There are a lot of things I don’t understand. Like canned chicken. I always thought this was the court of last resort when it comes to meat products. I didn’t realize until recently that people actually used canned chicken for normal food preparation outside a bomb shelter or a zombie apocalypse situation. I also don’t understand people who wear blankets as coats. Okay wait, I understand the oversized wool shawl serving as a blanket coat. I do not understand the people wearing queen sized microfiber plushie bedspreads over their entire bodies in lieu of any comparable sleeve-having garment. And wearing them in such a way that they must cling to them for dear life instead of using their versatile pre-installed hand tools to do basic things like carry a purse, push a cart and pull something off a shelf. There is always something very beleaguered looking about these women too with their heads tucked inside their giant blanket babushkas. Like they are mourning the loss of both summer and their dignity.
Part of me reaches out with a little bit of my ability to empathize and wonders if they are having a really bad day or maybe feeling sick. Maybe under these circumstances leaving the house is an event that requires the security of a mobile blanket fort. But I’ve seen it with enough regularity now that I wonder if this isn’t some trend gone a-wonk. I wish that someone who has worn part of their linen closet outside the home could tell me so that I could understand this.
Of course I’m hardly one who can claim I don’t do inexplicable and poorly judged things. Like the other night I wisely chose to go for a run in the dark near an irrigation canal and slid partially into aforementioned canal when I was light blinded by checking the status of my run on my phone. But I think one of the most inexplicable choices I’ve made recently was watching the Netflix original movie El Camino Christmas.
This movie packs tropes like a deck of cards. It has it all. A small town dynamic where everyone is some kind of hard luck case. A single mom who escaped an abusive boyfriend, a combat shocked Vietnam veteran, bumbling local police, the first snow on Christmas in over 40 years and a little boy who learns to speak his first words over the miracle of Christmas which revolves around misunderstood hostage situation and a bloody shootout.
The whole thing watches like a want ad for Alcoholics Anonymous. The majority of the movie takes place in a liquor store and a full third of the cast are blatant alcoholics or have good reason to try to be one. And whoa unto to me the irony that I was drinking and wrapping Christmas presents while watching this movie. And not labeling anything because I was wrapping Chrismtas presents while drinking. But really the only reason I watched this movie is the same reason why we like warm blankets and tropes we’ve seen a thousand times. It feels comfortable, familiar and makes us nostalgic for simpler times. That is what anyone wants right? A regular, old fashioned Christmas. I’ll take my Old Fashioned with an extra shake of angostura and two cherries thank you.