Last night, my husband and I saw a block-buster movie as we rang out the year: the new (and final) Star Wars film. We’re not Lucas-fans — Wikipedia coached me through the series — but it seemed fitting that we should mark the end of the decade with the final film in the series that began in 1977.
I saw that first Star Wars movie in Minneapolis before moving to NYC in in September, 1977. By December, I was decorating the tree at the New York Health and Racquet Club with the dashing Latino who’d been courting me (I was an instructor, he was in charge of the facilities) while I played hard to get.
“Never mind,” he said as he plugged in the lights. “I’m not going to keep asking you to go out, I get it.”
“Oh?” I said as I hung the final ornament. “You give up too easily.”
We went to see Saturday Night Fever that New Year’s Eve, ringing out the old and in the new to the tunes of the Bee Gees.
We moved in together down the street from the health club by the time Superman — the first movie with opening titles that flew into the universe — came out for the next New Year’s. We walked to theaters in the Upper East Side to see 9 to 5, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Tootsie.
When we got married and moved to better, cheaper and bigger digs in Queens and had my old family Skylark for wheels, we went to the movies in Forest Hills, often dining in Jackson Heights on comida China y criolla, Chinese and Latin American food. Our waiter, Chen, spoke Mandarin and Spanish, but little English.
Other activities, like raising a daughter, intervened to organize different New Year Eves when we shipped ourselves north to Albany, the New York State capital, but we returned to our movies tradition since retiring to Florida. We saw The Post in 2017. Last year, we were too worn out from a Christmas cruise to do anything but watch the Twilight Zone marathon.
So, returning to ending the year at the movies feels good, especially a film in which (spoiler alert) the universe is made safe forever. I discovered my inner jedi in 2019, and it saved my life.
May this New Year bring you health, friendships, and good fortune. Or, to put it another way: May the force be with you!