In this week’s addition of And-Aja-Cried … E.T. man. I don’t understand it. When I was a child, E.T. horrified me. His weird little alien body and mannerisms turned 4-year-old Aja straight off her popcorn. Now, I watch it and gigantic tears are rolling down my cheek which I immediately try and hide from my older sister who would of course make fun of me. Everything makes me cry and I don’t like it one bit. I assume this turn for the stupid will only magnify with my age. Wonderful.
E.T. is such a cultural touchstone in our society, even if he did gross me out. One of the first tricks I taught Avery centered around that film. When she was less than a year old, I would say “E.T. touch” and she would know that we were to touch our index fingers together. (Most uptight parents get miffed when I refer to things babies do as “tricks” but seriously, what else is it? It’s not exactly a skillset!)
I really enjoyed your post about the dances in your town. It sounds really joyful and a great way to build a strong community. In my ‘burb, we have movie nights. It’s free and you just come down to the plaza with your blanket and chairs and tonight there was even free popcorn! Doesn’t get better than that! We were lucky to catch one of these because this summer in DC metropolitan has been rainier than most. Practically every afternoon the sky clouds over. The plaza is located across the lake from our house. Everyone watches, even those sitting in one of the many restaurants dining. My neighbor is one of the organizers and I think they do a great job. Then when it’s over, we gather our belongings and stroll home.
On the walk home I started laughing hysterically to myself remembering the E.T. Adventure ride at Universal Studios in Florida. One of the best parts of having an “ethnic” name is that NO ONE can pronounce it. Ever. I remember when my kindergarten teacher got it wrong, I realized with quiet acceptance that that was just how it was going to be for the rest of my life so I may as well get used to it. On the E.T. Adventure ride when you get to the front of the line, someone from the theme park asks your name and types it into a computer. You get giddy with excitement wondering what that could possibly mean. My mother (probably in an effort to make things easier) gave them my name “Aja” because it’s the easiest out of the three (Aisha and Ayana). When we got to the end of the ride on our bicycles, E.T. stood there and he began to stutter.
“Thaaaaaaaank youuuuuuuu Aiiiii Aiiii Aiiiiiiiii Aiiiiiiiiiiii”.
“What’s he trying to say?”
“He’s trying to say Aja’s NAME!!!!!”
E.T. sounded like a car who’s engine was sputtering out on a slow descent towards failure. And my sisters and I were hooting with laughter practically falling off our bikes. We broke E.T.
PS – We don’t always dress alike but when we do it’s totally accidental and 100% ridiculous.