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Inside, Out

I almost made it through Father's Day without thinking about my dad.

Okay, that sounds horrible, and isn't really true. There's no way NOT to think about him, what with the sheer volume of  irritating PR email pitches that pile up all month. "Don't forget about Dad!" they say in the subject lines, "Please please blog about some crap we think is perfect for your dad! Who is dead!" is how I sarcastically translate them, right before I dump them into the trash can, unread. It's a new yearly tradition, although the righteous anger I used to feel over some poorly targeted email blasts has faded over the years.

(No, I am NOT getting an early start on my Father's Day gift guide. Because I am at my father's FUNERAL, motherfucker. UNSUBSCRIBE.)

I almost made it through without thinking about my dad in any painful, punch-in-the-gut sort-of way. That's more what I meant. 

I focused entirely on Jason (who also had his birthday yesterday), so I had lots of extra planning and shopping to focus on, with a goal to give him an entire weekend of fun and presents and relaxation. We got together with friends, went to picnics and his favorite restaurants, checked out some potential new neighborhoods (found one! we're in love! someone come buy my house!), and took the kids out for random adventures around the area. 

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It was a busy few days. Too busy to be sad or even wistful. 

And then we decided to go see Inside Out

I was expecting to cry. The trailer made me cry. I knew going in that this movie would be a return to form for Pixar (we were disappointed in Brave and Monsters University, and we like to pretend that Cars 2 never happened and stare at the kids blankly when they ask about it). And by "return to form" I of course mean a "return to masterful emotional manipulation and a direct pokey line to my tear ducts."

But I wasn't expecting Richard Kind. 

So you probably know Richard Kind from oh, probably a million things. Mad About You, Spin City, Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm, a whole bunch of movies, and a ton of voice-over work.

My dad was his high school English and drama teacher.

I've never met him or anything like that (he graduated before I was even born), but at some point in my childhood my dad saw him on television and sort of nonchalantly mentioned that oh, he was my student. Nice kid. Smart kid. Good for him!

I, on the other hand, was blown away. AN ACTOR. ON TELEVISION. AND MOVIES. Sitting in my dad's classroom, where I liked to hang out sometimes and help my dad staple things to the bulletin boards. My dad back in his study, grading his papers and tests on Shakespeare. I know, I know. Cool story, bro, except to a much younger me it really was. I had zero other connections to anyone remotely famous, so even that one random degree of separation managed to blow my mind.

Later I'd watch Mad About You with a sense of pride. Good for him!

Yesterday, I recognized his voice in the movie and promptly burst into tears. 

(His character would eventually bring even Jason to tears, so consider yourself warned. You don't need a weird Pavlovian connection to Richard Kind for his performance in Inside Out to completely destroy you. Bring tissues.)

After that, I didn't even try to stop from crying. The movie hit me over and over in all my soft, vulnerable places and I let it.

(Are you a parent? SMACK. Are you a former 11-year-old girl? DOUBLE-SMACK. Are you a goddamn human being who has lived on this planet? SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK.)

It was good and cathartic. The kids loved it and want to see it again. I might need a bit. 

My dad hated computer-generated animation, incidentally. He loved old-school, hand-drawn Disney and refused to see anything from Pixar after Toy Story, which he deemed "creepy." 

But I know he'd be so proud of Richard. He always was. 

And of me, I think. No, I know. 

 

Comments

KimAZ

Of you. Definitely of you.

Lisa

Endlessly, happily, ever so proud. <3

Beth Rich

33 years since I lost my Dad. I'm not gonna sugar coat it - that sucker punch still happens. It just becomes less frequent and doesn't last as long. Now I try to be distracted this time of year, and expect to get sucker punched at least once.

Jesabes

Oh, man. Bing Bong had me crying so hard I could barely see the screen. I'm tearing up again now just thinking about him - I can't imagine having that connection on top of it.

bessa

OMG I was bawling during the movie. My 6 year old son started crying and I LOST IT. It was like all the uncried tears I had saved up for the past year started coming out. I couldn't even cry SILENTLY. I keep waiting for someone to do a psych perspective article on the movie so I can analyze my tears. :)

And of course your dad is super proud of you.

nic

aww, tears anew

Celeste L.

