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Father Time is messing with my mind, but now I can watch my movies for the first time again

I sometimes think Father Time is a thief in the night who gets his jollies by flushing away people and places that once were significant to us.

patti dawn swansson

I mean, those of us of a certain vintage reach back to retrieve a magical moment and what do we get? A mind full of empty. We discover that that which we held so dearly has vanished like our first summer wages. There is nothing to grasp. Our memory has become a foggy moor, with only a vagueness of the who, what, when, where and why of a specific event.

Well, I’ve got news for Father Time—he’s only fooling himself if he thinks he’s fooling me.

Yes, it’s true that he’s a naughty, old boy who’s playing nasty tricks on my memory and I literally lose thoughts and direction in less than five seconds. And, yes, you read that right—five seconds. Not five minutes, five hours, five days, five weeks, five months or five years. Five seconds. Or, about the same amount of time as it takes me to type “five seconds.”

But here’s the deal: While my thoughts and notions now disappear faster than meat and potatoes on a football player’s dinner plate, I now can watch my movie collection for the first time again.

This is a pleasant discovery I made this very week when, in the grips of boredom born of ghastly daytime television shows, I warmed to the notion of plopping a disc into my DVD gadget. I had a choice of between 400 and 500 titles, all of which I have already seen, some of them, like Papillon, The Great Escape, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Help, more than once.

What am I in the mood for?” I asked myself aloud. “Comedy? Drama. An old-fashioned, shoot-’em-up John Wayne duster? A chick flick?”

Something funny,” I answered myself aloud. “I’ll watch something that makes me laugh.”

I peered into one of the three cabinets that house my collection of between 400 and 500 titles and my eyes arrived at the F movies. I pulled out something called Forget Paris. On the DVD cover was a pic of Billy Crystal and Debra Winger. They were clutching each other and smiling. Beaming, actually.

This one looks like it might be a spot of fun,” I suggested to myself aloud. “Billy Crystal is a funny guy. At least I think I remember him as being a funny guy. And Debra Winger looks really cute. She looks like the kind of girl I would want to date. But I’ve seen this movie before. Is it a comedy or a chick flick?”

I plopped the disc into my DVD gadget, lay on the loveseat and watched Forget Paris. For the first time. Again. Turns out it is a comedy and a chick flick. Bonus!

Wondering if this was a one-off, I reached into my collection of between 400 and 500 movie titles and withdrew Best In Show, which features an ensemble that includes Eugene Levy’s eyebrows and Catherine O’Hara.

I can’t remember watching this, but I think I remember that Eugene Levy’s eyebrows and Catherine O’Hara are comic gold,” I told myself aloud. “I’ll give it a look.”

I giggled and laughed for the next 90 minutes. Eugene Levy’s eyebrows and Catherine O’Hara were hilarious, and I was hearing the cracking-wise and seeing the spoofs for the first time. Again. And the movie included a lesbian element I had forgotten about. Bonus!

I now have enjoyed half a dozen movies for the first time again, so I suppose I should give thanks to Father Time. If not for his meddling ways with my memory, I’d have spent a week of colossal boredom watching the Scott brothers and some dude named Bryan discover hidden atrocities like dead rodents and roaches buried behind the walls of renovated homes. Instead, I watched movies that I’d watched before but had never seen before.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have the remainder of my collection of between 400 and 500 titles to watch. For the first time. Again.