Auntie Mame – Tales of Movie Night

Whilst hanging out at my fave French bistro in the Pike Place Market, I had the brilliant idea of having an Auntie Mame viewing party — basically watching a movie at my house. I was with H, who is a Mame fan, and M who is the night manager at Le Pichet (our hang). M is also a big fan. Now, let me be clear. This is the 1958 version with Rosalind Russell — the ONLY Auntie Mame. There have been remakes, but no one compares to Rosalind. She is so fabulous that no one can come close. So we looked at our calendars and the first Sunday that we all had free was 8 weeks away. We etched the date into our phones and we excitedly anticipated drinking bubbles, eating chocolate, otherwise carrying on, and living large.

M2, got wind of our antics and I invited her along as well. Actually, as the 8 weeks passed, I got the invitation list up to 11. I invited my sailing buddies S and M3 and one night — at Le Pichet — I picked up a lovely retired couple who were seated next to us. They had just moved to the Puget Sound area from Chicago and made the mistake of settling in Edmonds. These stunning urbanites realized that their current digs were not a fit and I believe rue the day that they didn’t get a condo in downtown Seattle. We discussed this at length after they gave me their social calendar which included: theater, and opera, and the ballet (which they were off to the night we met). I invited them to my movie party and they seemed excited about it — not only because someone finally invited them out in this town of collective depression — but also because they had never seen it. As it turned out, no one had seen it other than H, me, and M. I was stunned. How did a jewel like Auntie Mame slip from the social consciousness? Hmmm? Boggles the mind. 

As the days passed between party planning and party date, I blithely and happily basked in the notion that I was doing a public service by sharing the Mame love — in between panicking with the occasional thought, “shit! Is it THIS Sunday?” only to be relieved that it wasn’t… I did this repeatedly. This is the blessing and the bane of planning ahead.

I ordered 9 bottles of champagne from Amazon Fresh feeling like that might not be enough for 11 participants. Being apologetic by nature, so I wasn’t too worried. I knew I’d be apologizing for something, so why not that? The charming young man who delivered the bubbles asked me for my ID. I know it was perfunctory and he was obligated to do so by law – but still, I gotta take it where I can get it. I told him of my plans because I looked like a real alcoholic what with the two big, heavy, brown paper bags filled with booze he’d delivered. (See above note re: apologizing) He had not seen the movie either. Of course he was born at the turn of the century, so he was far too young and, as I have realized, the majority of people are not educated in the ways of classic fabulousness.

I frequent Trader Joe’s because it’s near my house and it has things I can eat. I have many a fascinating food restriction and TJ’s provides edible alternatives. I trundled up there the day of the party to load up on chocolate — two mondo one-pound bars of milk chocolate, two containers of the yummiest candies in the world — chocolate and coconut covered almonds — brandy candy, and a Kringle. It’s the winter holiday season, which is the best time for Kringle. Christmas Kringle is sweet almond goodness wrapped in a sugar-glazed croissant dough. So yum. 

The party was to start at 4:00 and as I was fretting about having enough chairs, I got a text from M saying that the manager for that day messed up her wrist and he had to go in. He was going to miss the movie! Then about ½ hour later I get a text from S with a nondescript headache and flu symptoms. Then the female of the retired couple pipes in about an hour after that with a bad reaction to her shingles vaccine. No word from M3 but I figured she wouldn’t get it anyway so I didn’t follow up and she didn’t show. As the regrets poured in, I texted J a reminder but there was no response, which is not a big deal because it’s J. Everything is always forgiven with J because he’s J.

So, it ended up being only me, H, and M2 who had never seen the movie. This was a surprise because she brought the popcorn. That shows a level of enthusiasm that one would expect from a fan. So the three of us and my son, who was not going to show because the movies seems so gay – which it is – fun, full of character development, amazing costumes and sets, and has a plot. He saw the alcohol and chocolate and sat in for the first ¾ (which he enjoyed) then went upstairs to his comfort level — video games. 

H and I almost mouthed the words, we are so familiar with it and M2 loved it so I consider the evening a success. M begged for a redo which I’m all for. I also think we might have to do a “Some Like it Hot” viewing so I can get rid of all of this champagne.