Well, we're not leaving for a few days yet, but this might be our last chance to post to LJ before we go. We're just a smidge annoyed about it because there hasn't been great communication about it, and there never is, so it's not like we're surprised or anything, but since this involves something that we consider to be fairly huge (even though, thinking about it, it's really only sorta big), we maintain our annoyance. Gaston is in the area for a hockey game (got tickets for Christmas), and we think that the plan is for him and Alice to come to our place after the hockey game, then stick around until it's time for us to go to the airport.
It's nice because it means we definitely have transportation to the airport, but it's not ideal because we'd rather spend the day before our trip packing, getting ready, spending time with Page, and doing relaxing things, than entertaining guests. And this is of course the type of thing we should tell Gaston directly, but we weren't sure this was the plan, which is really where the true annoyance lies. On the bright side, we get to spend time with friends!
Speaking of which, the missionaries discovered there's a woman in our apartment complex who actually is a member of our church, but she hasn't been attending because she works night shifts and church doesn't fit into her sleep schedule. So, in the interest of providing fellowship which would normally be provided at church, the elders called us and the new convert who also lives in our complex, and the five of us went to hang out with this other member of our ward. It was a lot of fun, and we mostly spent it discussing various entertainment, including Disney movies, of course.
It was especially interesting because our neighbor, we'll call her Vivi, had some opinions about Disney that actually differed from the same tired old opinions we'd read repeatedly online. She even managed to give a reasonable defense of Merida in the Ariel vs. Merida debate. (She doesn't much care for Brave, either, but she hates Ariel. She gave us some food for thought about that, which we're going to have to consider before deciding whether we should attempt to rebut, or whether we should just say, "Yeah, you're right, but I like The Little Mermaid anyway.")
There was one opinion she got from the internet that she insisted on repeating in its entirety before letting us reply, which was frustrating for us because we already knew what all the arguments were (we'd read the theory, too, was part of why), but it lead to some interesting theories about the Beast's origins. The discussion was about how the Enchantress who turned the prince into a beast in Beauty and the Beast was actually a horrible, cruel, evil woman, based on the fact that, if "Be Our Guest" is to be taken seriously, Beast was only ten years old when the transformation took place. That can actually be chalked up to a disagreement between the lyricist and the movie directors (the former thought he should be a young kid, the latter disagreed but didn't have the lyrics altered, possibly because they didn't notice), but now the lyrics are in there and so is the narration, so what are you gonna do? On the other hand, Lumiere is definitely the type to be prone to exaggeration...
Anyway, even if the prince was ten years old (we like the lyricist, so I like to consider his story ideas), our theory is that he was so spoiled, selfish and unkind (as the narration states), it's likely that his parents didn't know what to do with him, so they shunted him off to one of their unused castles so they wouldn't have to deal with him, and sent the Enchantress along as a last resort. I was thinking about that more last night, and one of the biggest challenges in teaching kids is motivating them to learn the lesson. The theory about the Enchantress being cruel says it's not fair because nobody had really showed the prince kindness until Belle came along, but I think it's possible people were kind to him but he didn't really respond because he didn't care enough. Hence the extra motivation.
Vivi had another theory, which is much darker but very interesting, so I'll tell you all, too. Perhaps the prince that eventually became the beast was an illegitimate child, and so was shunted off to the unused castle to keep him out of the public eye and maintain the royal image. Then the Enchantress was sent along as kind of a magical hitman to make sure he never returned. It's a fun theory, but since she did give him hope of redemption, I'm sticking with ours. (Also, I'm obviously biased.)
After hours of talking, it was time for the elders to go home, so we got up to leave, and then Athena noticed the two copies of Kingdom Hearts II on the shelf. Of course we had to talk about that, and Vivi was annoyed with it because of the portrayals of Vivi and Setzer. She was none too happy about Seifer, either. But we didn't have a lot of time to hash out the details because the elders really had to go (much as they seemed entertained at the prospect of this new debate). She brought up some good points, though (mostly about Setzer), and we're going to have to look into everything before engaging in this battle again.
Today I'm thankful for having a lovely time talking with new friends, getting to watch Sekko Boys, having plans to either go to Disneyland or hang out with Page, getting to watch more My Little Pony last night, and having a pizza waiting for us for dinner.