the boat’s a-rockin (only in the literal sense). So what promised to be an all-inclusive feast of food and fun on a 4-day, 3-night journey of wonderment and newlywed bliss turned into a few really quick meals in between sitting in the suite while she slept and I watched the same movie over and over again.
If you haven’t guessed by now, that looped movie was The Amazing Spider-Man.
Even before divorce was a topic of discussion in our home, this movie had become a reminder of the honeymoon that wasn’t all fun. And after opting out of the in-flight cinema, I realize that I’m going to be going through a period of time when everything will be seen through divorce-colored glasses. Certain restaurants will be avoided. Songs will elicit a reaction to change the station or skip ahead to the next random selection. And the obvious, aforementioned example, certain movies will smell of displeasure.
This reminds me of one of my favorite Adam Sandler movies, and it isn’t a comedy. Reign Over Me with Don Cheadle and Liv Tyler. It’s one of my favorites, and I don’t want to give too much away, but Sandler plays the last surviving member of his immediate family after a tragic accident and slips into a solitary depression. Later on when he is confronted by his estranged in-laws, he confesses that his silence is not his attempt to block out what is gone, but a quiet submission to actually seeing them in everything he does-which, as you can imagine, drives him absolutely crazy.
My first big heartbreak in the Navy was injected by a Hawaiian girl. For months I wouldn’t eat Hawaiian pizza, drink Hawaiian punch, or eat at McDonald’s (where we often got breakfast together on base on our days off). After other break ups I had avoided ordering her preferred drink, regardless how tasty and refreshing it was, or even started rooting for another team because of how much she loved the one we cheered for together.
I know that everything I see, especially this early in the transition, but definitely into the grieving/healing process, will be seen through a muddy lens. I won’t ignore them, but I definitely won’t be steer blindly behind them until I crash. I will not close my eyes, because if I do, I’ll miss everything coming towards me.
And I’m definitely looking forward to seeing The Amazing Spider-Man 2.