Maybe Baby

by Maria on April 26, 2008

Henry has inspired me. I’ve been trying everything to break through my blogger’s block – even to the point of going to a writing class in UCLA. (which is great, but doesn’t have much bearing on blogging so far) Generally the best way to start blogging again may be to announce that I’m taking a hiatus. Then again, I’ve been on an unofficial one since about Christmas, so perhaps not.

When you first start blogging, everything in your life becomes fodder for ‘ooh, I might blog about that’. After a couple of years, and especially if you’re in a job where you can’t really write about your area of expertise, the dry spells appear. And life intervenes. For months after I moved to L.A. I could barely think of a thing to blog about. It reminded me of how after my university finals, I literally could not read a page of a book for a couple of months. Eventually that wore off. For the last month or more, there are absolutely all manner of things I think of blogging about. And I just can’t seem to write about any of them.

Some topics I dismiss because they’re too boring, too done, and who wants to hear a blogger say they think the same thing about the same thing as everyone else? And as Chris mentioned last week, CT’s audience is so wide and so knowledgeable about every single thing in the universe, why write some half-assed thing and get shot down? But then I think to myself, ‘hey, that’s what blogging is all about!’ But even on a high-powered, Guardian list featuring type of intello-blog, we all feel kind of insecure. (well, with the probable exception of Daniel who is the funniest man in the world and also, by the way, my blog crush. Hi Daniel.) The one thing CT bloggers all say when we meet up is ‘Timberteer X’s stuff is so good, I really feel intimidated writing on the same blog.

So, ‘write about what you know’. Ok, then.

Today I have finally thrown caution to the wind and proposed Baby Mama as a Friday night date movie. (well, I’m not entirely sure it’s a date, but anyway.) I, a thirty five year old single woman am going with an unattached male to see a film about a woman who is desperate – repeat, desperate – for a baby. This is such an unsuitable date movie that it’s actually hard to top it. (Though Henry tells me of an old friend who unwittingly brought a dating prospect to see The Accused. Ouch.)

For weeks, I’d been pushing for a horror movie. I love anything with zombies in it and there’s no aphrodisiac like fear. But my then prospective date didn’t seem to understand that when a woman says ‘I’d like to see a zombie movie with you’, she actually means ‘I am creating an opportunity to jump into your lap. Take it.’ (My youngest sister never lets me forget a scary movie we saw from the front row, her cowering in my lap; when the aliens arrived to eat/impregnate/kill all the humans, I pushed her off crying ‘take her! take her!’.) Anyway, now my cards are on the table and non-zombie guy and I are going to watch the doctor make nice with the turkey baster.

Depending on how it goes – and if I want to see it again – I’m thinking of making all (ha ha – any…) of my dates in the next month or so come and see Baby Mama with me. It’ll be a rite of passage for them. Because frankly, I go to the cinema to see a film, and I don’t like to be distracted by my date. So I may as well see something with them that tests their mettle. I knew a previous boyfriend and I were not going to make it when we went to see 21 grams and he handled all the devastating tragedy with aplomb, but nearly passed out when a hypodermic syringe appeared on the screen. I can’t abide queasiness, so that was an important lesson.

Now, another way to vet prospective sperm donors is to play 5-aside with them. I used to think that men who said they knew someone’s character because they played football with him were just being schoolboy simplistic. How can you see the depths of a human soul by whether someone passes the ball or not? But it’s true. And the fact that I ended up sort of seeing the man who fouled me and broke my collar bone (sliding tackle on frozen ground), and then decided to have a shower and breakfast before driving me to the hospital – well that shows I did not learn this lesson fast enough at all. I’ve also found touch rugby to be pretty good. Probably any sport that bans off-the-ball tackling can help to separate the men from the boys.

Anyway, maybe I’ll be compelled to share my predictable and samey opinions about Baby Mama on this blog, and be annihilated for them by a commenter who is so much more thirty-something and single than I am. Probably I’ve just jinxed myself to another 3 months of blogger’s block by even mentioning the possibility.



ozma 04.26.08 at 12:46 am

“I’m thinking of making all (ha ha – any…) of my dates in the next month or so come and see Baby Mama with me. It’ll be a rite of passage for them.”

My non-expert opinion is that this is a brilliant idea. Except I suspect you couldn’t stand watching this movie more than once. (That’s just a guess–I haven’t seen it.) Or you could combine the horror movie with the baby theme and make them watch ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ or ‘The Omen.’


Pat 04.26.08 at 12:54 am

I once made out with a girl during “Deliverance.”

Now that I say that, I feel like maybe I should be posting that to postsecret, but that’s, like, so over.


The Modesto Kid 04.26.08 at 12:55 am

an old friend who unwittingly brought a dating prospect to see The Accused

My first-ever date, when I was sixteen years old, I took a very sweet young woman from my junior class to see River’s Edge. Couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to go on a second date with me. Well, maybe I could — anyway a distinctly poor choice as a date movie, first or otherwise.


Timon 04.26.08 at 1:04 am

This is black-belt blogging, totally expert and fearsome, like you spent the last month in a Shaolin blogging monastery.


