Ladies... I've been living a lie. Seriously. I'd say that I lie about 2% as often as the average person, maybe even less. However, today I'm going to uncover a huge lie that I've been hiding for YEARS now. It's doubtful that the person who this affects will read it, although maybe if he did I wouldn't feel so guilty around him.
When the Lord of the Rings was released to theaters, I wasn't interested in seeing it. At all. I read the books and they were ok, but I'm not really into that whole dungeons and dragons thing. Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge nerd - just not that type of nerd.
Every six months or so I visit Massachusetts. My grandparents, an Aunt and Uncle, and some other relatives live there, so it's a convenient meeting place for the family. One day during the Kwanzaa holiday my uncle and I were hanging out after dinner.
"Do you want to see Lord of the Rings?" He asked.
"I'm going to go see it. Are you sure you don't want to come?"
I was bored, and I didn't want him to have to see a movie by himself. I mean... I don't see what's wrong with seeing a movie by yourself since it's the least social activity on the planet, but something about it just isn't right.
That was a word I'd live to regret.
We drove to the theater and he bought two tickets. Usually in situations like that I'll try to buy the tickets to avoid the awkward feeling of having them buy me the tickets. The funny thing is that with a few exceptions, I only do that with people that have more money than me. I always hear about people taking advantage of wealthy people's generousity, and I don't want to ever be misconstrued as being one of those people. It's even happened to me a few times.
The movie began.
Then it ended.
"Wow... that was great. What did you think?" Asked my uncle.
"Yeah, it was great," I replied.
But that's the thing. It wasn't great. It was horrible. It was maybe the worst movie I'd seen all year. I have no idea why I said that. Can I change now? No, it's too late. Crap.
He continued on, "Yeah! What great characters. They did a great job of staying true to the book."
Are you kidding me?! Every character is a one dimensional stereotype. If any one of the characters had spontaneously exploded, I wouldn't have cared in the least. Sure, the books created those stereotypes, but I don't care. That's why the book was good and the movie was garbage.
"Yeah, I really liked it," I replied.
I tried to be as quiet as possible for the ride home - I was really embarassed that I had lied about liking the movie. I didn't even mean to. It just slipped out. Now there was no backpeddling. We went back home and together told everyone else how good the movie was. I felt dirty.
When I left Massachusetts I was somewhat relieved. It seemed like every day there was a new conversation about that stupid movie that obligated me to talk about how amazing it was. I think people probably went to see it on my recommendation, for which I am eternally sorry.
But it was far from over. The next year I was blindsided.
"Hey Tynan, have you seen Lord of the Rings II yet?"
"No, not yet."
Uh oh. That may not have been the right answer. I know what's coming. How do I get out of ---
"Perfect. I waited to see it so that we could go see it."
Oh no. Now there's a family tradition being based around a movie I hate? Why do they make these stupid movies so long? Three HOURS? Are you kidding me?
"Great, I'll check the showtimes."
Unfortunately there was no flurry of comets that happened to take out every movie theater in the greater Boston area, and we went to the movie. Maybe this one will be much better, I hoped.
It wasn't. It might have been worse, but there's really no way of knowing. At one point I tried to block my uncle's view of my eyes and fall asleep. It didn't work.
Again the movie ended and we talked about how wonderful it was. There was just no good way for me to explain that I hated these movies. Like the first time, we went home and told everyone about how good the movie was. I took two showers to cleanse myself of my guilt.
Then the third year came. I was determined to like the movie this time. There was no way that I was going to get out of watching it, so I may as well enjoy it. I tried to pay attention the plot. My efforts proved impossible. Why do they keep making Lord of the Rings movies? WHY? Isn't SIX HOURS enough? We get it :
The dwarf is slightly dimwitted but loveable
The sorcerer is wise and old
The elf guy is nimble and smart
Frodo has one expression and it's the "You just killed my pet rabbit!" look.
THIS HAS BEEN THE SAME FOR THE FIRST TWO MOVIES. Nothing changed! Probably there are some other characters that I should be making fun of, but I can't remember a single thing that happened in that movie except for some trees walking or talking or something like that.
The only saving grace was that the gremlin guy looked really real. I actually enjoyed watching him for about 60 seconds total. For our debrief I focused on talking about how good the animation was of the gremlin. I felt less guilty.
Finally, after three years of mandatory ocular torture, I was looking forward to visiting Massachusetts guilt free. I would be able to look my uncle in the eye again. He is really smart and I do genuinely love his company. Maybe we can start a new tradition that I will enjoy.
"Hey Tynan, I bought the extended DVD trilogy of Lord of the Rings. It's 11 hours of footage. Want to watch it?"
A Note to Uncle John:
If you read this and your feelings were hurt, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to lie to you.