Wednesday, May 11, 2005

“When I dislike someone for no reason, I always find it more enjoyable.”

The Movie: Swing Time, 1936 (Howard Lindsay and Allan Scott, screenwriters, based on a story by Erwin Gelsey; George Stevens, dir.)
Who says it: Fred Astaire as John “Lucky” Garnett, a dancer and gambler
The context: Lucky says he doesn’t like his dance partner’s suitor, bandleader Ricky Romero (Georges Metaxa); she (Ginger Rogers) says that Romero’s given Lucky no reason to dislike him, as they don’t even know each other.
How to use it: To enjoy your preconceived notions.

At dinner last night, my friend Anna was telling our pal Jen that she would love another woman we know, and Jen said, "I never like people when you tell me I'm going to like them." Everybody laughed -- and I worried a little bit, because at some point I must have been someone Anna told Jen she would like.

But we laughed because it is true. Why is this? Why is my first thought, "I'm going to hate this," when someone says I'll love something? If one of my friends says I'm going to like something, I usually do like it -- but those are never the times I remember.

What I remember, instead, is ripping The Bridges of Madison County in half and hurling it across the room. It's sitting wordless at a restaurant table in D.C.'s Chinatown, across from a guy someone said I'd have so much in common with (what a painful way to find out what that person thought of me). It's going to see any number of Meg Ryan movies, before she mutilated her face beyond recognition.

Anyway, we all went to see Sting at the Cumberland County Civic Center last night, and he was great. The Civic Center's not much bigger than a large high school gym -- it might seat 8,000 people. I only know about half a dozen people in Maine, and almost everyone I knew was there. Big thanks to Chandra for camping out for tickets; it's one part of youth I don't really miss.

Before the concert, the Bragdons and Lechners and I had dinner at the Free Street Taverna, which is theoretically a Greek restaurant as well as a bar. I say "theoretically," because real Greek restaurants generally do not serve Kraft Creamy Cucumber salad dressing and call it tzatziki. (Then again, I haven't been to Greece, so maybe they do. I'm making assumptions here.)

However, by my old friend Scott Peeples' Law of Inverse Bathroom Quality (the cooler the bar, the grosser the bathroom), the Free Street Taverna is one cool bar. And they have live music, so I'll probably go back there. Just for drinks.


Anonymous said...

Things people have told me that I would really like but didn't:

The books of John Irving
The movies of the Coen Brothers (with the exception of Fargo which I really like)
Jazz and blues festivals
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (recommended I might add by someone with impeccable taste)

Things that I loved but everyone else in the world seeemed to loathe:

The Letterman Oscar telecast

Hard to think of things that people told me I would not like but which I really did....

And I shudder to think of how many people I have told to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, since they would just love it (the way I do) and have not heard back from them, since they, uh, didn't.


AnswerGirl said...

Was I the one who recommended MYSTIC RIVER to you? I still recommend it, I think it's one of the greatest novels of the last ten years -- so de gustibus non est disputandum, as my old Latin teacher used to say.

And I haven't gotten back to you (or my sister Susan) about Buffy because I really don't need any more geeky obsessions in my life.

Anna said...

You handled the Free Street Taverna with kid gloves, Elle. What's up with that? I felt like I needed one of those abrasive post-chemical spill showers after I went into the bathroom. I wouldn't go back even for a drink!

Running from my House said...

I also really enjoyed the UMA Oprah moment of the Letterman telecast.
I hated (stopped) mystic river (both the movie and the book, but not in that order)
I think everyone should watch Everwood, but no one talks to me after I say that.
Glad I could camp out for tickets, it was great fun, and I'll let you know the next time I find something good- KC and the Sunshine Band at the Augusta Civic Center!!

Sally said...

Take it on good authority, tzatziki is not Kraft in Greece..... At least it wasn't 30 years ago.