Sunday, January 09, 2011

One of these roads is not like the other...

I'm watching Aladdin on the ABC Family channel -- I haven't seen this movie in a gazillion years. Probably since the year it came out, which, as a quick perusal of the movie info tells me, was 1992. (Wow... animated movies have come a looooong way since then...) Does anyone know, where, exactly, this movie is supposed to take place? Morocco? Tunisia? Somebody just said something about a sultan... where do they have sultans? Turkey?? Brunei?? (Isn't the Sultan of Brunei some kind of crazy, insanely rich guy with about five million sports cars?) Is it just a random North-African-possibly-South-Asian-y place??? Because I don't think they ever really make that clear... it's just a lot of Arabian stereotypes like magic flying carpets and genies in lamps... (And why does Aladdin sound like he's a college kid from Toledo???)

Aladdin is quite lucky, though... I wouldn't mind three wishes right about now... where are those stereotypical genie lamps when you really need them???

Anyway... speaking of wishes... since I have no other topic to expound upon at the moment, I might as well run with this one. It's funny how wishes change as we get older. When I was seven, I probably wished for a pony and a bucket of Legos. Gosh, I loved Legos... Eric and I used to make Lego cities in our basement, and they were HUGE. Actually, they probably consisted of three little square Lego houses and a ten-inch-high Lego "skyscraper," where all our little Lego people commuted to go to work...

When I was twelve, I wished I could be an ice skater or a ballet dancer, and I wished for no homework on weekends. And if I HAD homework on a Friday, I made sure to finish it as soon as I got home, so it would be out of the way. Just so I could climb into bed that night, and think of the freedom of the next two days, and fall asleep thinking, "I have nothing to worry about right now..." When you're twelve, homework is high on your list of worries...

When I was sixteen, I wished that Ed, the boy with the black hair and the dark green eyes, would talk to me in our computer math class. When he asked me one spring day if I was going to the prom, my heart skipped a beat and I managed to squeak out, "no." To which he replied, "good, neither am I." I spent the next week analyzing that comment and attempting to decipher its meaning -- did he mean "good" as in "that's good, because if you went with anyone else I'd be jealous"? Did he mean "good" as in "good, don't succumb to the social whims of the mindless masses"?? Did he mean absolutely nothing in particular (the most probable meaning of the three)? It's actually a good thing he didn't ask me to that prom, because no doubt I would've lost my voice, run out of the room, and hid in the bathroom until the bell rang...

But as I've gotten older, my wishes have tended to turn more toward the intangibles -- I wish for contentment, and I wish for happiness for my family, and I wish for the knowledge that I'm on the right path for my life. Just the other night, Rick was asking if he thought we'd done the right thing by moving to Chicago. After all, Austin was "safe," and many of our family members are there, and I had a good job, and we had a great house with an awesome master bathroom, and Sharon at Starbucks made perfect cappuccinos... but when Rick asked that question, I gazed out the window at the falling snow, and thought of our new "city" lifestyle, and thought about how we hadn't even needed our car in five days, and realized that we may have lost Sharon at Starbucks, but that blond-haired guy at the Caribou coffee shop is really starting to get to know us now... and I could honestly say that yes, at this moment, I'm sure we made the right decision...

This seems like a good point to throw in a Robert Frost poem:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

You know, I've always found it interesting that Frost doesn't actually say that taking "the one less traveled by" was a GOOD thing... just that it "has made all the difference." Maybe that road led to something horrible... just sayin'...

I will admit, though, that in addition to all those intangibles, I still selfishly wish my jeans fit better. And I also wish I knew where this movie was supposed to take place...


Aunt Carol said...

Aladdin was set in a fictional city of Agrabah in the Middle East, somewhere near Iraq.

Lisa said...

Yes, I noticed they kept mentioning "Agrabah"... I'm assuming that's a combination of Agra (which is the city in India where the Taj Mahal is located) and "bah," as in, uh... Bahrain?? Sure, why not... :)

I think it was the addition of that Bengal tiger named Rajah that really threw me for a loop... (It's just a cartoon, Lisa... you can stop analyzing it... :))