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Last night, I went with The Man in My Life to the movies. It was with some trepidation that I suggested the new Lone Ranger movie featuring Johnny Depp.I will see ANYTHING with him in it. Never mind that every role he takes on now seems to be Jack Sparrow lite…or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking on my part!

The trepidation comes in because the movie reviews have been less than stellar for this film. I hate to take the responsibility of insisting that someone else (especially someone I didn’t birth and therefore have no leverage over) see what could be a bad movie. I don’t mind making Gill to see a bomb, ’cause I usually pay for the tickets anyway and I know she’ll get me back (she won’t call it a retribution movie but I know it when I smell it). But I do feel guilty if it’s someone else. I can’t explain why I feel guilty if they don’t enjoy it…I didn’t MAKE the movie, but I guess Mother’s Guilt expands to fill whatever space available.

I will nervously glance over at my companion to see if he or she is enjoying the film — laughing in the right places, not yawning, watching the screen and not looking for the exit. This particular movie was not what we expected (since we both fondly remember the old Lone Ranger t.v. series), but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Critics be damned! The image of Mr. Depp with a dead crow on his head is a visual that will be with me forever…in a good way.His sardonic comments throughout the movie had me in stitches. And any director that can combine blow-em-up, shoot ’em up action scenes with hilarity, a damsel in distress (not to mention a whore with a gun in her prosthetic leg), chases, and moments of tenderness with Mr. Depp playing The Horse Whisperer gets my vote. We won’t mention one gory scene and some rather feral bunnies…everyone is allowed an ‘oops’ moment.

When Gill and I try to choose a movie to see, we differ completely…unless Johnny Depp is in it.

“How about the new Julia Roberts film?” I’ll begin…kind of like throwing down a gauntlet to challenge or a poker chip to bluff the opponent.

“Nah…I hate chick flicks. How about the Bruce Willis one? Nothing like a summer blockbuster with lots of action and explosions…helps the popcorn go down.”

I shudder. “You know I hate those violent pictures. What’s wrong with a nice love story? You might sleep better at night if you watched something calming before bed.”

“Calming? You call chick flicks calming? They do nothing but make my blood boil! Sappy endings in every one. Girl gets boy. Fade out to rose-covered cottage, living happily ever after. That’s not real, Ma!”

“You may have a point. But there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. A little fantasy never hurt anyone.”

“Oh, you want dreaming and fantasy? Let’s see the newest space movie! Aliens, good guys get the bad guys, lots of spacey, futuristic sets. Now, THAT should appeal to your imagination…”

“You know I abhor space movies! Or time travel movies. I know you adore Dr. Who but I can’t stand that kind of crap. Plus, I can never figure out which decade or even century we’re in. I had enough of that dealing with your Grandma when she had Alzheimer’s. It cuts a bit too close to home.”

“Fair enough. I guess the only thing we might agree on is a cartoon — you know, the new animated ones ‘intended’ for kids but with an adult undercurrent big on the use of double entendres. Maybe we could steal a kid from somewhere so they won’t look at us funny when we walk in…”

“I’ve got it! How about a nice nature doc? We all love animals…L’il Sis could come too.”

“Ma! Remember what happened last time she came to an animal movie? It was ‘Marley and Me’ and, when Marley got old and was dying, she ran out of the theatre in tears! She went right out and adopted The Pig (her craftily evil beagle who does ‘break and enters’ on a regular basis …breaking OUT of her crate and INTO the fridge). And you’re not much better on the tear jerker front.”

“But a documentary would be safe. No cute puppies dying there.”

“Oh, you think not? How about ‘March of The Penguins’? Remember that poor frozen egg? And the precious baby chick that got killed? You cried for days. Nature is cruel, Ma. You had to censor half of the ‘Earth’ series ’cause animals were killing each other. Ma, I guess we’ll just have to wait until they make a Johnny Depp chick flick where he gets the girl and they go to live on a llama ranch and all the animals live forever. Oh, and the animals would do funny things to make you laugh while Johnny minces around in his pirate getup. That about right?”

“Perfect! Let me know when it comes out…”

“I will. And, to make it more fun, we can then argue about who’s driving: you, the person whose night vision is sketchy or myself who can barely see with my glasses  which I won’t have on because I have to wear sunglasses (non-prescription) to fight the setting sun. The blind driving the blind to a picture nobody will like…Genius!”