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The Movie Our House Wasn’t In

(Jim) A nice young woman came knocking on the front door a couple weeks back who was scouting locations for a movie. Honestly. She was looking for an “historic house that hadn’t been kept up very well,” though she apologized immediately for implying that we didn’t care about our house. Her apology made me chuckle. So I let her in and she took numerous photos of our kitchen with its forty year old stove and dining room, our upstairs study (when she saw the number of books that crowd around the walls, I believe her exact comment was “Wow”) and one of the bedrooms. She said she’d get in touch with us if the director liked what he saw. He evidently didn’t. Our kind of decay wasn’t photogenic enough, I gather.
From what the location scout said, the movie was one of those triumph-of-the-human-spirit tales starring Hilary Swank (who my daughter informed me is not Hilary Duff, and who I gather is also not Hilary Clinton) as a single mom who works as a waitress while putting herself through law school to help her brother who has been wrongly accused of murder. It sounded like one of those stories that makes you feel kind of petty for complaining about pretty much anything in your life. Need I mention that it was based on a true story?
When I told a friend about this experience, she asked what this location scout could have possibly said that would have made me let her in to PHOTOGRAPH the chaos that is our house. I suppose I’m a trusting sort and don’t possess a high degree of “house shame.” I thought it was pretty funny, on the cosmic scale, that some one would be especially seeking out a house like ours. Plus the cover story wasn’t entirely impossible. Our state has recently started offering incentives for movie makers. A couple movies have already been filmed including one that featured a fair amount of footage shot just a few blocks from our neighborhood. For that project, they even built a facade that a stunt car crashed into and went boom. Such excitement.
But the whole experience has made me view our old homestead with a different kind of appreciation. It would take a prop person MONTHS if not years to accumulate all this stuff if a director wanted to show a truly cluttered and lived in abode. And what’s more, some director of some actual Hollywood movie, starring real Hollywood actors nearly wanted to have a house somewhat similar to ours appear in one of their films. Considering how much of what Jan and I do around here is not only just unglamorous but probably anti-glamorous, the thought just continues to make me chuckle. No great insight; just a hearty haw-haw.
Take a look around you. What kind of an inspirational movie might be made about YOUR surroundings? Maybe you’re already living that story.

Posted in • Sitting Still.