Thursday, August 21, 2008

From the Analyst's Couch

I think I need to contact Dr. Phil. Let me explain. The other night I went with Kate and Lucy to see Mamma Mia. Much to my surprise, I loved it. I have certainly never been an Abba fan, but I found myself tapping my toes. And what’s not to love about that fantastic Greek scenery which brought back memories of a trip to Greece in (I think) 1962. But for the first part of the movie I found myself getting anxious. Here’s Donna who is giving a wedding the next day and she is turning somersaults, climbing up a goat house, singing and dancing and generally having a good time, when even I can see that a trip to the hairdresser might make us all feel more comfortable. Well, I admit, she does at one point wield a caulking gun, ineffectively but ultimately with a felicitous result. Now, I have had two daughters marry, and the day before I was checking with the florist, ironing tablecloths and various dresses, feeding guests and generally micro-managing the whole affair. I remember my friend Sally collapsing with laughter once when she read a tip in a woman’s magazine advising the hostess to spend the last minutes before the arrival of guests sitting down and resting. “I’m always cleaning toilets”, she said. Aren’t we all? Well, apparently not Donna, though I do admit she seemed to have a staff of Greeks, but most of them joined in the dancing with abandon.

All this took me back to an earlier Meryl Streep chick flick The Bridges of Madison County, which caused me a similar sense of unease. Francesca has invited Robert to dinner and spent part of the day preparing stuffed peppers. When Robert arrives, it soon becomes apparent that eating is the last thing on their minds and dinner gets cold. Perhaps Dr. Phil could explain why I can remember the menu and why I was upset over the waste of a perfectly good dinner.

On the other hand, if the three lovely men from Mamma Mia or even Clint Eastwood were to show up on my doorstep, maybe my psychological hang-ups would do an about -face. I never liked stuffed peppers much anyway.

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