Dumpling Sister's Thoughts
12.17.2007 Once in the Moment (Chinese Version)
The Friday after the Thanksgiving is termed “the black Friday”, actually it has become a tactic the retailers employ to boost their sales. They often do so by advertising their opening the door at six in the morning with products selling at discounted prices, resulting in people waiting in long lines the night before. I think it should be correctly called “the sleep-deprived Friday.” Despite this fact I still went and waited in line. Our goal was to hit Wal-Mart as the starting point. My friend woke me up right at three in the morning, so I sped to the store to wait in line, while they came later to meet up. It works better when there are more people waiting in lines, since there may be different lines for different products of interest. I remember last year I went to Taiwan and China during Thanksgiving, so I have missed out on some allegedly good deals. I had made it my goal that I was not to repeat that mistake; I must utilize the chance and get good deals!
My friends came at four to wait until six to be checked out. I looked back and noticed the length of the line, and there were even some people trying to cut my line. After Wal-Mart, we dropped by Office Depot, Best Buy, Macy’s, McDonalds’, because we got hungry, and then we continued with Costco. By that time, our legs were tired and we got tired of waiting in those very long lines, so we changed our plans and decided to go home and sleep. After waking up in the afternoon we decided to hit more stores. Our reasoning was that since we have gone slightly out of our ways, we might as well do a full-blown. So we hit Target, Circuit City, and Best Buy then we went back to Wal-Mart. So I joked that we started with Wal-Mart and ended with Wal-Mart. Of course that was with some regrets since we missed the better chances at Fry’s. We drove by Best Buy and saw the long line. There were tents set up and people sleeping in their sleeping bags. I heard someone waited in line four in the afternoon the day before and scored as the fourth person in the line, and another person 11 in the morning. Seriously, that was not something I would do. Good Lord.
When I was waiting in the long line at the Best Buy, we happened to see that there were some movies on sale, so I bought a few that I have already seen before, including “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” I also bought Ratatouille from Wal-Mart. My friend had this secret look on her when she told me that this was a secret sale at Wal-Mart on this movie, and not many people would know about it since they would have to check out the deal by clicking on the Yahoo’s main page. I thought to myself, if my friend had seen the deal links off Fat Wallet, she probably would not be as amazed. But that worked out since I have been meaning to get this movie; I like the little chef rat and I also had a friend who looked like the young clumsy chef.
Until I have finished the movies I bought then I started to watch the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” I also watched the special feature and the bonus material. I watched that everyone made good comments about everyone on the set, which was not a surprising thing, and everyone agreed that the director was a perfectionist. He would repeat the take until he had a good one. I thought that made sense since the movie was worth watching again for me. However, it was something that he said that surprised me and made me become appreciative of his attention to details for this movie.
The movie was filmed in Chicago and took place in Chicago. While in the mist of the wedding preparation, the groom-to-be, a.k.a. the best friend, asked the character played by Julia Roberts to have some time alone together. The director made the comment that he wanted to present the contrast of the lighting, gloom versus sunny, for this scene when they were both on the tourist boat. He wanted this to bring out the transitional changes between the two characters. I thought to myself that was pretty cool and deep. Normally I would just watch a movie; I wouldn’t think too much about how the lighting could be representing the inner worlds of the characters. I thought that extra effort was wasted on people like me.
Later I decided to watch again, given that it is a comedy, and also to give myself a chance to pick up the details that the director intentionally employed when he presented the story. I watched the movie all the way until the scene with the two of them on the tourist boat. I have never been in Chicago except the O’ Hare Airport when I changed flights. I guess Chicago has a pretty blooming tourist business since I also bought the movie “The Breakup” and it also discussed about the Chicago tourism.
The story plot of the movie has to do with the groom friend and his best friend, Julia, were used to be dating. However, Julia broke off with the groom for a not-worthy-to-be-mentioned reason. The groom was very sad and felt that he was losing a good friend, so later the two of them became the best friends; that was nine years ago. Six years ago the groom friend asked that Julia if they were still single when they turned 28, they would marry each other. So when Julia heard his voice message, she was a bit concerned since she would be turning 28. However, it was because the groom friend has met someone and decided to tie the knot. He asked and hoped that she would attend his wedding for moral support. She, on the other hand, wanted to win him back but really it was because she still had feelings for him. She had always thought this would be the way for the two of them, and that they would be best friends and be shoulders for each to lean on in the time of need. It was a relationship mixed of friendship, relationship, and family. However, she didn’t imagine he would get taken away by someone from her.
