By Alexandra Sims
Christmas with Subtitles
Part of the holiday assignments was to do things we wouldn’t normally consider and I have a tendency to avoid things I think I’ll lose my time on and not enjoy. I used to hate going to bed and I don’t mean as a kid either, sleep when you’re dead is something I held on to until I finished uni (can’t get enough of it now.) It made most decisions into a Sophie’s choice situation. The time spent on movie night arguing against any films I hadn’t heard glowing reviews about was a contradiction on to squeezing time out of the day. Since we’re growing and what not over this course I have to change my perception. How do I truly know I won’t like something without giving it a go? Do I even need to enjoy it? Aren’t taking notes on the bad just as valuable?
First up, a book.
Every fibre of my being was fighting the collection of historical fiction on the Roman Empire but I was assured one in particular was well written and I would indeed like it. No, what I like is coming of age novels and comedic essays and autobiographies. I begrudged each one of its 500 pages…until I got to around the 40th. Haven’t finished it yet but each time I pick it up I’m now doing it because I want to read on and not just get through an assignment.
Then came film time.
Just the notion makes me twitch but I did it. I gave Netflix control to my father. He had free reign and I would have zero input not even an ‘um’. We ended up with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and it’s safe to say there wasn’t a turning point like there was with my book but I didn’t hate it.
As for the rest of the holiday experience…
I’ve spent 5 days over Christmas with extended family in the French countryside with a large amount of visitors who spoke little English so Christmas was in French this year. I introduced the Google Translate app to the group which gave way to some conversation but mostly I had to concentrate on intonations and gestures and did a lot of smiling and nodding, feeling a bit like an idiot. I’m more of a listener than a talker but here I could do neither, I had to consider how I had taken communication for granted. I did a hell of a lot of cheek kissing, I tried oysters for the first time, and after finishing our foie gras I watched a VR headset be passed around the table with soft porn playing inside. This was all part of the holiday I didn’t consider having but it was far from a waste of time.