My finger hooved over the TV remote button. I had the time, the lack of ambition and the perfect dreary day to click that button. There wasn’t much holding me back … except several recent comments taking a stand that was at odds with the television choice on the guide screen.
I chose to be a hypocrite.
I was in one of those moods when I needed entertainment that didn’t require a lot of brain power. Pairing viewing habits with mood is as much an art as pairing wine with cheese. When it’s time to unwind some people enjoy the contrast of an escape into drama that is worse than whatever real life is throwing at them. Maybe a psychological thriller to remove the lingering stink of a bad boss; a comedy to balance out a not-so-funny week.
That night I really need to add some predictability to an unpredictable life. When that happens pre-Christmas, my clicker finger goes to cheesy holiday movies every time.
You know the ones: quirky woman has some major life decisions but she fails to recognize the answer to all her problems is the hunky man right in front of her. The stress of the holidays only complicates matters. Then, in the last scene, she realizes her path, it starts to snow, they kiss and fade to happily ever after.
That pretty much sums up the plot of most of these chick-flick holiday movies. Sometimes the quirky woman has a kid or two in tow. Sometimes she is running a nifty business like a cupcake shop in some sweet small town and dreams of a big city life, or sometimes she is a stressed-out business woman in Important Person Suits who dreams of someday owning a nifty business like a cupcake shop in some sweet small town.
I know how they are going to end sometimes before the beginning credits finish. The dialog is usually eye-rollable, the people unnaturally attractive and inappropriately dressed for the weather; when it snows it’s not hard to see blue sky and sunshine. Don’t even get me started on what my inner feminist says about the men saving the day part.
They are extremely unrealistic and corny and I watch as many as I can between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Enter my hypocrisy.
I have a long standing one-holiday-at-a-time rule: no rushing a season, enjoy what is going on now.
But I clicked on that first Christmas movie just after Halloween.
As hypocritical behavior goes, this isn’t so bad except this one was paired with me being a jerk.
Don’t say you have never been a jerk. Yes, you have. Every one of any conviction and character has, at some time, been the jerk. Maybe it was a snip at someone, a poorly worded retort or behind their back action. It was that thing you did or said that haunted your gut long after the fact. While most behavioral compasses point to being kind, sometimes we aren’t. That’s when we are the jerk.
I was the jerk when I laughed at my friends who started listening to Christmas music at Halloween. I snickered when they put up their lights and trees weeks before Thanksgiving. “One Holiday at a time, People!”
But there is a way to de-jerk yourself: Admit, apologize and learn from it.
To you who I laughed at for listening to Christmas music while passing out Halloween candy, and to you who I snickered at for putting up your tree two months before Christmas: I’m sorry. I am the jerk in this story. A jerk and a hypocrite.
Susan Vollenweider lives in Smithville. For more of her writing, go thehistorychicks.com.