by Lisa McCarty
I don’t remember going to many movies when I was younger. We weren’t big moviegoers, though we watched a lot of movies on television thanks to the wonders of cable.
When I was in the second grade, my mother took me to see a re-release of The Aristocats (1970). I don’t remember much about the movie (seven years old + my ADD = surprise I remember anything at all). But I do recall that the same week Mom and I went to see it, I was also going to go see it with my second-grade class. When I walked into the theater with my classmates, I felt superior to those mere mortals who had not seen it already. I have no idea why–apparently I started being a brat early. But to this day, I don’t remember much about the movie, and I haven’t seen it since then. Some of the songs have stuck with me, but only in snippets.
The movie experience that really stands out the most is when my grandmother took my older brother, Eric, and me to see Ghostbusters II (1989). I was either nine or ten at the time. Did I really want to go see Ghostbusters II? No. My brother did. And I idolized him and wanted to be cool enough to hang out with him (it never occurred to me that I would never be cool enough to hang out with, being the younger sister and all. I think he merely tolerated me most of the time).
When we arrived at the movie theater–the Cobb Midfield 6 in Midfield, Alabama, which was later shut down when I was in high school–Grandma took us over to the concession stand and bought us candy and sodas (I was never much for popcorn, and still don’t really care for it). As soon as we stepped into the theater to look for seats, Eric walked off to sit by himself (it still didn’t occur to me that, as the baby sister, I just wasn’t cool enough. I just thought he was kind of a jerk–which he was, make no mistake. Then again, most teenage boys are jerks, to some degree).
Then, the movie started up, and I spent the entire film torn between laughter and hiding my eyes. I loved the part where the Ghostbusters animated the Statue of Liberty with the slime and walked it through New York City to break into the museum. I wasn’t as happy during the scene when Janosz showed up as a whacked-out ghostly version of Mary Poppins to steal baby Oscar from Dana’s apartment. But the thing I remember most about the experience had nothing to do with the movie itself: I couldn’t stop thinking how cool my grandmother was to take us to the theater when she didn’t like driving at night and probably had ZERO desire to see this film.
Grandma was awesome. And Vigo the Carpathian still scares the hell out of me.
Lisa McCarty, 32, lives in Mobile, Alabama, with her husband, David, and their three cats. She is a housewife and runs the Shades of Magick blog. [She also happens to be Brandie’s SFAM (aka “sister from another mister”). Nepotism is fun!]