I recently took a backpacking trip behind the couch in my living room to find my DVD copies of the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I found them after spelunking in some boxes. I dusted them off, and plunked them into the PS3 to watch them (because when you don’t have a working DVD player, a 7th generation gaming console will have to do).
There are lots of great things about December. Christmas reunites you with family, and New Year’s Eve with friends. Aside from the holidays, what December reminds me of is my senior year of high school and the first two years of college.
On December 19th, 2001, my best friend Bruce was visiting from the east coast. We went to East Park Theater and stood in line, then found seats next to each other while his parents and brother had to sit several rows behind us.
On December 18th, 2002, we found space in two or three cars and drove across Norfolk and stood in line along with everyone else from school. Afterward, pushing the later dorm curfew that had been stretched just because it was movie night, we gathered back at Sam’s apartment to recap it. Jonathan jumped around making “arrow from the string” noises, pretending to be Legolas sliding down the stairs of Helm’s Deep on a shield, taking out imaginary invading Orcs. A couple of days later at East Park, Schmoove started giggling during a very serious Ent scene and leaned across me to tell Sloan what Jess had quipped to induce his amusement: “Fear the Maple Leaf.”
On December 17th, 2003, Lindy used one kleenex out of the box and I used the rest. There’s nothing more emotionally draining than last stands, heroic rescues, friendships reunited, and Kings restored to their rightful throne.
It’s fun to get out the movies and watch them again, because it reminds me of a time when my friends and I could get together without having to reschedule three or four times. When Lindy and Elizabeth and I played drinking games to Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit (and even knew most of the brown “movie” answers!). When I went to see Two Towers by myself and ran into Forrest and Jason and other Star Wars Classic Card Game players that I’d met in high school. When sitting up talking late into the night in the living room at the guys’ house was a common way to spend an evening. I miss those times.
When the credits roll, I can close my eyes and remember how much fun it was seeing those movies with the people that I love, and treasure the fact that I will get to relive those memories anytime I watch them.