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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 11.26.11
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

At least I didn't mention Daddy's Home 2

My wife and I recently took advantage of a much-needed getaway weekend, and we did what most couples do when they ditch the kids and the pets and the chores and find themselves alone in a hotel room: we watched a movie.

We watched Bad Moms, which is old, like us, but the timing was appropriate because my wife is planning to go see the sequel this week, even though I feel the original was completely unworthy of sequeldom, given that I laughed three times, which is approximately 21 seconds of laughing out of 101 minutes, a laugh-to-minute ratio of 0.00034:1.

Also, the sequel is called A Bad Moms Christmas, and while I see what they're doing there, the absence of an apostrophe -- Mom's -- is so grammatically itchy that I feel it should be inciting Last Temptation of Christ-caliber protests nationwide.

My wife is not so hung up on punctuation, so she feels comfortable going to see the new movie with a bunch of other moms, which suggests this franchise is designed to hold them over until the next installment of Fifty Shades of Magic Mike. Unlike those movies, which are about chests, the Moms series is about empowerment, but with cramp jokes.

My wife is not a bad mom. She's a good mom, a very good mom. She's a busy mom, though. She's so busy that she's only up to Season 4 in "A Game of Thrones" and was consequently shocked to learn via a joke (a "joke") in Bad Moms that Jon Snow dies in Season 5. "But he's good looking," she said, dumbfounded.

A more insecure husband (like the feckless ones depicted in Bad Moms and pretty much all modern comedies) might have been hurt by that remark and blurted out, "Oh yeah? Well, guess what? He comes back to life in Season 6!" But I didn't. My only hope for her is that A Bad Mom[']s Christmas doesn't ruin "Outlander." Also: I need to start working out.

I didn't even feel bad when the only "good dad" in the movie -- the "hot widower" -- took his shirt off as a million women across the land go "GOI-YOI-YOI-YOING!!!" (even though you never see this supposed good dad interact with an actual child, and he clearly spends too much time at the gym).

You know why? Because I had climbed a mountain that day. Well, a ski hill. But a really difficult ski hill, because we took a wrong turn and ended up hiking a steep black-diamond trail in snow and winter boots and me in my heavy, fake Canada Goose coat leaking feathers across the Green Mountains and smelling like an unhealthy dog because I threw it in the washing machine, which you're not supposed to do, so serves me right, and I had to stop a lot to catch my breath and wonder a lot about heart attacks and whether the oxygen was getting thinner, was my hair getting thinner, and did anyone else smell burnt toast?

But I made it to the top and in doing so passed two young girls, also lost, who should have been in better shape than me — ergo, I was in better shape than them — and I'm fairly confident this fact made me look good in front of my wife, although it was hard to tell since I had left her far behind, but she was fine, I'm pretty sure, as I could deduce when I waved at her and she gave me a thumbs up. At least, I think it was her thumb.

It was good to get away with my wife, because now she is going to be even busier. Earlier this month, she was elected to municipal council here in Stanstead. She received 65 percent of the vote, which is a lot. Nonetheless, it leads me to wonder what the problem was with the other 35 percent. Attention, remaining 35 percent: I don't know why you didn't vote for my wife, but I will look for you, I will find you, and I will stare uncomfortably at you.

I'm so proud of my wife for making this commitment, even though it means she will be even more busy, which translates into fewer getaways and mountains to climb, although maybe that mountain is a metaphor: we each have our own mountain to climb (she, her municipal duties; me, unruly punctuation), or maybe it's a mountain of a marriage we have to manage together, or perhaps it's the mountain of dishes we face when we come home to our 16-year-old.

Ultimately, what's important is that we not waste time watching sub-par movies and especially their undeserved sequels. But, hey, it's her life.

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