Thursday, February 28, 2008

Juno, I'd Like My Tears Back Please. Right Now!

* Possible spoilers ahead

So I've been a little under the weather lately. Feeling sick, on top of the fact that my grandma died and I live in Utah and my whole family lives in California and I'm like the only person I know without a master's degree and I've been cold for three months straight, prompted my wonderful husband to give me the afternoon off yesterday. He came home just a little early from work and sent me over to the movies to see Juno because I'd been pretty much doing nothing but talking about it for the last four days straight. I'd never been to the movies by myself before. I was afraid that I'd be viewed as, I don't know, pathetic. I was under the impression that, perhaps, a group of teenagers would throw popcorn at my poor, lonely, little head. And you know what? It was so not a big deal. Turns out there are a lot of people at the movies alone on a Wednesday afternoon.

So Juno had come highly recommended by several friends with opinions that I generally agree with. Plus, you know, it won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It should be noted that for the past few days I have been stressing out about whether or not Diablo Cody is her given name. I mean, it can't be. Right? No one names their daughter "Devil" and gets away with it. Am I right? Of course I'm right. I just looked it up and her birth name is Brook Busey-Hunt. She must have changed it to Diablo when she was stripping. No, for real. She's a stripper turned screenwriter. I wonder, like, was she writing by day and stripping by night? It almost makes me tired just thinking about it. So anyway, highly recommended blah blah blah.

And I hated it. And by hated it I mean that my life is more than likely richer simply by experiencing the dialogue. And by hated it I mean that there were several times when I laughed out loud even though I was alone. (I've realized that I very rarely laugh out loud when in solitude. I think laughter is designed to be shared.) And by hated it I mean that the stupid film had me sitting in my dern stadium seating chair sobbing like a frickin' baby. I hate when I do that. I'm chalking it up to living 750 miles from my mommy and, maybe, like, the fact that produce looks really gross right now and I don't know if it's because I shop at WalMart or what. No but really. I don't usually cry in the movie theatre. Occasionally I'll let a tear slip out before quickly removing it because it's a war movie and all the soldiers are dying or whatever. But I so do not allow my shoulders to quiver in the movie theatre. Praise God I was alone and praise God there was no one even in my vicinity. So basically I hated it in a "I'm very glad I saw this movie but maybe I should have been forewarned that I would sob" kind of way.

If you've seen it, undoubtedly you did not sob and are wondering why I am a lunatic who saw fit to let out five or six years of emotion in a movie theatre. But then I would have to ask, first of all, if you're a mother and secondly if you're a mother who has struggled and or are struggling with infertility. In a nutshell a pregnant teenager decides to give her baby to a couple who has struggled with infertility for five years. I mean, the story is more about the pregnant teen than the adoptive couple but leave it to me to relate to them as opposed to the teenager who winds up with child after one random sexual encounter. Oh how I wish. I mean, not the random part but--nevermind. The reviews that I read labeled Vanessa (the woman in the adoptive couple) as so uptight that you wonder if you would really leave your baby with her. I never got that vibe. I always felt so much compassion for her and thought that Jennifer Garner did an amazing job of playing an infertile woman. And then I realized that I was scared. I was scared that Juno would back out. I was scared that something would go wrong. I was scared that Vanessa's hopes and dreams would be dashed again. When Vanessa puts her hands on Juno's expanding middle and feels her baby kicking for the first time, I almost commanded Juno to give Vanessa her child. But it really did frighten me. To think that, in all likelihood, we will be adding to our family not through biology but through adoption. And there is just so much that can happen. So many factors that can fall through. So much risk. Such little control.

Because I've had a baby. I know how impossibly hard it would be to give it up. I know that I couldn't do it. And, at the end of the film, when that little baby slipped into the world, I cried again, in remembrance of the birth of my own miraculous son. It pulled on every emotion I have as a mother, as an Infertile Myrtle, a Barren Karen, a girl who so very often feels like a teenager dealing with things well beyond her maturity level, a woman who sometimes longs to live in life's moments and rarely in the grease and grind of daily toilet cleaning. A girl who should have known that a movie about teen pregnancy and adoption would be her giant emotional downfall.

Stupid Juno. I hate you.


  1. Feeling sick?? Like pregnant sick or flu sick??

  2. Let's just clear this one up once and for all. I'm definitely not pregnant sick. No siree.

    I only wish.

  3. yeah, i cried too when i saw it. and i'm crying now after reading your post.and i SO felt the same way about jennifer garner's character. i knew she'd make an amazing mom.