The other night, I started cooking dinner or thinking about cooking dinner for my son and myself.

The other night, I started cooking dinner or thinking about cooking dinner for my son and myself.  I shouldn’t have, but I turned the television on and sat down in my chair and put my feet up.  My dogs seemed to be happy I was sitting down.

The television was still on the Hallmark Movie Channel from my early morning rendezvous with Ben Matlock (you know, Andy Griffith in the 1980’s).

I knew better.

It was around 5 in the afternoon and I was watching the Hallmark channel.  Men and dogs aren’t supposed to watch this channel.  The dogs and I knew that, but we did it anyway.

People who review Hallmark movies usually use words like “sweet” and “happy.”  They also say things like “Slow and predictable…”  You think?  Personally, I like knowing what’s going to happen, especially when I know it’s going to be good.

If a cake looks like it’s going to be chocolate, I want it to be chocolate – not some sort squished up bananas or other fruity filling that I have to guess what it actually is, or God forbid coconut.  I only eat coconut when I’m mad.

After watching a few Hallmark movies over the course of the past week, I come away with that song from the Country Music group Shenandoah on my mind.  You know the one – “I Wanna be Loved like that.” It talks about Mamas, Daddies, Natalie Wood, James Dean and promises you can’t take back. 

Hallmark movies are actually pretty good movies to watch while cooking or thinking about cooking dinner.  They all last two hours, which includes about 30 minutes of commercials usually loaded more toward the end of the movie to make you wait to see what you know is definitely going to happen.  You need to use low heat and walk back and forth to the kitchen a lot.

The commercials on the Hallmark channel are also usually “slow and predictable.”  After watching a Hallmark movie, one usually has a craving to sit in a Craftmatic bed eating Smuckers jelly out of the jar with a plastic spoon with Acne medicine on your face while filling out an application to join AARP.  You feel a little guilty about eating the Smuckers right out of the jar with the plastic spoon, so you call the 800 number for Nutrisystem.

In the middle of all this, you still feel good and you want to be loved like the folks in the Hallmark movie.  You want everything to be alright and for this two-hour period, you’d bet the mortgage that it will be.

The movie I was watching was about a nice looking lady who had “gone home” to spread her estranged father’s ashes per his wishes and have a couple of his feuding friends sing while she tossed the ashes up into the rural Massachusetts wind. 

After reading about the movie, I figured out that it was actually filmed in Canada, but it seemed more like Ireland. Everyone had Irish accents.  It seems I’ve heard there are a lot of Irish folks in Massachusetts.

The location doesn’t matter and please don’t think I didn’t like this movie.  I loved it.  Was it hokey?  You better know it was and it made you want to be there right in the middle of it.

Have you ever stood just stood and read Hallmark cards at the store?  All those one liners?  All those cards with nice love words oozing out of them?  You say things to yourself like, “I wish someone would say that to me,”  “Now that would crank my tractor, “ or “I wanna be loved like that.”

Hallmark movies are full of these zingers that should be in Hallmark cards.  It makes you think about the “Chicken and the Egg.”  You know – did they make the movie from the cards or make the cards from the movie.

At one point in the movie, the lady who you know will fall for the hometown fellow tells her friend’s husband, “Sometimes a woman just needs you to show her that she means more to you than anything in the world.”  Hallmark movies have a tendency to sometimes bash men.  I understand, every once in a while they need to put the shoe on the other foot.

Cate with a “C” is the lady there to dispose of her father’s ashes; she is engaged to an old fogey named Stewart who is 20 years older than she.  How do I say this?  Stewart is a backside of a donkey or something like that.  He has to be.  He’s going to lose.  You know he will lose.

The winner is Connor.  He wears his collar up once in a while, has a dog and smiles like he’s just eaten a jar of Smuckers jelly with a plastic spoon.  During commercials, you want to go to the powder room and look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are a Connor, rather than the fiancé that acts like he is experiencing some of the undesirable side effects of the medication from the commercials.

I was boiling carrots on low, I love carrots.

Before Connor shows back up in New York City with his dog to woo Cate with a “C” back to rural Massachusetts, you get all of the other things that have to be in a Hallmark movie. 

Just like country music songs need tractors, cheating, drinking, dying and cowboys, Hallmark movies need wicker picnic baskets, a fair or festival of some sort, some mist or fog, beds covered with chenille bedspreads, birds (seagulls work nice), porches and roads that look like they couldn’t handle two cars side by side.

Before the end, you’ll see some more acne medication commercials and more than likely one for a purple pill that could cause diarrhea.  They don’t want you to experience the side effects, but they warn you that you could. You don’t worry about acne or diarrhea, because you know everything in the movie is going to be alright.

I put sugar in my carrots I was cooking, because Mama would when no one was looking and Hallmark movies make me think of Mama.

Cate with a “C” ends up telling her fiancé (the old donkey’s derriere) that she wants kids and a dog.  He understands that means she does not want him.  Of course she needs to kiss Connor, the hometown boy on the mouth, make his collar stand up, pat his dog on the head and go dream under a chenille bedspread.

What does one take from all this?

I think if you want to be loved like they get loved in a Hallmark Channel movie, you need a dog, a wicker picnic basic and someone to shoo some seagulls your way. Just make sure you have the lid on the Smuckers jelly when they do the shooing of the seagulls.

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