Friday, June 02, 2017

Seeing Wonder Woman and the Meaning of Superhero

I do not go to the movies often. The last movie my husband and I saw at the theater was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which showed in 2015. The last movie I saw alone was Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 which showed in 2004.

But I really wanted to see Wonder Woman. Like I said yesterday in my Thursday Thirteen post, I have always had a thing for strong female heroines. And by "strong" I mean a female character that embodies womanly strength (which I consider to be more pacifistic, circular, and loving instincts) and who is still able to take care of herself without needing intervention from the patriarchy.

In my little band of friends, I seem to be the only fantasy aficionado. If there are others, they haven't spoken up. My brother shares my proclivity for the genre, but we can barely get together for a phone call, much less a movie. My husband watches these movies with me and I think he enjoys them but he doesn't watch them on his own. For example, he can repeat lines from Lord of the Rings because he's walked in to find me watching it 100 times, but it is not a movie he seeks out himself.

Going out by myself has become difficult for me, as a few  of my close friends (and my physical therapist) know. Other people may not realize it, but trying to climb stairs and walk up hills or go any distance on the slightest bit of uneven ground is painful and trying. The movie theater has stairs and no elevator if you want to sit in the middle or up high and not right on top of the screen.

Despite this, I gathered my courage and went alone to the theater. My husband had to work at the fire station today. He has hay down that he will need to work on tomorrow, and another large field that needs to be cut. We are weaning calves. He has a septic tank to install. I have no idea when he might have a free hour, much less time to go to a movie. 

Anyway, I made it to the theater early so I would have plenty of time to settle in. I slowly and carefully walked up 30 stairs to get to where I wanted to sit, which was just above the midpoint of the theater seats. I am paying for it now with a lot of pain but that is okay.

Truly, the stairs were difficult and I ended up asking someone at the theater to help me because I couldn't carry popcorn, a drink, a back support I need because the chairs at the theater are absolutely terrible if you have back problems, and use a cane. I was grateful a theater person helped me. Thumbs up to the theater for having someone available to do that.

After I settled in, I found myself cringing a bit because at the early matinee there were more men there than I anticipated. Just men, in singles and in pairs, and more of them than women. I saw a few fathers with daughters, a few couples, and one or two other people there by themselves. The theater was by no means full; it was maybe one-third filled which apparently is typical for that time of day. Anyway, the abundance of men unsettled me. I wasn't expecting that.

I forgot some of my anxiety when the movie started. It was an amazing film. The picture was better than Star Wars: The Force Awakens by the length of a Death Star ray and then some.

Wonder Woman was full of fun, mischief, and heart. It was cinematic in scope with beautiful scenery and an attention to detail I haven't seen in a movie in a while. Gal Gadot is a good actress and she made a beautiful, enthralling, adorable, and entirely believable character come to life. Chris Pine portrayed a credible Steve Trevor, and I liked the little cadre of assistance Trevor put together to help Diana Prince and himself infiltrate the place where the queen of poison and Ares in the guise of someone else was hiding. I won't spoil anything else; all of that information is available in the movie trailers.

I do urge you to see this movie if you have any interest in coming of age stories, in stories about overcoming the dearth of bad in the hearts of mankind, and in seeing something that offers lessons about humanity, goodness overcoming darkness, and love (not romantic love, but love of humanity).

But truly the most amazing thing, for me personally, happened after the movie. I sat while most everyone left, because I knew it was going to take me a while to get back down the stairs. I tried to catch the eye of the clean-up guy so he could carry my trash for me, but to no avail. So finally I stood and then eased myself carefully down the steps, one at a time - slowly, slowly. I reached the bottom, where a trash can had been placed, and tossed my trash.

I turned toward the door and there, with the light behind him creating a silhouette as he strode down the dark hallway towards me, was my husband in his firefighter's uniform, looking for all the world like a slightly portly superhero in a movie, heading toward a damsel in distress to rescue her.

He had come in with no ticket near the end, to be sure I was okay and able to get out to the car. My hero.

It was extra-special to have him make that small effort because today was his birthday and he was at work. I had thought I might drive to the firehouse to surprise him but instead he surprised me. He helped me to the restroom (the movie is 2.5 hours so don't drink during it), and then out to the car.

We had a long kiss goodbye and he sent me on my way. I shall have to find a superhero name for him, my man with the special power of love.


  1. I guess they do exist.... knights in shining armour.( only in your case a fireman's uniform.) and real love.. thanks for the hope!

  2. They do. Relationships are hard work, and both parties have to want to work at it. Fortunately, we do.

  3. oh anita! i just loved your superhero ending and how you described the moment seeing him! so sweet...and i am glad you were able to step out of your comfort zone (literally) and see the movie!


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