Tree of Animal Hoarders

by carrielaven

Awesomely, I have “Summer Fridays” at my job, which means two very important things:

1) We get to ditch the biz cas for straight-up cas, meaning that I can wear a muumuu to the office.

2)  I get off work at 1pm.

Last Friday, I chose to take advantage of my free afternoon by going to see Tree of Life by myself at 2:30pm.  I thought that the movie was great– although, be warned that it lacks snappy dialogue (or pretty much any dialogue, for that matter) and a linear plot, and can feel painfully slow-moving at times.  However, on the other hand, it also completely envelops you and throws you into a complex visual and emotional experience that makes you think about the world and your place within it for long after.  That’s some deep shit, ya know?  I came out of the theater a couple of hours later feeling exhausted and like it was 10 o’clock at night– I have to respect any movie that can have such a visceral effect on me.

Anyway, I digress.  What was important about my Friday afternoon movie matinée experience was not necessarily the movie that I saw, but that I learned my own Tree of Life-esque lesson about my place within the world, and glimpsed my future.  You see, I was surrounded by a very specific crowd at this Friday at 2pm showing– a crowd that I enjoyed, but that also kind of horrified me.  A crowd of solo movie-goers, like myself.  A crowd of ladies, like myself.  A crowd of frizzy-haired, clog-wearing, muumuu-loving, eccentric cuckoos– just like me!  Apparently Friday movie matinées are when all of the crazy cat ladies leave Smokey a bowl of dry food and come out to play.  One of them was wearing the same shoes as me.  I mean, Crazy Cat Ladydom isn’t even my future, it’s my present, I just lack the cat.  My mind was blown.  Like, what the hell, am I supposed to just live this life for the next 60 years?  Where do you go if you already act like a spinster at age 24??

The thing is, while I do love muumuus and kooks and doing things by myself, I don’t necessarily want to be confused about finding my seat or tripping in the dark at a a multiplex every Friday until the end of my days.  I want to be like Oprah, and get better with age.  I want to be like Iris Apfel, and be the “world’s oldest living teenager.”  I want to be one of those slutty grandmas who gets remarried at age 77 and goes on trips to Vegas all of the time and makes dirty jokes that embarrass her daughter but make her grandkids roll on the floor, laughing. 

Perhaps Tree of Life was too heavy a movie choice for a Friday afternoon.  I think that it brought on a quarter-life crisis.  Whether that’s true or not, I’ve re-committed to living a zesty life and not letting my hair get frizzy. I’ll still go to movies by myself– and I’ll for sure still sport the occasional muumuu– but I think I’ll concentrate on being a semi-reckless twentysomething a little more, too.  After all, Iris didn’t never grow up by acting like an octogenarian at 24.