Friday, 3 January 2014

The Nest Egg Principle

There are certain non-Oscar worthy movies that nonetheless become rather legendary with couples - in part because they evoke memories of a certain time or place - and if they happened to be funny, certain lines have likely been repeated over the years - appearing as a standard joke that is immediately recognizable to the other person. For Kirk and I - for reasons unknown - one of our go-to favourites was "Lost in America" - an eighties flick starring Albert Brooks and Julie Haggerty as an upwardly mobile couple who decide to quit their high stress-jobs, drop out of society (a la easy Rider) and hit the road in their motor home armed with the "nest egg" they accumulated by selling their house and most of their worldly goods. They make a snap decision to make their first stop Las Vegas, where they plan to renew their wedding vows. As a treat they spend the night at one of the more glitzy casinos, and while Albert Brooks sleeps, his wife hits the roulette table - where he finds her in the middle of the night, mumbling "22, 22, come on 22" having lost almost all of the nest egg. After trying and failing to convince the casino manager to give back their money with lame marketing pitches..."Las Vegas - A Christmas kind of Town" - they head back on the road where Albert Brooks finally loses it outside of the Hoover dam and starts what he assures his wife will be the first of a series of lectures on the "Nest Egg Principle" -  in which he excruciatingly describes the purpose of the nest egg - and at one point forbids his wife from using the words "egg" or " nest"  - "You may refer to it as a round stick" - which makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch it.
This has become even more resonant for Kirk and I since I left my government job and in our current circumstance are living with our own little version of a nest egg - which we hover over like little birds - trying to make choices and decisions to make it last - to cover all of the expenses we know are coming.
I guess I thought of this because over the holidays I flicked on the TV one afternoon and managed to capture the nest egg lecture on our PVR - something which Kirk and I dutifully laughed at for the 45th time. There is something about those moments - those shared points of connection that you will never feel in quite the same way with another person - that immediate recognition that you only find with someone with whom you have been through the wars - moments that bring you back to another point in time when you shared something so simple and silly that it made you both smile.

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