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Full of Sunshine December 3, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Life, Movies, Uncategorized.

Last night I rented Sunshine Cleaning, an independent, did-well-at-Sundance-type movie starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt (my new girlcrush) and Alan Arkin, from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine, one of my top faves of all faves. I can’t say it was as awesome as that one (not many are), but I liked it a lot and it was worth the $3.99 that will be tacked onto my next cable bill.

This isn’t a movie review, so bear with me for a minute. Basically it’s about a twenty-something single mom (Adams) who was the pretty, popular high school cheerleader and who now has a totally shitty life: having an affair with her married high school sweetheart who’s wife is currently pregnant, working for a maid service and at a snack counter, dealing with her smart but troubled kid. She and her sister eventually start their own company, cleaning up blood and guts at crime scenes, the titular Sunshine Cleaning. Sorry, but I had to give the set-up to make my point, which regards one scene, the one that almost did me in.

Amy Adams (“Rose”) is at one of her house cleaning jobs and explaining the company’s procedures to the rich-snot homeowner, when the lady interrupts her and goes, “Rose? Rose Lorkowski!” (insert puzzled look from Rose) “It’s Paula! Don’t you remember – junior year cheerleading squad!” Rose’s face slowly reflects simultaneous recognition/horror. Paula walks around the kitchen island to reveal her pregnant belly and says, “Well, I’m MRS so-and-so now,” while flashing her gigantic rock, bragging about great things are with her, etc., until finally she asks Rose what she’s doing now. Because the uniformed shirt and vacuum cleaner in her hand – if not her very presence in the woman’s house after she obviously hired a cleaning service – apparently wasn’t enough of a clue. Rose mumbles something about how she just got her real estate license (she’s actually not finished with the courses yet) and how she’s just doing this until she can decide which real estate company to go with, after which she pretty much runs out of the house, down the driveway and into her shitty rustbucket of a car, and drives away with a grim mouth set and tearful, glassy eyes.

It was with a frightening amount of ease I was able to identify with poor “Rose.” There are obvious differences between her and me but I was more thinking of the similarites: she’s unmarried with a kid, I’m married without one. Her mom is dead and dad is alive, reverse that for my parents. She loves her psycho slacker younger sister and I love mine. (Just kidding, Sister! But watch this movie soon please!) Her second job is cleaning up dead people’s houses, mine is cleaning up foreclosed people’s houses.  

Semi-related: There’s this girl on my Facebook friends. Let’s call her Paula, just like in the movie. I went to high school with her, obvs. Before FB, what I knew about her was that she started dating (let’s call him Bif), our sophmore year, all throughout high school, then they went to college together where they remained together throughout, graduated, got married, and Bif went to work for Paula’s dad at his gigantic Ford dealership back in our small town. The last time I saw her in person, she was hugely pregnant with their first (Second? I don’t know and who cares) baby and she filled me in on how great things were of course and my only consolation was that her ankles were bulgy and my hair looked great that day. Now, thanks to the joys of social networking, I know she’s still married to Bif, he still works for Daddy Fordbucks and they have three cute kids, two boys and a girl. And that they recently took a trip to the North Carolina mountains to pick out and cut down their Christmas tree. Of course the trip was well documented for the benefit of all her Facebook friends. Basically if you look up “Perfect Family Christmas Card Portrait and Annual Family Newsletter Update” in the dictionary, there they all will be, with matching outfits and toothy smiles.

She’d asked me before they left how close we lived to where they were going, that maybe we could get together for lunch or something. With huge relief, I told her where they were headed was actually hours from where I live (technically that’s true, because ninety miles would take hours if you drove it going fifty.) It’s not like we were close friends in high school or ever. In fact, my clearest memory of her was the day I wore my new “Promise ring” to school, a microscopic chip of a thing, and she immediately zero’d in on it and made a huge deal about how John and I were probably going to get married, just like she and Bif. I shudder at that thought, on many levels.

I know no one has a perfect life, no matter how they portray it on the Internet, I really do. I also know that feelings of jealousy, inferiority and blind rage aren’t productive or healthy. But damn. I can’t help but sometimes wonder exactly when it was I veered.



1. morethananelectrician - December 4, 2009

Not to bring Tiger up here too, but his life seemed perfect 10 days ago, huh?

This post makes me thing about an Episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where all the couples were telling secrets and fighting. The only couple not participating was Raymond’s parents. Everyone was shocked, but they said that they were shocked at all the secrets everyone kept. They put everything out there…and maybe they were actually the happiest couple of them all.

Things may not always “be” as they seem.

Kimmothy - December 4, 2009

Very true…and I love Raymond’s parents!

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5. Whiskeymarie - December 4, 2009

Don’t equate money with happiness. Not to wish ill will on Paula and Bif, but my experience has shown that the couples trying the hardest to prove how perfectly happy they are usually are hiding deeper issues/problems. The movie “Happiness” directed by Todd Solondz comes to mind.

And if they’re not hiding anything, good for them. Just stop comparing your lives- it will only eat away at you. Her’s isn’t “better”, it’s just different.

Kimmothy - December 4, 2009

So very true.
I try really hard to be thankful every day for what I have because I know I’m lucky in so many ways. I guess all I can do is to keep making a conscious effort to remind myself.

6. iamheatherjo - December 4, 2009

You didn’t veer, sweetie. You slammed headlong right into a life full of choices and you make the best ones you can as they come along. Through the good ones and the bad ones, you keep your sense of humor and you know that if you’re down…you won’t stay there.

That says something.

Kimmothy - December 5, 2009

I love you.
And all the time I think about how thankful I am that you’re my friend, even from this far away.
And now I have the Golden Girls theme song in my head.

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