Print media is still full of delightful surprises, including a letter this weekend to syndicated advice columnist Amy Dickinson from an amateur actor who can't bear the ridicule of her children when they watch the movie she and her husband filmed with friends. It's sad, bizarre, and painfully ingenuous all at once.
At first, it seems like "Tied Up" is going to pen an fairly innocuous letter:
DEAR AMY: I'm 40. My husband and I have three children: 14, 10 and 5. We live in a lovely suburban area with wonderful neighbors who have become close friends. We've been on family trips with these friends, done projects together, had parties, etc.
Hmm, what could this be about? Tied Up is worried about those friends camping out at her holiday party, maybe? Perhaps she doesn't want to spike the eggnog this year because last year Neighbor Husband got drunk and suggested they all go swapsies — you know, just ordinary suburbia problems. In fact, it almost seems like Tied Up's letter is going to veer off on an X-rated safari, but, thankfully, she takes us on a much stranger journey:
For some time, we've talked about making a dramatic movie together and finally got serious: We began discussing a script, making plans, assigning parts. I was cast as the lead. One of the neighbors has a country cabin, and we decided to film it there. Our idea was to make an action-adventure movie with some slapstick, just for family and friends.
We really had a lot of fun. My big scenes involved getting kidnapped, bound, gagged and eventually escaping. I was gagged with a kerchief and spent the first 20 minutes in a chair watched over by the "bad guys" until the big escape scene. I had to stand up and (with my legs tied and my hands bound behind me) hop through the cabin and across the lawn, where my husband "rescued" me. I enjoyed being the center of attention and showing off my agility.
We arranged to have a "premiere" with our kids (who weren't there during filming). I felt utterly humiliated listening to my children laugh as I hopped around on the screen. I hated having my kids see me that way. The kids loved it, and now they want to see it again and again. I sit there bravely, but I am mortified. Instead of being an agile, clever heroine, I'm a hapless schnook. I can't undo this, but I'd like to recover some dignity. I know this is a strange problem, but do you have any suggestions?
What an adorable problem! These neighboring couples actually sound delightful and almost completely devoid of sarcasm. On the one hand, you really can't blame kids for laughing at their mom for making the movie (this is what families exist for, so children and parents laugh mercilessly at each other), but on the other hand, fuck those kids. They don't appreciate it now, but they might have finally delivered the death blow to their mom's childlike sense of whimsy.
Image via Shanna Hyatt / Shutterstock.