Maria 04.26.08 at 1:04 am

Hmm. Do they have any decent blokes in that monastery?


Timon 04.26.08 at 1:09 am

Yes, but you had to dress as a boy apprentice to gain entrance, and are wondering whether you can translate the platonic bond with your instructor into romance when you reveal yourself. I hope it works out!


Roy Belmont 04.26.08 at 1:13 am

There’s a lot of telepathic contact in team sports.
Unless there’s no such thing as telepathy. In which case there’s a lot of very fast subliminal observation and reaction in pursuit of common goals.
Which, either way, makes character prominent and accessible.
My own make-or-break-date-test movie, were I to require one, would be Terry Gilliam’s Tideland.


The Modesto Kid 04.26.08 at 2:49 am

You know what’s a fantastic date movie? The Man Without a Past, is what.


Jacob Christensen 04.26.08 at 3:16 am

I love anything with zombies in it and there’s no aphrodisiac like fear.

Aside from the fact that we are on different continents, you’ve just blown your chances of getting a date with me.

Well, actually watching a zombie movie in a cinema would probably leave me laughing hysterically at all the wrong moments and I can see that ruining some of the romantic element.

Because frankly, I go to the cinema to see a film, and I don’t like to be distracted by my date.

In those cases I go by myself. I’ve even gone to the theatre or the opera alone instead of bothering to identify potential female (or male, for that matter) companions. But we Scandinavians are of cause a pretty individualistic bunch.

Now, another way to vet prospective sperm donors is to play 5-aside with them.

Sure. If you can drive me to the ER afterwards.


Jacob Christensen 04.26.08 at 3:32 am

@modesto kid: OT, but a man recently was awarded damages for being led to believe that he was a Finnish citizen. (Article in the Swedish newspaper DN)

Finland is a very strange place indeed. Kaurismäki makes sense when you remember that.


Hattie 04.26.08 at 3:43 am

This is the true spirit of blogging. It made me think about how I almost did not have a second date with my (now married 40+ years) husband, because he took me to see the vomitous “Flower Drum Song.” I was too polite to say I hated it, and he was too polite to say he hated it. Lucky we got that straightened out.
This is quite an interesting theme, actually. We took our daughter’s in-laws to a juvenile film full of carnage and stupidity whose name I can’t even recall now, and much to our amusement they liked it, and so did we! We found we had a lot in common!


Nordic Mousse 04.26.08 at 5:05 am

#10 jacob:

Actually, it is a blessing not to be surrounded by infuriating chatterboxes, though one can see why a west-Skandi would think it “strange” :-)


delicious pundit 04.26.08 at 5:18 am

I knew a comedy writer (who, it was joked, talked only in 1s and 0s), who decided that it was time to remarry, so he took all his dates to the same restaurant, sat at the same table, and ordered the same food, every time. Wouldn’t want the data to be contaminated.


otto 04.26.08 at 9:04 am

The best date movie in my experience is the Clooney-J/Lo vehicle Out of Sight.


otto 04.26.08 at 9:19 am

Put this post together with the rather charming photo of Maria available via the ‘who are we?’ column, top left, and you get a pretty enticing personals ad. Now if she was still living in Brussels…


duaneg 04.26.08 at 11:03 am

I once went on a first-date to see “Basic Instinct”. Her suggestion, which I thought showed admirable humour and guts.


Matt 04.26.08 at 1:09 pm

Like Duaneg I once went on a first-date to see “Basic Instinct”. The better story for me, though, was that a girl I was crazy for in high-school took me to see a showing/production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for a first date. I, at the time, had no idea what I was being taken to. I’m pretty sure that colored the rest of our relationship.


harry b 04.26.08 at 1:58 pm

I was once tricked into a date (she didn’t trick me — we were both tricked by a well-meaning third party). We saw Dead Ringers (Cronenberg, Jeremy Irons, gross). She was extremely ghoulish, actually, and liked it a lot. There was a reason we both had to be tricked into the date, though, and both thought the trick funny.


Wax Banks 04.26.08 at 2:17 pm

F that ‘Basic Instinct’ nonsense.

My first college GF and I unwittingly rented ‘Kids’ for Valentine’s Day.


auderey 04.26.08 at 2:20 pm

my first date ever, as a sweet sixteen, was with a boy to go see The Rock, shortly after which i had my first kiss. i didn’t know i like action/adventure/suspense type movies until then, but somehow now they’re my favorite genre. (cause or correlation, who can tell?)


"Q" the Enchanter 04.26.08 at 2:53 pm

Some other great first-date flicks:
Taxi Driver
The Sorrow and the Pity
American Justice: Lorena Bobbitt


Ted 04.26.08 at 4:36 pm

I would add “The Last Seduction” to the list, as well as “In The Company of Men”. Pick the one appropriate for your sex.


curious citizen 04.26.08 at 5:55 pm

Without a doubt, the best first date movie is Pasolini’s, ‘Flower of the Arabian Nights’.


Matt Weiner 04.26.08 at 6:39 pm

If we’re talking unsuitable date movies, everyone should watch at least the first minute of The Pity Card.


airth10 04.26.08 at 7:07 pm

I’m always searching for things to blog about. Now I am working on a piece about dialectical materialism. I want to link to the topics discussed here of having a date and going to a movie but I can’t. Maybe somebody else can.


