Going Up!

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I’m happy to report that there’s finally a movie coming to theater near you that contains a story line that portrays infertiles as endearing, not selfish … sweet, not reviled or pitied.

pixarupTime magazine says the movie, Up, will prove to be one of the most satisfying movie experiences of the year. Hallelujah! It’s about freakin‘ time. Hollywood has some serious making up to do for consistently negative story lines about my people. Time‘s Richard Corliss writes:

“Spanning two continents and seven decades, Up begins in a 1930smovie theater. A newsreel tells us that famous explorer Charles Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer) is just back from South America’s remote Paradise Falls with the bones of a prehistoric bird. Denounced as a fraud by archaeologists, Muntz vows to retrieve a member of the species and bring it back alive. In the audience, wearing aviator goggles atop his thick-rimmed specs, is young Carl Fredricksen, who is enthralled by Muntz’s motto, ‘There’s adventure out there!’

“On the way home, Carl finds a kindred spirit: a girl named Ellie, as vivacious as he is stolid, who harbors the same dream of visiting Paradise Falls. It’s love at first sight, and in a tender montage, Up shows us their life together: the wedding, the fixing up of their home,the quiet walks, their respective jobs at the local zoo (she tending the animals, he selling balloons), their eager preparations for a child they later learn they can’t have, their need to defer the big trip to pay for home improvements, then her slowing pace and death. This series of vignettes is played without dialogue and underscored by Michael Giacchino’s wistful waltz. It’s the sweetest, saddest 4 1⁄2 minutes you’ll ever see on film.”

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I haven’t seen the movie yet as it hasn’t opened, but I know the story line well. We infertile couples today live a parallel, updated version not in animated form. We experience love at first sight and fix up our homes, take quiet walks, work at respective jobs, and … make eager preparations for a child we learn we can’t have …

It’s sad and it’s sweet, and yes, like Ellie and Carl we are devoted to each other.

We’re now at the point in our lives when we treasure our time together. We remain young in heart and mind, still madly in love. We’re not delaying our visit to our comparable Paradise Falls. Travel and exploring is something we do as often as we can. This past weekend we dropped the top on our convertible and headed down Hwy 1. We cavorted on the beach in Carmel watching the waves from the Pacific Ocean crash on the beach. We visited a lovely little winery in Carmel Valley and, later in the evening, curled up entwined in each other’s arms to watch one of our favorite series before giggling like a couple of overtired kids in bed.

Next weekend, we’re kicking off summer with a hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains and a barbecue next to Lake Tahoe…and that’s just the beginning of a long series of adventures we’re planning together.

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Thank you, in advance, Pixar. I think I’m gonna like looking Up for a change.


Writer, blogger and, oh, yeah, infertility survivor. My memoir, Silent Sorority, tells the whole story. There's a movie in there somewhere. I'm thinking Jennifer Lawrence plays me.

21 Replies to “Going Up!

  1. you are right to savor each moment together. sounds like you’ve got some wonderful trips planned.

    we love carmel/carmel valley, and of course who doesn’t love weekend getaways all summer long?! enjoy.

  2. Cool.

    I just watched the movie PS I Love You for the first time and while I don’t know the pain of losing a spouse, I did relate to her. She couldn’t be happy for her friends in life because she was too busy grieving. I get that.

  3. Yeah! I think I’m also going to like looking “Up”!!!
    Sounds like you have some great things planned for the next few weeks. Being childless doesn’t mean living a sad little life, my life has also recently become full of excitement and adventure and I’m happy to be living it to the fullest!

  4. I dare say there will be mothers and fathers out there who will sit watching the story of *our* lives, green with envy over what *they’re* missing out on 🙂

    Enjoy your summer plans. I know we are!

  5. I saw the “coming attraction” for this. It looks cute.

    Your weekend sounds lovely. It was a tad chilly here for convertible riding, unfortunately.

  6. @Irish Girl – you bet. Have you ever wondered if maybe some of the hostility from “fertiles” is actually… gasp… envy?

    It’s human nature that the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence – I’m often jealous when reading about PJ’s adventures!

