Sunday, January 11, 2009


Before I get into this post, let me explain something: I am a huge nerd. Really behind the times. Somewhat of a recluse. So, I don't go to the movies, I don't know what music the kids are listening to, and all that other information that makes a person socially cool (or at least, not socially uncool).

Today, I'm hanging around the house, doing some laundry, some housework, some reading, a little exercise. It's kind of a gray, cold day, and my energy's a little low, so I decided to watch a little TV.

I encountered this movie called "Click", with Adam Sandler. (Apparently, this movie is a couple years old, which is why a prefaced all this with the "nerd explanation".) I did not see 100% of the movie, but did see most of it, and I'm so glad I did.

The movie, for all you other pop-culture ignoramuses out there, is about a young architect, with a wife, a couple kids, and parents, who is always busy and trying to get ahead in his career.

A crazy, creepy but wise fellow named Morty (played by Christoper Walken, who plays a great crazy, creepy, but wise person, I think) gives Adam Sandler's character (whose name in the movie escapes me) a magical and universal remote control that he can use on everything in his life.

At first, this seems like a great thing! Adam can fast forward through fights with his wife, mute his boss, etc.

At some point though, things get out of control. The remote gets to know Adam's preferences, so it starts automatically fast-forwarding through parts of his life without his control.

I don't want to spoil this movie for anyone who hasn't seen it, and would like to.

I will say that parts of the movie are a little trite and formulaic, but some of the movie really cuts to the quick.

For me, an especially poignant segment is when Adam Sandler finds out he has fast-forwarded through the death of his father. He is able to witness himself during his last visit with his father before he dies, and Adam is cold, pre-occupied and hurtful.

When my own father became ill and died, I struggled in a similar way. I was haunted by every instance when I could have easily spent time with Dad doing something he enjoyed (like watching a documentary about fractals), but chose to spend time doing something useless instead (like reading a crappy novel). I remembered every cruel and hateful word I spewed at the man during my tortured adolescence. And even though I spent a long 7 months mostly at his side in the hospital (even though he was frequently unaware of my presence), I knew I could never regain what I had squandered. When he died, I knew there would be no "do-overs".

But, this is not about me feeling guilty, or about public self-flagellation. I've worked through that.

After my dad died, I was determined to not make the same mistakes again in my relationships. But sadly, I'm always forgetting. I'm short and irritable with my mother, I have to "be right" with my husband, and I hardly talk to my brother at all (although to be fair, that's not just me--he's a lawyer who works long hours--see, there I go, being defensive, instead of finding solutions). Thankfully, my sister and I are pretty close, but she lives a couple thousand miles away, has a baby and is a doctor, so we don't get much in way of quality time.

But, back to the present moment (I'm always wandering off). I am grateful that the movie "Click" came my way, to remind me to be kind to those I love, to treasure every moment, and to not lose sight of what's important.


  1. You know Ruth, when I improved to only being a jerk 10% of the time, I fortunately realized that only forgetting and screwing up 10% was really pretty good :-)

    My standards are not as high as yours ;-)

  2. Dr. J.,

    Thank you. I doubt it's true, but thank you.

    I'm sure you have standards in lots of areas in your life that are higher than mine.

    But, you're right--we all screw up, and the important thing is to be aware, and try to do better.

    And maybe (for me) to lighten up (just a smidge).