Wednesday, July 10, 2019

This Woman's Work

The solemnity of today required a little humor.

And by solemnity, I'm not just talking about a major car repair that took two days to complete and more money than I want to think about, I'm talking about the tragic news that the final Beetle that Volkswagen will ever make rolled off the assembly line today.

Can we just have a moment for my first car - a '66 blue Beetle - and its place in shaping who I am today? I mean, what kind of world are we leaving future generations if no more Beetles are being made?

RIP, Bug.

Add in that Mac's still a bit jet-lagged since her return from Scotland, and neither of us was feeling up to anything heavy tonight. So when trying to decide what movie to see, "Late Night" beat out other films such as "Shaft" and "Last Black Man in San Francisco," which would have required more brain reserves than we had.

Truthfully, I wanted it for Emma Thompson and she wanted it for Mindy Kaling, so we were a match made in heaven.

We started at Goatocado since she'd never been (eating at their food truck didn't count) and I'm such a fan. I'm embarrassed to admit that we ate indoors, a fact attributable on my part to all the walking I'd had to do in the hot afternoon sun and on her part to having been at work since 7 a.m.

She surprised me by ordering the ramen - which I'd never even noticed they had on the menu - while I did my usual Californian: flatbread stuffed with black beans, apples, corn, greens and avocado with a chipotle/pineapple dressing, which I proceeded to wolf down as if I'd been on the run all day. Oh, wait...

Then it was on to Criterion to see a film about sexism in the workplace, ageism, double standards, affirmative action and, central to the story, the dumbing down of entertainment in the YouTube/Twitter age of short attention spans and disdain for depth. Why have Doris Kearns Goodwin as a guest when you can have the latest YouTube sensation?

And while any one of those issues is enough to cause apoplexy, at least they were dealt with in a clever, comedic manner.

Better still, it was a comedy written by Mindy Kaling (whom, it turns out, Mac follows on Instagram) who had firsthand knowledge of being a woman in a male-dominated writing staff from her time writing for "The Office."

Only a woman writes a line like, "My Spanx have cut off the blood supply to my head" or "I am a 56 year old woman who's not had a baby and never seen a superhero movie." Need more proof? Only a woman would have her character bring cupcakes to her first staff meeting on her first day of work.

Not to go too far with this estrogen tangent, but both Emma and Mindy's wardrobes (and shoes) were also fabulously unique, albeit in completely different ways that any one of the seven - count 'em -women in the theater could appreciate.

Because of course it was a female audience, although I'm betting I'm the only one of them who's never seen a superhero movie.

Or, more importantly, had a window box full of plants in the back of her blue VW bug.

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