When I got home this evening I could not believe my eyes. My husband was sitting in front of the television watching, for about the thousandth time, the movie “Love Actually.” Let me digress for a minute….have I told you about the television? It is HUGE and takes up most of my family room. Three and a half years ago I came home from a medical conference on a Sunday which happened to be Mother’s Day. I was tired and the weather was nice and all I wanted to do was go outside and sit in the sun. So I did. When I came back in, “the boys” were in a tizzy. How could I have utterly failed to notice my Mother’s Day present, this enormous television set? Needless to say I got my husband a manicure and pedicure for Father’s Day that year. As for the television set, I still don’t know how to work it, or just why four different remote controls are essential. But back to the present….he was watching “Love Actually” again.
I’m not exactly sure what gives this movie such universal appeal since it seems to be a story held loosely together by more stereotypes than you’d find at a romance novel convention—the aged rock star shaking his booty one more time, the middle aged middle management man who deceives his devoted wife to buy a gift for his hot young secretary, the two bashful porn stars who fall chastely in love, the bereaved father teaching his stepson to love again, the bumbling young Englishman who goes to America and is surrounded by sexy coeds who adore his accent and happily warm his bed, the sad jilted writer who finds himself unexpectedly in love with his maid, the lecherous American president—I could go on. As my husband pointed out to me as I started to recite the dialog unbidden (unhappily for me I do not sing!)–“It’s a Christmas Eve story!” And so it is. For the secular amongst us, who are just a little bit overdone at this point on the eggnog and the sugar cookies and the chocolates, but who don’t go to church on Christmas Eve, sitting in front of a fire and watching a movie where each story has a happy ending and people actually get what they deserve—well, it’s love, actually.
Having put it off long enough, and under the mistaken impression that NO one but us would be at the shopping mall on Christmas Eve, my daughter and I ventured out for the last minute shopping ordeal. People were shockingly civil, and helpful, and my big red Suburban gained no additional dents from crazed California drivers in their game of parking lot roulette. Tomorrow will be a quiet day at home with family, deerhounds, cats and horses. From our house to yours, we wish you the very best this holiday and for many more to come.