I LOVE Richard Kind (fell in love with him on Mad About You). On top of your emotional connection to him, he has a big, lovable doofusness about him that makes him an especially vulnerable character.

Kate

and now I'm crying and I'm not even entirely sure why!

Mags

5 years this year for my Mom, and 2 years this year for my Dad, I had all those same feelings. Bing Bong broke what's left of my heart, and don't even get me started on the memories with the family. I too am an only child. I empathize and sympathize with you for all the feelings. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your feelings and your family.

Meagan

My family saw this movie at a sensory friendly showing (mostly families with children on the spectrum). It was a wonderful movie, but oh how I wished for the sound to be up and the lights out.

Sue W.

I've not seen the movie, but 23 years after my dads death and a year after my father AND mother-in-laws, I'm crying with you. And hells to the yeah your dad is proud of you!

Julia

you bet he's proud. And you have to somehow make sure that Richard Kind sees this post.

Robin

My dad was Marisa Tomei's dentist. One day, 30 years ago, he came home to say one of his patients was going to be on a show called Different World with Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show was huge at the time). I felt exactly the same - holy moly a connection to a star. My dad died 8+ years ago and I still feel the same way about her as you feel about Richard Kind :)

Kate

Our three person family sobbed. My sons hair was wet because he was sitting on my lap crying while I was crying. After the movie, "wait, so sadness is a part of everything after you are 11?!" Me "ummm...nooooo...I think they meant you need to listen to the sadness" ugh!

Yes, he would be proud, of all of you.

suburbanmom2

23 years for me, i have mastered focusing on my husband for the day. The saddest part for me, after all these years, is that my dad was gone before I had my kids. I wish they had known him and vise versa, he would have gotten such a kick out of them. My son was born on his birthday, he would have loved that.
Richard Kind anecdote- I have the opportunity to be in the same room with him once or twice a year (never met him) as I attend a few events for a charity that he is involved in (MJFox Foundation). Every year when he walks past us, my husband and I get a little giddy (but we act nonchalant as if we get close to celebs every day,lol) , we are big Mad About You fans. I immediately think of that show when I see him, but now I will also think of you and your dad.

Lindsey

All the feels! Great movie and I cried hard. Your dad is, of course, super proud of you.

Arnebya

I know he would be proud. Absofuckinglutely he would. Is.

blu_canary

Definitely so proud of you. Though getting through that movie with the additional feels...GOLD STAR FOR YOU!

I haven't cried like that since Up!

Want to know what's worse than watching that movie having BEEN an 11 year-old girl? Watching that movie BESIDE your 10 year-old girl and her 10 year-old best friend. All I could think about was my daughter's old imaginary friend...Green Duckling. Who we had to wait for each and every time we left the house. And how he flew right outside our car everywhere we went. *sigh*

The last part of this school year was so hard for her because of all the additional pressure she puts on herself. She truly is our Happy Girl who is pure joy 9/10 of the time. But this year was rough.

So, I pretty much lost it. The girls however loved the movie and made fun of me. A good time was had by all!

Alisa

I feel the same way about Mother's Day -- somehow worse because that's the weekend she had her heart attack. When the emails start rolling out in early April I vary between "F you" and "Please please blog about some crap we think is perfect for your mom! Who is dead!" which I read with all appropriate sarcasm and scorn. So believe me, you're really not alone there.

Katie H.

I think I must be an alien. I WANTED to like this movie. I was all excited because I had heard it was REALLY REALLY good and I love the concept. But as I sat there I was so BORED. I felt like it was trying to make a point, but missed. After awhile I wanted to punch Joy in the face for being so... joyful, and Sadness for being so... wimpy! And then Bing Bong... Bing f'ng Bong... he kicked me in the emotional nards and I lost it. Maybe I just identify as an alien after all. :)

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