I wish God were Wes Anderson. I wish I were a little boy and Wes Anderson were God, because then my life would be perfect. My parents wouldn’t get along but the school plays would be fantastic. Living in Wes Anderson’s world would be like living inside a really, really cool exploded diagram of a ship, or a cut away three-dimensional drawing of a crumbling mansion. I would sit for hours with my friends inside tents inside rooms with maps and classical music and we would devise plays and write novels. There would be uniforms and little badges and expeditions. I would fall in love with my mysterious third cousin with smudgy eye-liner and a taste for Proust. We would smoke pipes and hang out with Bill Murray. The wallpaper and book covers would be slightly surreal and beautiful. Swallows and Amazons would be our sacred text.
I don’t know if Moonrise Kingdom is a good movie or not. I don’t know if you should go or see it. I loved it, but then I love Wes. The Life Aquatic, which most people don’t like, is one of my favourite movies. I will always love Fantastic Mr. Fox because of the scene near the end where they salute the wolf on the hill. (We should salute the wolf on the hill more often. This has become a core belief of mine.) I loved the Royal Tennanbaums, and Rushmore. So, you can see, there is no point in me making a judgement about Moonrise Kingdom.
We went to see it after we organised a life changing event. We got a babysitter. If you are a parent of small children you will smile and nod now. Remember the first time you got a babysitter? Actually, I can remember my babysitter when I was a kid. He was studying to be an architect. He was so dull, and I was so obedient (I hadn’t learned that thing about the wolf) that my memory is mainly of him sitting on the couch, and me trotting off to bed. Which I am pleased to report is what our daughters did for our babysitter who had, I like to think, quite a relaxed and pleasant evening while we went out like excited colts into the night.
Unfortunately we were running a bit late because I had to take number one daughter down to after-hours before hand, but I now understand that any moment of parental freedom must come at some karmic cost, so in the greater scheme of things sitting in the waiting room of the after hours with twenty other sick and injured people representing a healthy cross-section of the community was a relatively small price to pay.
So we were running late and had to duck into a Thai restaurant near the theatre and grab a meal instead of going somewhere a bit posh and luxuriating in a two-hour meal. The Thai restaurant (Eat Thai, Phu Thai… I made that up, but it’s my favourite Thai restaurant joke) was fine but there was a large group of maybe 24 or 25-year-old morons who were drunk and shouting at each other. Sometimes they talked using the word F%#K as their main adjective, sometimes they switched to C&$T, and sometimes they used FA%$OT. It’s all very well writing about the greatness of man, but there are people from Palmerston North to deal with. I reflected, somewhat glumly as I pushed my noodles across the plate, that in a few years most of the men at that table will earn twice as much as me. It could be worse, I could have been one of the women at the table, who will probably end up married to one of those young men.
And then we went to the movie. I believe I have already described my feelings about the movie.
I wish God were Wes Anderson. I wish I were a little boy and Wes Anderson were God, because then my life would be perfect.
Then we went home, and I walked the babysitter back to her house, and then when I came back daughter number two woke up, and wouldn’t settle so I had to climb in the other bed with her, but this is part of the karmic cost, and we got to see Wes’ world, and hang out together (Cathy, Wes, Bill and I) so it was alright.
Anyway, I quite like listening to daughter number two snuffle her way through the night.
PS – Happy Fathers’ Day.