  7. I saw the preview for this. It looks cute!

    The world is so much more inviting with the good weather now.

  8. It seems like so little to ask, doesn’t it, that kind of portrayal? I mean, the infertile are in many ways actually vanishing from the radar these days, because improved technology can make so many more parents. But once upon a time, everyone knew a couple (or a few) who obviously would have welcomed children, but grew old together without them. It doesn’t seem like it would be so hard to write them into a movie once in a while.

    I love the sound of your summer. I’ve spent my whole life saving and working toward the next thing. I hate to take vacation or spend money, because I know I’ll need it later. That kicked into overdrive after I got married – we were so poor when we got married and we expected kids right away. When they didn’t come, that redoubled our need to save, because there would be treatments, maybe adoption fees…our current home is perfect for two, but could fit an infant (or multiples, I suppose). But the house I want is fit for a family (but I’ve also thought through that I would love it even if those were all guest rooms). My husband is not a planner-ahead and if he minded our finances, they would be in ruin. So I ignore his protestations that we should travel now while we’re young and DON’T have kids. I need to accrue leave time! (In fairness to me here, I have the greater earning power, which is a little scary.) But I’m slowly starting to realize that he’s what I have…and I love being with him. I need to take more time (even if not money), and enjoy that.

    Sorry – long comment!

  9. I read that same article about UP and had the exact same thought. I can’t wait to see this movie and I too am really pleased to see our “ilk” portrayed as something that happens as part of normal people living normal lives.

    I think it’s great that you and Mr. PJ can enjoy and value your time together. Sometimes I think there has to be some upside to infertility since the downside is so cruel.

  10. Thanks for the info about the film. I don’t know that I would have seen it, but now I am definitely going to check it out.

    Irene has a good point. Make ’em envious PJ and have a great trip!

  11. Ahhh…. Carmel, Tahoe… I have a few weekend trips planned there myself. At least we don’t have to worry about baby sitters, right??

  12. That trip to the beach sounds fantastic. I’m looking forward to the movie UP but hadn’t heard that it had IF shown in a positive light. Sounds even better now.

  13. Thank You yet again PJ, I was already looking forward to seeing this whimsical looking film, now I can’t wait to see it for other reasons- it mimics our lives- yes a thank you goes out to Pixar for including us, even if the dear old man is grumpy- I would be too if I lost my best friend. Anyway, thank you for pointing out yet another reason to see this movie and a reason to look UP.

  14. Yeah! Thanks for posting a good reason to look UP! Now I will definitely have to see it.

  15. Dh & I went to see this today. It was absolutely enchanting, but I must warn you, BRING KLEENEX!! I absolutely bawled during the opening sequence (trying not to be TOO loud & scare all the kiddies around me!)(& then had to fumble around trying to clean my glasses so I could see the rest of the movie!). And there’s a few tearjerking moments in the middle too.

    Also — the movie is preceded by a short which is — wait for it — all about storks & babies made in the clouds!! But once I got over the hump of the beginning (I felt sorry for the poor little raincloud!), it was actually kind of funny.

  16. I’ve glad you’re still enjoying and loving each other. The infertility struggles can ruin a marriage. Our child’s diagnosis (blind, autistic) brought with it the warning that this could pull us apart. Not us! I’m happy to know you’re happy together, despite the sadness.

  17. We saw Up and it was wonderful! I truly enjoyed seeing on the big screen that life can be just as fulfilling for those of us who struggle with infertility. Kudos to Pixar!

  18. My dh and I saw UP last week. It touched my heart deeply. It was nice to see a tasteful touch on the subject of infertility. I felt like dh and I were the characters… (only I hope he never has to fly our house somewhere to realize how much I love him)….

    Inky Smiles!

    1. So glad to hear this movie is resonating so well with my fellow infertiles. It’s on the list of movies to see. Perhaps this week! (note: will bring loads of tissues. I’m guessing I’ll need them!)

  19. i rented UP without knowing about the plot.
    god… i had never cried on an animated kids movie before…

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