Video Review: Lainey Wilson “Things A Man Oughta Know”

A thirtysomething woman sits against the wall in the kitchen in the dark. She thinks of her wedding day with thirtysomething man ten years ago. They ran in the fields after saying their vows. She puts her hands to her mouth while he smiles as they watch their two-year-old daughter walk in the grass. The police sirens flash on the driveway and she runs to the door.

Lainey Wilson leans against the column on her porch in the afternoon. The thirtysomething woman carries their two-year-old and lets her walk on the floor as they walk inside the home. Wilson sits at the kitchen table. The thirtysomething man kisses the thirtysomething woman’s head and pats the two-year-old’s head. The thirtysomething woman calls out, “love you!” as the thirtysomething man walks out the door. He picks their two-year-old girl up. The two-year-old girl laughs as the thirtysomething woman holds her in the kitchen. \

The thirtysomething man drives up to the job site. The foreman informs him there’s no work. Their girl, now 8 years old, places plates on the kitchen table. The thirtysomething woman shows him their unpaid bills and tells him. “we can get through this.” He walks out the door and she asks him, “where are you going?” She follows him outside and calls out to him, “don’t go” as he drives off.

In the car, the thirtysomething man and his friend put on black masks as they sit in the parking lot. They run into the liquor store. The thirtysomething man shouts at the clerk to put the money in the bag. The clerk shoots at them as they get into the car. Wilson stands in the liquor store’s parking lot. The thirtysomething woman answers the phone and drops the receiver. She tosses some papers off the desk and cries as she sits against the wall in the kitchen.

The thirtysomething man sits on the ground, his hands raised as the police arrest him. He avoids the eye of the thirtysomething woman and their 8-year-old daughter. Their 8-year-old daughter runs to him on the lawn and watches the police officers put in the backseat of the squad car. As an adult, Wilson stands in the same spot on the lawn.

Rating: 5/5

Lainey Wilson unpacks the groceries on the kitchen counter. As she puts away the lunchmeat, she asks her mom if she needs anything else done. Her mom says she’s good and thanks her again. Wilson runs the water in the sink and it gurgles. Wilson asks her how long the sink has been acting up. Her mom shrugs, saying it started about two weeks ago. Wilson says she’s going to car to get her tools.

Wilson shows a photo of her new home to her dad in the visiting area of the jail. She explains the countertop had been her favorite part to do. Her father tells her she did a good job. She tells him Mom is doing better after her surgery. He stares at the floor. She sits with him in silence until the guard informs her it’s time go. Her dad had been in and out of jail since the robbery. She believed the dad she knew was still there, somewhere. He just didn’t know how to be that person anymore.

Wilson sorts through the bills on the counter. She pays off her mom’s electric and gas bill on the app on her phone. Her mom had forgotten to pay for it a few times. The lights didn’t turn on one day when she came over. She had checked everything. Her mom mentioned the bills and said she’d remember for next time. However, she’d just worry if it happened again. She’d been taking care of her mom since she was eight years old. After her dad went to jail, it was just them. They cried on the couch as they thought of him sitting in the cell. She held her mom’s hand as they went to court and listened to the judge sentence him. Her dad her it was her house now as he read his statement. She didn’t quite know what it meant at the time. But she knew her mom needed her. She had to do what she needed to do.

Directors: Sean O’Halloran & Chris Ashlee Year: 2021


Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.