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Let’s go to the Movies!
May 18, 2009

It was during the discussion/negotiations regarding our Sunday outing that I became painfully aware of how the demons emerge within our family dynamics while making a movie selection.

I possessed neither the energy nor the appetite for a visit to the track and qualifications as Michael had suggested as a possible destination. Returning from her friend’s wedding and slumber party, Jessica instantly turned up her little nose at the suggestion. BF popped his head in the back door after completing lawn number one to check progress on negotiations and express his concern for my energy level and a track outing. Veto, Idea #1. BF’s further input consisted of a request for an evening wiener roast around the fire pit and he was off to mow lawn number two, promising he’d be back by noon. (He wasn’t)

The decision was eventually made: lunch out and a movie followed by a wiener roast. Since the Internet was working and we’d all excitedly taken our turns checking emails, etc., we pulled up the Sunday schedule for Greenwood AMC 14. The kitchen-table pow wow began.

Michael claimed the computer and the right to read the listings, the obvious position of power. We knew he’d omit the chick flicks and we were not about to let him get by with it! The standard rule is that with the initial reading of titles, each family member is allowed one instant veto signified with a thumbs down. The choice was not to be an easy one. Jessica was negotiating hard, having seen Star Trek in New York and suggesting Captain Kirk et al as the obvious choice. Michael proudly displayed his thumbs down with a true little brother gloat, suggesting Obsessed. Immediate thumbs down from Big Sister.

As with all good family arguments, past wounds were brought to the table. Michael has never forgiven the fact that Jessica and Cousin Justin were allowed to strong-arm the entire extended family into viewing The Hobbit movies three Christmases in a row. Unforgivable.

Negotiations digressed into a shouting match in which I admit participation. Am I proud of the fact that the three of us can’t choose a movie without a battle? Not especially. Am I proud of my young adult children? You bet! I am extremely proud that I have spawned two offspring who own strong opinions and are comfortable expressing those firmly and without reservation, loudly if necessary, but without stooping to name calling or deceptive manipulation. They did, however, both attempt to use Rick in the negotiations calling his natural preferences for their side as he wasn’t here to defend himself. Thankfully, neither allowed the other to succeed with that one.

At the end of the day, negotiations ended with a huge group hug and I love yous all around. No pouting or grudge allowed. We may yell a bit, but when it’s over, it’s over. The two siblings left happily together, and in the spirit of team work, to pre-buy movie tickets and secure a table at Max and Erma’s (Dixon tradition, Michael’s choice) while I rushed BF through his getting ready process. Check out our family photo and see the clue regarding the movie that we all enjoyed!

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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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