Looking to living the dream

Robin Goldsworthy

Not uncommon at this time of year is taking the opportunity to review personal events or experiences from the previous year, perhaps applying lessons learned so the future will go more smoothly and will, hopefully, be happier.

I’m a big believer in this concept and also believe in learning from others — after all, why reinvent the wheel? I’m especially interested in aging; how people face illness, keep fit and maintain an active lifestyle even as they advance in years.

Because my own parents died fairly young (my father was 52 and my mother just shy of 64), I look to those older folks around me for clues on how to live the best possible life in my senior years. (A side note: I’m not even 50, yet; just planning ahead.)

One way that I pick up clues on what to expect in later life is by listening to my friends’ stories about their parents.

My best friend, Amy, and I were having dinner Tuesday night at Pasta Preziosa with a gal we had grown up with. After living for years in the San Fernando Valley, Amy’s parents retired and moved to Palm Desert. They are having a blast and have already established a routine of activities.

Amy was telling us about her dad and his weekly movie excursions with “the boys” while her mom plays mahjongg with “the girls.”

The Tuesday movie outings begin with a phone call at 8 a.m. to each of the guys from Jerry, the Movie Nazi, according to Amy. He tells each of the men when to be ready and who is driving. He does not tell them which movie he has chosen nor does he ask who wants to drive. He is the decider, hence his title of Movie Nazi.

There are some rules, however. The movie chosen is generally one that the wives would never go see. Consequently, they go to a lot of horror flicks. One problem, however, is that Richard — one of the boys — is afraid of horror movies. The camaraderie of being with the guys overrules his fear of the genre, though, and so he goes.

Another rule is that the guys separate once they enter the theater, each choosing his own row to sit in. Why? Well, so no one thinks they’re gay, explained Amy.

Of course, there may be another reason.

Being overgrown boys, the men delight in pelting Richard with popcorn every time a scary scene comes on. That’s hard to do when you’re sitting next to someone; much easier when you can get some velocity behind the kernel. And if it’s a little slow, Movie Nazi Jerry will position himself close to Richard so he can actually poke him to elicit a squeal.

They generally go to late morning/early afternoon screenings so lunch fits in there at some point. And they usually can be found at the $1.50 movie theater. It used to be $1. Amy said the guys were rather aggravated when the price went up by 50%. Every now and then when there’s a movie they really want to see that’s not at the $1.50 theater, they’ll do a “big splurge” and go to a regular theater, coughing up the senior price of $6.

Amy explained that these men could “buy and sell” her dad 100 times over.

This has been going on for eight years.

Exciting to think this is what I can look forward to.

Here’s to living the dream.

ROBIN GOLDSWORTHY is the city editor of the Crescenta Valley Sun. She can be reached at robin.goldsworthy@latimes.com or by phone at (818) 790-8774 x14.

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