I just watched "Marley and Me" for the first time the other night. I know, it's been out forever. And I really avoided it for several reasons: rumor of a sad ending, the whole feel-good holiday popular movie bit, I don't really care too much for Jennifer Aniston (gasp! but she always seems to be the same character), and I didn't think it would be all that good so I wanted to wait for it to go down in price (there are no movie rental places around here)...
Anyway, my husband caught it on cable this week while he was in a motel out of town. He said that it was really good, he might have actually cried - but it may have been the fact that his eyes were watering because he was sick (or so that's what he told him roomie)... But he also said that the couple really reminded him of us and our relationship and situation. His rundown of it was that the couple got married, got a dog, then she wanted a baby, they ended up with 3 and she had postpartum depression and got all mad when the husband mentioned it.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg. There were so many things in the movie that reminded me of us. And of our life. I really wanted to point out how clean their house was until she had the kids ;)
But, yeah, tons of similarities aside from the ones he mentioned: the colic, the fighting, ppd, the chaos and exhaustion, the whole issue of parenting and being a stay at home mom w/no breaks...(I swear we've had the same fights!). It was almost like someone took my life and made it into a movie! I don't think I've ever identified so much with a movie. It had a certain amount of raw realism that a lot of movies gloss over. I would be willing to bet that a lot of stay at home moms with more than one child identified with the movie.
The issue of miscarriage in the movie was pretty unexpected and hit a spot in my heart. Not that I thought I was over it or anything, but it seems that when you least expect it, something will bring it out and unwind all those memories and feelings that you try to keep tied up. I am fairly certain it's something that I will never get over. I doubt anyone does.
We did have a dog somewhat similar to Marley. But we ended up taking her to a farm. She was a wonderful and beautiful Border Collie. She was awesome with the two older girls (tweenie and step-tweenie - when they were 6 and 7). She really kept track of them (when she wasn't eating the floor!) and would check on them all the time and did a lot of things really similar to Marley. Unfortunately when Little Man was maybe 5 or 6 mos old, she barked at him and almost bit him. So we found her a great home with a family that bred and trained Border Collies. And now we have a stinky wiener dog with attitude and an insane, but fairly well behaved black lab.
I was also quite impressed with Jennifer Aniston in this movie, she did a really great job and wasn't her usual same old Rachel from Friends character ;)
Something important that I came away from this movie with was having to do with the relationship... I realized that I am probably never nice to my husband. While the couple fought quite a bit, they always ended up being sweet with each other in the next scene, or the wife would be all nice and forgiving and back into the partnership. They always made up and came out stronger, more of a team. I complain a lot about my husband and his lack of engaging in our "partnership," but I am equally, if not more, at fault. I'm almost certain that my indifferent behavior (due to exhaustion at this point!) and lack of time for really engaging with him continues to keep a wall up between us and inhibits our ability to become more of a team. In that way the movie was quite the eye-opener. I'm so rarely sweet or forgiving or even nice to my husband these days. By the time he gets home every day I am so completely drained. And then within an hour or less of him getting home is when the colic clock strikes... I really need to make some efforts to rebuild our relationship. Or at least get it started in the right direction. It's just really hard to spend any energy there, when I barely have the energy I need for the kids. But honestly, the tone of our interactions permeates the house. If we were more together the rest of the house would surely sense it.
A little deep for what I thought was going to be some fluff movie ;)
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