E.T. is a classic movie. Everyone recognizes its imagery, quotes, and candies. It has been seen by millions, and on Friday, it was finally seen by one more: me. I had always wanted to see it, but I never had. As I’ve told people that I hadn’t seen it before Friday, I’ve gotten pretty much the same reaction from each of them: a look of dismay, maybe even pity, and the inevitable question: “What do you mean you’d never seen it before?” It’s not that my friends aren’t smart and struggle to understand what I meant by my simply crafted sentence. Not seeing E.T., the biggest kids movie maybe ever, even though it came out in the 80’s when I was a kid, is what an unbelieving world finds so unbelievable (or something like that).
So why didn’t I see E.T. before Friday night? There are a number of guesses one might have. I’m pretty sure I know the answer, if not specifically, at least in general: evangelists. Evangelists stole my childhood. I don’t dislike all evangelists, mind you. I love one in particular. But in general, I have never really been a big fan of them. Our pastor would announce that some hotshot evangelist was coming, maybe a recognizable name to many of the adults, and I would shake on the inside like my dog shakes when, well, she’s awake. I knew I was going to lose something, and it was probably going to be something I loved. They never talked about stupid stuff, like the evils of Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons. Then my mom would have felt my pain, as her beloved shows were taken from her on merely on the whim of a dude in a black suit.
I am twenty years behind on some things. I have caught up with E.T. finally, but there are still cultural lags. If I go see the Smurfs this Summer, I may not know exactly what’s going on. Classic rock stations can just be called rock stations, because for me, most of it is new stuff. My secular music knowledge takes a break after the Monkees and Roy Orbison and picks up again about three years ago.
Just for fun, here is a list of things I lost at the hands of an evangelist(s):
- E.T. (I could not confirm with my parents, as they were unavailable for comment. That is to say, they did not answer when I called them this morning.)
- Ninja Turtles
- Good music (at least they protected me from the Christian rock of the 80’s)
- X-Men (they deserve credit for pegging the evolutionary undertones, but still)
- The Ultimate Warrior (only briefly, as my dad was also a big WWF fan)
- Beauty and the Beast (not a huge loss, but a huge stretch on the bestiality claims)
- my childhood
Oh well. I got to see E.T. in a theater on Friday, and it was like going to see a brand new movie for only $4 a ticket. I guess I should thank somebody.
And just in case you’re wondering, I don’t blame my parents for much of anything. They did what they believed was in my best interest spiritually. They are great parents that have always cared about me.