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Calendar Movies: Ben-Hur

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“What are you doing this weekend?” a fellow coworker asked.

“I have to work Saturday and then I’m going to a maple syrup festival and then on to my in-laws in Palmyra, Indiana.”

“Oh, that’s nice.” Came the uninterested eye-rolled reply.

The thing is, it was nice. My days of going to the clubs, to the bars, enjoying the scene are long gone, if, in fact, they ever existed.

An enjoyable evening to me anymore is a well made home-cooked meal, a good DVD on the TV and a nice book to tuck me in at night.

I turn 30 years old on March 25. A fact that both announces itself with every breath I take, and sneaks up on me every day.

With each passing day I feel more the recluse, more the anti-social hermit. It’s not that I don’t like people, for I enjoy a number of folk’s company. I like to laugh and tell stories and hang out. It’s more that I don’t feel the need to meet more people. The spark of excitement I once got at a room full of fresh faces is gone. Give me a small gathering in a familiar cozy setting and I’m much happier.

When I started this concept of Calendar Movies I had visions of lavish parties where my guests would dress up as characters from this month’s film and eat and drink and have the times of their lives. Yet the reality has become that the parties are small affairs. Three or four people come for a simple dinner and sit quietly throughout the films.

Several times, I’ve gotten bewildered faces upon invitation to the party. As if why anyone would want to watch an old movie is simply beyond them. For The Wizard of Oz, I was even laughed at.

So, it is fitting that I watched March’s Calendar Movie with my in-laws, in their little home in small town, USA.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had itchy feet. I just can’t seem to stay in one place for very long. For this, I completely blame my dad. He is a home builder by trade and as a child he would build a house, move us in, then sell the house and move us into a rental. Then he’d build another one and start the vicious circle all over again. He built entire subdivisions over the years and I think I lived in every house on the block.

I have never, ever lived in one home for more than a few years.

This constant moving has stayed the same in my grown-up years. Since moving out 11 years ago I’ve lived in 9 cities, 6 states, and 2 countries.

Though in many ways this has been exciting, I’ve also lost any sense of home. My life is packed away into boxes, always intending to be unpacked, but never settled before its time to move again.

In the five years I’ve been with my wife, her parent’s house has become my home. No, I’ve never truly lived there, but it has become all of those things I think of when I think of home – stability, warmth, and comfort.

When my wife (then girlfriend) spent one summer in Montreal and our relationship, along with my career and life, were up in the air, I spent a few days in that little house in Palmyra. It was there I felt like things might be ok. It was there I found some sense of myself.

It was there again that I sat last Saturday night watching Ben-Hur. And though the kids at work will continue to roll their eyes and laugh at me, and I know I’ll never make the society pages, I’ve come to realize that it is there that I belong.

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About Mat Brewster