The Opposite of Déjà Vu

On Sunday night, Sidney and I got the kids to bed early so we could spend some quality time together. The plan was to watch a movie and eat a dessert that Sid had made. While my wife dished up the dessert, I browsed through Netflix to select a movie.

I chose “The Mule,” a film from 2018 that stars Clint Eastwood as an unsuspecting drug mule pressed into work by a Mexican cartel. With Bradley Cooper playing a role as a DEA agent, it seemed like the perfect choice.

On Sunday we watched “The Mule”…again.

“Um, have we seen this before?” Sidney asked when she came into the living room with our dessert plates and saw the opening credits.

No way, I thought. I don’t watch movies twice so I definitely didn’t choose “The Mule” because I wanted to re-visit a film I had an affinity for. I selected the movie because I thought it was new to us.

Sidney wasn’t 100% sure we had seen it so we let the movie run to make sure. It didn’t take long for Sid to confirm that we had definitely watched it. However, it was a different story for me. It took about 30 minutes of letting the film run before I could convince myself that it seemed a little familiar. With that said, even though I conceded that we had watched it, it was still like watching a new movie—I had no idea what was going to happen next.

The next day I did a quick search on my Twitter account and it verified that we had in fact watched the movie on April 16, 2019. I immediately turned to my journal to learn more about that day and to see if the extra context would help me to remember watching “The Mule.”

There it is. My tweet about watching “The Mule.”

It was a normal Tuesday for Sid and I as we dropped Sloan off at daycare and reported to our jobs. When we returned that night we hosted my in-laws for a chicken parmesan dinner. I wrote about the Cathedral of Notre Dame that was devastated the day before by a fire. Later that night, Sid and I decided to watch a new release called “The Mule.” Nope, didn’t remember it.

What makes my lapse of memory even more sad/embarrassing is that I even blogged about “The Mule” (because of course I did, right?). In that week’s Thursday Rundown, I expressed that the film had a promising story line but “the ending was a letdown.” As my critique went deeper, I wrote, “Even more concerning was the supporting cast: there was an obvious lack of talent.” What a terrible take on my part! Both Michael Pena and Dianne Wiest appeared in the movie and over the past four years I have enjoyed their work in several other films. How naïve I was!

But more concerning than my unfair judgment of a cast is my awful memory. We watched “The Mule” just four years ago and it didn’t ring a bell the other night. That’s plain sad. At the same time, it supports my obsessive journaling habit—if I can’t remember something naturally, at least I have a detailed record to tell me it happened. I just wish I didn’t have to resort to that. Don’t Blink.

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