Happy Groundhog’s Day—again! For some of us, the holiday has much less to do with a furry critter determining the future of our weather patterns as it does an annual celebration of the movie starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. In that spirit, here are our thoughts on do-overs, repeating patterns, and what we would do if we woke up every morning to find that it was, once again, Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day is one of my all-time favorite movies, and not just because of Bill Murray’s comic timing or Steven Tobolosky’s hilarious role as Ned Ryerson (“Watch out for that first step! It’s a dooozy!”). I love the idea of embracing “practice makes perfect,” but who has the time? If I could pause on one day for a while, I would become fluent in all the languages. I’d learn to play the clarinet. I’d work on how to pronounce “abominable.” (That one’s always been a mouthful for me.) Maybe I’d even figure out how to leave early so I’m not frantically looking for a parking spot three minutes before I’m supposed to meet someone. Who’s with me?!
When I think of Groundhog Day, I immediately think of the Sonny and Cher song, I Got You Babe. It’s what’s playing on the radio every time the Bill Murray character’s alarm clock goes off. If I could pick, and had to listen to the same song, watch the same movie or read the same book over and over, what would I choose? (This is the kind of stuff I think about when I can’t sleep. Feel free to play along.) Song: Respect by Aretha Franklin, which my husband will tell you I do listen to over and over, while dancing badly. Movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, because lines like “You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you” and “Your father was a hamster, and your mother smelt of elderberries” still crack me up. Every time. And if I could only read one book over and over… Don’t be ridiculous, I could never choose just one book!
Every night I have the same internal monologue before I go to bed. “Kellye, we may have failed today, but tomorrow is a clean slate. Tomorrow we put down the carbonated beverages and pick up the water. Tomorrow we drink the requisite eight glasses of H20 and mark every single one down in the fitness tracker section of our pretty new planner. Tomorrow we just say no like Nancy Reagan told us to do when we were kids even though she was discussing recreational drug use and not delicious Coca-Cola!” Then tomorrow comes and it is an exact replica of the day before. I am pounding back bottles of iced tea like they contain the fountain of youth. I might as well be in Groundhog Day: The Sequel where, instead of a groundhog emerging from the ground, it’s a beautiful bottle of Snapple Lemon Iced Tea. It is made from the best stuff on earth, after all.
If I could live one day over and over again, I hope it would be a weekend day! The week days are so busy that I often work far past any logical quittin’ time. (Is that a thing? It sounds like a thing. And it feels like there shouldn’t be a “g” on the end, but I can’t explain why.) Anyway, as much as I love teaching, it does tend to expand to fill every available minute because there’s always more grading and prepping to be done. It’s almost midnight as I write this and it’s still not quittin’ time. So I request a weekend day, please. Or wait! A day between semesters! Even better. (Unfortunately, now that I’ve got the perfect date figured out, I’m too tired to figure out an agenda…but it would definitely be a good day.)
I was thinking, dang, I don’t have anything for this post, and then I was like, okay, who’s in denial? That would be me. Because the one thing I’ve done over and over again since my kid was born almost seventeen years ago, is sign up for weight loss programs, lose weight, gain it back, and sign up again. I am currently on my I’ve-lost-count return to Weight Watchers. Ironically, I lived in Little Neck, Queens, until I was ten, and then we moved to Scarsdale, a NYC suburb. And what do these two towns have in common? They are the home of world-famous diet plans. WW was founded in Little Neck, and Scarsdale was home to the famous – and infamous – Scarsdale Diet Doctor. My mother had a copy of his plan pinned to our kitchen bulletin board for years before it became a national phenomenon. Perhaps being in the zeitgeist of not one but two famed weight loss programs has destined me to a lifetime of them. Great, now I want chocolate.
My favorite thing about the movie Groundhog Day is that I actually love the idea of living the same things (well, the happy ones) over and over. You know how Andie MacDowell’s character seemed oblivious to the fact that every day was the same? Well, she was faking it. I know that because I wanted to be Andie, with her cute coat and all the snow and the cozy quilts. I’m the most boring person in the world. I drink the same kind of coffee every day, buy the same flavor of ice cream, go to the restaurants I know and order things I already know I like. I even return to the same places for vacation. I guess that means I’m neither adventurous nor creative. How did I get to be a writer, anyway? So, anyway: My favorite thing about the movie Groundhog Day is that I actually love the idea of living the same things (well, the happy ones) over and over…
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