East Aurora, NY Level 1
When we have Airbnb guests staying on our property, for me, it’s a ‘clean slate’…..there are these new faces to drivel to…….trot out all the old familiar stories, unload our life experiences on!
A few weeks ago while having an evening chat with guests, in answer to a question how my wife Adrienne was getting on with her MS, I was telling a young couple how one movie outing a couple of months ago proved difficult for us because a flight of steps was involved to get to the seating area of the cinema which was a challenge for Ade with her limited mobility.
He told me a funny story about ‘breaking wind’ in a cinema one evening which must have got quite a reaction, and then, looking me in the eye, he said to me……..
“Have you ever made an entire movie theatre laugh”?
Did we ever!
Around 45 years ago being young and stupid, before Ade developed Multiple Sclerosis, we went to a movie evening one night in one of the large local cinemas. About a third of the way through the main feature, the movie reel broke, and the cinema went into darkness! After about 10 seconds, the main auditorium lights came on and there was this general hub-bub of hushed conversation from the 250 or so movie patrons.
Obviously there was feverish activity in the projector room trying to fix the film break while we all sat twiddling our thumbs hoping to remember what the action was at the point where the film broke!
Ade and I looked at each other, guessing the others' idea, gave each other the thumbs up (a well practiced routine I might add) we both stood up, made our way to the outer aisle making it look like we were going to leave. Then, in the aisle (with my body pressed up to the back of hers) marching with feet and arms in unison, Hup, two, three, four, we did a route march down one side of the theatre, across the centre stage, back up the other side all the while to the cheering of the rest of the audience. When we got to our seat row on the other side of the theatre, we resumed our seats to such a round of applause, the ushers and usherettes all came in to see what all the hilarity was about.
Ade and I got a bigger reaction that night than the main feature……in fact we were the main feature, we were the stars of the night.
Yeah, we made an entire movie theatre laugh!
Hello @Robin4 , The feeling of witnessing a collective joy and being a reason for a good cheer is something that we all crave for. It was such a refreshing reminiscence to read. It reminds me of my first boat ride at Niagara, where several people would cheer and giggle at the water droplets falling at them. Though there is nothing significant about it, but the collective joy of being at a beautiful place and people enjoying something at the same time : be it nature or a spontaneous marching to lighten the atmosphere. Such feelings and memories linger around longer than expected.
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Years ago I was sitting in the backseat of a car with some friends waiting to drive through a McDrive. Everybody were minding their own business, looking daftly into the sky and everywhere and nowhere. I believe we had been to a party the night before and needed to fuel up on crap food.
Suddenly everyone in the car shook from me shouting: no! No! No! Sorry! Sorry! No!
I had been sitting with the sheep stare and suddenly caught the eyes of a boy aged 5-7 years. He was sitting inside the McDonalds with his family and was getting bored. We smiled at each other. But then the devil caught me and I started making faces to him through the car window. He smiled shy. I continued. He looked around and started making faces back at me.
Of course it escalated! I was giggeling. He was giggeling. And suddenly his parents noticed him sitting making faces and worse through the restaurant window. And started to correct his behaviour scolding him.
That's when I started shouting in the car. My friends jumped in their seats. I kept shouting. The boy NEVER pointed me out. He just bent his neck in front of his parents. But luckily I made enough movement to catch the parent's attention. And through, very tight spaced, body language I managed to have them understand I started the whole circus. And they started laughing. The boy started laughing. And I sighed from relief!!
So I turned to my friends who were the biggest question marks. Told the story. And my friend just: you are the only person I know that figures out to start something like this. And also the only person I know that would be able to build a connection with a child through two windows and a road in between.
We were 8 people having a laugh on a very ordinary Sunday afternoon @Robin4 . The joy of people connecting.
Mariann, possibly sounds a bit arrogant, but I could say 'the joy of people connecting' as you said, goes a long way towards defining our character, be it good or bad!
Relating to a stranger can take you to some lovely places.
Have you ever been in a hurry, on your way out somewhere and rushed into the supermarket to grab some forgotten item only to be thwarted at the fast-lane check-out by a customer ahead who is hell-bent on taking forever over their transaction?
This particular day involved a card payment problem.
These card declines generally seem to happen with someone who has only a few cents to throw around, their budget is spread very thinly …..sometimes you can tell by the body language, they happen out of desperation!
I was behind an elderly gentleman…..well (in retrospect) about the same age as me, about 74 at the time this happened, and his card was declined! His shoulders slumped as though he almost expected it…….so did mine, here we go again! But before he had the opportunity to haggle with the check-out operator over which items he should leave off his shopping list I motioned the checkout girl to add my single item to his transaction and I handed her my card.
He turned to me and said….”Oh no, you can’t do that”! and I said to him….”Mate, one day you can do the same for me”, not for a second thinking of the consequences of that statement! The transaction went through before he could protest any further, he squeezed my shoulder, left with his goods…..I sprinted to our car and, life went on!
Our paths did cross a couple of times over the next 2 months, Mt Barker being a relatively small town of 35,000 inhabitants and each time we would have a bit of a chat and I would ask how he was getting on. He said, life was tough, he was caring for a daughter with grandchild who had come out of a messy divorce, it was putting a strain on him, he was struggling but, managing.
About 4 months later he turned up at our door one afternoon with $32.47 in cash (the amount of his original supermarket bill which was declined) a dozen champagne for Ade and a dozen nice red wines for me…….information he had noted from our couple of previous meetings.
He invested $6.00 in a ‘scratchy’ lottery ticket and hit a $35,000 jackpot winner and wanted to make sure he repaid those who had helped him. He had a genuine tear of joy in his eye, and so did I Mariann.
