It was just like a movie!

a perfect day in Kew Gardens
a perfect day in Kew Gardens

My step-mother told us to get ready for bed. My step-sister ignored her, but I changed and brushed my teeth. We were 10.

“I’ve changed my mind,” my step-mother said. “We’re going to the movies.”

“But I’m in my nightgown.”

“It’s just the drive-in,” she said.

“A triple feature,” my step-sister said excitedly and rattled off the titles of three horror movies.

“I can stay home and go to bed,” I said. “I don’t care if I don’t go.”

But my dad wanted us to be a family. Families went together. To this day, I don’t remember the names of those movies but I remember the giant rats in one and the giant ants in another. Vampires were in the third. I hated sitting in the car in my thin and too short nightgown. Hated being scared. Hated being forced to watch movies I didn’t want to see.

With my step-mother I often got to feel like the star of my own movie. Her–wicked step-mother. Me–tormented princess about to be saved at any time.

It was like a movie. People usually say this after accidents, traumas, or surprising, emotional events. Have you ever said that? For what event?

But what did people say before movies? It was like listening to the storyteller in the town square! We use movies to define or explain our lives. What was the vocabulary before? It was just like when Tybalt killed Mercutio! Can a written story reach people like a film? Can your written story reach people like a film?

9 thoughts on “It was just like a movie!

  1. I hope like heck my story can reach people like a movie. I often describe things like a movie. Or maybe a comic book, where I can control the view. I try to make the pictures real, the characters seem real, and sometimes, I get lucky and it comes back to me.


  2. OH, and I had a crazy lady too. She wasn’t my step-mother, though. No, I wasn’t that lucky. She was my real-life maternal genetic donor. Crazy as an outhouse rat, and aaaaalll mine. Yay. Can you say “damaged psyche”? I knew y’could.

    1. My mom would through a severe depression and was, to put it mildly, difficult to be around. But she came through it and we ended up with a good relationship. I’m lucky that way.

      I don’t know you well or anything, but you appear to have found a way out of that craziness. We’re glad for that.

  3. I had a wicked mother-in-law. Not as toxic, I think, because I was older, but still. Shudder.

    When I write, the story unfolds before me so visually that I can “see” it happening. But movies have an impact on me that books don’t. They enter my consciousness in a more visceral way, and I find them harder to shake off. I actually prefer books for that reason- I feel more in control of how they affect me.

    1. In-law, step, or real, being too close to any toxic person has its effects. I’m with you on the movies–they get into my system in a different way. Which was probably why my mom would let me read anything I wanted but did try to limit what I saw on film.

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