The Generations 52 week challenge prompt is Valentine. Of course my mind goes to the many, many wonderful and romantic Valentine cards and gifts from my Jim.

But Valentine Day is not always a happy one. That got me to thinking about a favorite movie, Shirley Valentine (1989) so I pulled it up from my movie stock and watched it again.

Shirley Valentine-Bradshaw is having a mid-life crisis. She is talking to the wall in her kitchen because her husband and adult children are doing their own thing, taking her for granted and NOT listening to her. When her friend Jane wins a trip for two to Greece and offers the second spot to Shirley she, at first, thinks there’s no way she could leave her family to follow her dream of traveling. Then it hits her. They wouldn’t miss her anyway!

Lessons from Shirley Valentine:

Never judge a book by its cover. So true. Shirley meets up with her childhood nemesis, Marjorie Majors who always said she’d be an airline hostess and travel the world. Marjorie invites Shirley to her hotel room, out of the rain, to have tea and catch up. As the time comes for Marjorie to leave Shirley is envious of her life, her travels as a hostess. “Oh, Shirley, I’m not an airline hostess, I’m a hooker!” 

And snooty, high-class neighbor Gillian pops over to give Shirley a silk peignoir that she’d purchased for a trip that never happened. She admits to Shirley how envious she is of Shirley following her dreams,

Life can change on a dime. Shirley and husband, Joe, have fallen into a rut over the years. Once they were a fun-loving couple but they’ve become people of habit. Chips and Eggs on Tuesday. Steak on Thursday. What happens when Shirley serves up Chips and Eggs on Thursday?  Joe flips out, literally! Shirley mentally says I’m done! After years of “same ol, same ol” she leaves with Jane (leaving meals prepped for Joe in the freezer).

What happens in Greece, stays in Greece. Freed from the deadening routine of her life, Shirley embarks wide-eyed with Jane who hooks up on the plane with a guy and leaves Shirley to explore their destination village on her own. Her adventures, from the well-meaning couple who want to rescue her from her “singleness” to her meeting up with Costas, are best left for you, my reader, to enjoy. Suffice it to say there’s some comedy, tears, sex and ah hah moments

 As Joel said, in Risky Business, “Sometimes in life you just have to say, what the f___” and go for it. Shirley did – and in the process she once again found  “Shirley Valentine.”

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