The story later developed as her plots to split the couple up failed, her editor flew in to give her some honest advices. The two of them had some very close conversation in the hotel room.
"Just tell him you love him. Tell him you've loved him for nine years, tell him that you were afraid of love, afraid of needing," the editor said.
"Needing what?" She asked.
"To belong to someone. We are all, sweetheart. I am sorry about that," the editor replied.
. . . .
The story had an interest turn. The editor flew in to help her but later was being by her as a way to make the groom feel jealous by saying that the editor was her fiancée. After things were straightened up, the groom asked if she could spend some time alone with him.
The movie was followed with the boat scene. I could see the very bright and sunny sun. I felt that this was worth the price I paid.
The two of them leaned on the ramp of the boat in the back, and both had things in their minds. The boat travelled slowly and carried the two silent individuals.
The groom said that during their relationship to each other, they never said the word “love.” But really, he thought that if you really love something, you should say it at that time at that place, Oor else, the moment just passes you by. “The moment just passes you by,” she followed his words.
They looked at each other for some time, the sentiment in their looks was obvious, and the feeling that it was too late was echoing. He then turned away to look ahead. At this time the boat had passed through the bridge and suddenly the sun casted such bright lights on them, with that bright warming afternoon Chicago sun light. She had tears in her eyes and her nose was red. His look was blank and he just starred ahead. Not sure if it was because of his comment or the light was too bright, she closed her eyes, shrugged briefly, and let to wind blow through her hair. During this time, he had managed to calm himself down. He smiled and continued the talk, but the topic had already changed. He was talking about his fiancée with a light tone, but it looked more so that he was trying to maintain his groove. Because he had already made up his mind to let go what he had with her. He was obvious, she was disappointed and heartbroken, and that sentiment took nine years to break off. They could only continue with the conversation that was only too much to bear.
At the end of the scene, the groom sang their song. “Someday, when I am awfully, when the world is cold, I would feel a glow just thinking of you, and the way you look tonight…”
They danced for a little, while he sang, she took a chance to wipe off her tears. During this time the camera got pulled away and the two of them were in the shadow since the boat was passing another bridge. I guess this was the director’s subtle way to tell the audience that their feeling, their song, and these two people had belong to the past.
The sentiment became part of the memory and in return found two people who were both silent. The groom has left, and the best friend was still remembering him. Although the two of them were standing together, the distance between them was years apart.
This reminds me of the similar idea from a Japanese comic that I read years ago, it was called “The Meteor Garden” and it was huge hit in Asia. There was a character, Xi-Men, who was from the traditional tea brewing and tasting family. He had a highly developed taste and requirement for tea. He made the comment that brewing the tea was most critical in that there was only one chance the taster had with the tea, since the tea could only be ready once in its life time. He called this “once in the moment”. Once this chance was missed, the tea didn’t taste as good and the feeling would not be as heart-felt. This also applied to relationships. The things that weren’t said nine years ago, even though it was said nine years later, the listener might respond by politely thanking for the comments and saying the comments were flattering. But really, the emotion build-up behind the nine years was too great to be offset by a comment indicating it was flattering, since it took courage to bring that up. It would be analogous to the contrast of tsunami hitting the rocky mountain shores, and the contrast was beyond just the gloomy and the sunny days. The individual is all but gloomy and the feeling is so too.
Once in the moment, despite the brewing tea would get a stronger taste due to time, but that flavor was not what the taster was looking for.
During our lifetimes, the many “once in the moment” that we had, maybe due to people, maybe due to things or places, how should we face them years later? How should we let go, how to say the words that were never spoken before, and how to say good bye?
But really this would always be at the back of the mind, maybe because of some place, some things, or some triggering points, so the remembering is hard, and the depressed feeling is inevitable and direct.
True, the boat will eventually pass through the bridge and the sun will cast the lights again. Just like when Julia asked the concierge in the hotel hallway what should she do? He didn’t have a good answer but he quoted a saying from his grandmother to comfort her, which was “this too shall pass.”
Yes, this too shall pass, sweetheart, this all will.