That $32.47 good deed returned me over $300 in nice wine and (as we have got more acquainted) a friendship I will value for the rest of my life!
You never know where a good deed will take you!
And this is one of the things I love most about Airbnb, it's the financial freedom it has helped give to me in my retirement to, on a whim connect with people and play ‘Father Christmas’ whenever I want.....
Jenny, a couple of years ago a friend of ours had a Sunday brunch (late breakfast) for a group of her friends. We were all seated around a couple of long trestle tables and at one point I studied those aging faces and suddenly realised, of the 14 people at that table I had known 12 of them for 59 years!
When I built our house in the hills in 1980 we had so many friends we didn't know how to fit them all into our life. The first two years we were in that house we never had a single weekend to ourselves. But over the years things happen to friendships.....some climb the ladder of success and move on, some relocate far away following job opportunities, some go through a messy separation.....and it is hard to stay friends with a failed couple. Some like my best man at my wedding die!
He went out for a jog one morning and never came home. His wife Carol said to her eldest son Ben..."Dad is a long time, probably talking to the neighbour, go out and hurry him up" Ben found his father and later he said to me, "Why are bed sheets never long enough? My lasting memory of dad was his runners sticking out the bottom of that sheet"! Greg had a heat attack, a neighbour found him on the side of the road and covered him with a sheet until the authorities arrived......he was just 41!
As you get older your friend base diminishes and those that remain around you become like gold to you.
We are still friends with a couple who ironically were at that film evening at the Unley Windsor cinema that evening.....and we do still have a laugh. A lot has changed in our world since that evening but our friends have remained a constant source of joy to us and reminiscing about stupid stunts like that one that night still give us a laugh
....and an excuse for another drink!!
It's so important to make the best of the time we have with our friends and loved ones, isn't it.
Reminiscing about past high jinks is one of my favourite pastimes!
Thank you for sharing more photos and memories with us, you're so appreciated @Robin4!
You just made my day @Robin4 ❤️
What a beautiful story, of love, complicity, joy and facing small challenges in a smiling way.
I could imagine you in the theatre and people around you...thanks, thanks and thanks!
I love that anecdote and am grateful that guests have brought it back and now you share it with us.
Without knowing you, and with all due respect, I would venture to say that you and your wife are a charming couple who are capable of facing small and big life's challenges with an optimistic and joyful gaze.
I wish you all the best from Tenerife, Canary Islands.
Thank you Daniel for a lovely message. When I look back it's probably the reaction of others like you who make us do these silly things and kept us focused on that 'shiny new tomorrow'.
Here was Ade and I in 1969, a year before we married......
And here we are with 50 years of marriage behind us.......
We have had our fair share of challenges but, we are still arm in arm.......and still looking forward to that 'Brillante nueva mañana' !
All the best Daniel
Thank you Robin. It's hard to explain how wonderful your letters and these particular photos are....
Thanks to both of you.
@Robin4 thank you for sharing your photos of the past and the present. You can see love shining through along with companionship and friendship. In Scouting we also have stickability which Baden Powell used and promoted was the mixture of patience, strength. I think you have stickability with your strength of endurance of hanging in with Airbnb and your life experiences. Take care
Oh, oh, oh! 😍
I love those photos that reflect the tender charm of spending a life with a person we love, smiling, fighting and coping with everything.
Lucky both to have each other.
And lucky us to know such beautiful and inspiring story.
A big hug and a huge love!
Great story @Robin4! 🤩 I bet that was one moment to never forget!
Ade and I met on a blind date! We were not paired with each other but, as soon as she walked in the room, that was it for the rest of my life, my future was mapped out for me, and before that night ended we had a date!
I had this need to impress her so I said to her...."For our first outing I am going to take you on a special date to a place that means a lot to me"!
Down on the south coast where the cliffs of the Adelaide hills tumble into the ocean at a place called Normanville I had this special hilltop place I would go to when I wanted time to myself, my sanctuary, my place to escape life, where I felt I could recharge my batteries. I felt now was the time to share that place with someone else.
I prepared a great hamper of Champagne, prawns, a seafood salad, some lovely cheeses and some seriously yummy chocolates. I rolled out a blanket, we sat there, watched the sun dip down into the ocean and I think we both felt we had discovered our life partner on that first date!
That Quincy is one moment never to forget!
Great story, well written!
I love the way you write about your wife, and about you two as a couple, your stories. There’s such warmth in your writing.
So happy to see you back here!
I have probably mentioned this before here on the CC but I did actually write a book a decade ago and it did reasonably well. It was a murder mystery and made the best seller list for three months in a row. It didn't realise its full potential though because I was forced to self publish....and self publishing is hard, you don't have any experience to help you with printing, promotion and distribution.
All of the publishing houses only want to take on authors with a successful track record so when presented with my work they wished me well but declined to be involved until I made the best sellers list......boing!
The book was titled ....."Like the Rainbow" ......
It was a substantial work with over 1,100 pages and traces a parcel of Opal from a murder on the opal mining fields of Coober Pedy in outback South Australia to the gem cutting rooms of Amsterdam and how it affects the lives of all those who come across it along the way......
I made enough out of it to consider it a success but, times have moved on, a decade has passed and I am considering re-releasing it in digital form to extract another dollar or two out of it!
If there is any interest I will post a chapter from it here on the CC so you can get a feel for my writing style.
I am somewhat late here!
Great post, funny story about the "performance of yours" in that movie theatre 🙂
I did not know about your book. Congrats!
Sure, I think you should re-release it !
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Ade.
That’s very impressive!
Maybe you should go back to the publishing houses now, when you do have a a “successful track record”, and see if they want to help you re-release it in any format?
If it becomes an e-book, let me know, I’d certainly be interested!