Nick Barnes 04.26.08 at 9:15 pm

Zombie date movies? What are you doing on Friday?


LC 04.26.08 at 9:45 pm

@18: It’s been a while (thank heavens) since I saw it, but Cronenberg’s ‘Dead Ringers’ is probably the worst movie I have ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a few). Quite possibly it’s one of the worst ‘serious’ movies made in the past 50 years. No redeeming characteristics whatever.


ralph 04.26.08 at 10:06 pm

I don’t like horror flicks EXCEPT if the date wants one in order to jump. Then horror flicks are the best. Plus, Maria, the horror flick dudes are in San Francisco. :-)


ralph 04.26.08 at 10:07 pm

I think I need to start a blog in order to announce single-hood. Is there any gender-equality in the “I’d go out with you if you were HERE” responses? My guess would be no, but I wonder if that’s my own bias showing? Cheers all.


Questioner 04.26.08 at 10:47 pm

What about Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma? That’s always good for a laugh.


novakant 04.26.08 at 11:01 pm

While definitely not a movie women can reasonably be expected to enjoy, I think Dead Ringers is a great movie, the cinematography alone is worth it and the acting is great too.

And while there are some really bad date movies, e.g. Travis Bickle’s choice, I find that the whole concept of a good date movie, that would somehow enhance your chances of getting laid or whatever, is about as corny as the whole teenage yawning, stretching and subsequently resting your arm on her shoulder routine.


idlemind 04.27.08 at 2:46 am

The first movie my wife and I went to was Lawrence of Arabia (the 227 minute “restored roadshow” version — with an intermission). It ended way past her bed time; when I invited her up for dessert, she wound up falling asleep on my couch.

It was the start of a trend.


Naadir Jeewa 04.27.08 at 4:21 am

I’d give +100 kudos points to anyone who went on a first date to see “Sex Lives of the Potato Men.”


arcseed 04.27.08 at 4:34 am

Heh. I recently saw Juno with my girlfriend. Not getting laid that night. But, in fact, probably a really good first date movie.


belle waring 04.27.08 at 6:00 am

arcseed, I think that at least you would be assured everyone would be really careful about using protection.

also, I think we all have a crush on dsquared and his genially evil ways. one of the things that I liked about joining this blog was that I thought, we’re on the same team now, and dsquared probably won’t attack me with vicious accuracy now!


ozma 04.27.08 at 8:53 am

The Pity Card is brilliant. Oh God, so true. So horribly, horribly true.


Chris Brooke 04.27.08 at 9:40 am

Reservoir Dogs at the Penultimate Picture Palace (now the Ultimate Picture Palace), Oxford, 8 February 1994.


Chris Bertram 04.27.08 at 10:33 am

_Don’t Look Back_ at some alternative place in London was our first one, back in 1982. Not sure my Dylanological choice was appreciated, but it clearly wasn’t held against me.


Flippanter 04.27.08 at 1:04 pm

Not a good date movie: The Wild Bunch at the Brattle.


eszter 04.27.08 at 4:18 pm

I once went to see Scary Movie in the company of my then boyfriend and my father. Bad choice.


Cryptic Ned 04.27.08 at 10:01 pm

Not a good date movie: Brazil. Especially if the date consists of watching it in your dorm room. That movie starts out fast-paced, but ends up going on about forty minutes longer than you think it will.


Richard Schrader 04.28.08 at 2:01 am

Most excellent first date movie — the original In-laws, resulting in many decades-long marriage, two kids, etc. Arkin’s method-induced breakdown before the firing squad is his only scene-stealing success in the film’s fierce mano-a-mano with Falk. Actually his hysterical jabbering, bitter weeping and consuming despair in having slept with only four women in his life remain troubling nearly 40 years later…


Elizabeth 04.28.08 at 5:50 pm

Tilting the thread: Baby Mama was funny in parts, but both Fey and Poehler watered down their humor quite alot, probably for $$ (and fair play to them for it). Fans of theirs can tell where they added their own humor to the script, and it didn’t happen enough. PLUS, the politics were far weaker than they could have been. However, I encourage seeing it in the theaters as many times as possible, on dates or not, at full price, to support adult comedienne-driven, more or less feminist popular films. Send a message to Hollywood, baby.


Western Dave 04.28.08 at 5:52 pm

My wife and I saw the John Sayles movie Lone Star on our first date. We are still fighting about whether it is brilliant (my carefully considered opinion) or horrible (her churlish response to Sayles’ indiscriminate use of something she called “the law of thirds”). Needless to say I think dismissing future spouses on the basis of movie tastes is a sure way to stay single forever. One doesn’t find spouses by ruling out but by ruling in.


The Modesto Kid 04.28.08 at 6:20 pm

Oh just remembered — my first date with my wife was a viewing on video of The Man With Two Brains. Not recommended at all as a movie for watching but it made a fine movie to ignore whilst necking.


harry b 04.29.08 at 1:04 am

western dave — her judgment in spouses is evidently better than her judgment in films.

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