After my post on Star Wars, it is important to clarify my love/hate relationship with going to the movies, especially with my family!
On the one hand, I love being taken away by a film. There is something about the sound and the big screen which transports me directly into the story and I lose all track of time and space. I cry, laugh, hide my eyes, give muttered advice to the characters and feel my heart race when they run, jump or otherwise exert themselves. It’s great!
However, on the dark side there remains the puritanical, Victorian devil who sits on my shoulder just waiting for me to want to go to the movies. “Movies are so long and expensive and there could be a shooter or an earthquake or the theater could be a breeding ground for Legionnaires disease,” she loves to remind me.
So, here I have this tug of war going on already and then you throw in one of my loved ones going with me and….bummer. God knows I am blessed with a wonderful family, but they can be poor movie dates.
My father – hasn’t been to a movie in years due to illness, but when he did go he spent most of his time discipling other movie goers. After years of being a teacher it seems he just couldn’t help himself from demanding silence from strangers. “Go to the bathroom, if you can’t stop coughing! If you can’t open the candy quietly, put it away! No more getting up and down!” Yep, fun!
My mother – always wants to see some foreign film or films which are excruciatingly depressing or any combination of both. Imagine a Norwegian movie with subtitles about children watching their parents killed by Nazis and their puppies drowned and she is all over it and if you put a Golden Globe nominee in there, she practically camps out at the theater. Then she gets bored…ever time. When she gets bored she begins to clean out her purse and then spends a lot of the movie asking me what is going on. “Is the man in the brown suit her brother? Where did Tommy’s little dog go?” I’m in the next seat sobbing uncontrollably.
My husband– we can never agree on the movie and one of us always ends up honing our passive aggressive skill set at the theater. He rolls his eyes and sighs heavily or laughs at inappropriate moments. I cross my arms and make snarky comments about the special affects, “Wow! That looked sooo real.” We have not been to the theater together since 2003.
My oldest son– at some point in the movie, he will just suddenly want to leave. He has never explained this odd phenomena. I can’t tell if he is suddenly bored, upset or experiencing an epiphany, but just out of the blue he will say, “Can we leave?” Another person I have not been to the movies with in years.
My youngest son– he is by far the best date, with his only downfall being he loves the concession stand a little too much. He is not a big kid, yet he can put down an extra large popcorn, an oil drum of soda and a 2lb box of Junior Mints like a Sumo wrestler. And if you get him a small, he devours it before the previews and then continues to badger me for more.
All of this is in contrast to me. The perfect movie goer.
I make sure we arrive well in advance of the showtime; usually at least 45mins to an hour.
I will make sure you have your order ready to go at the concession stand, by making you repeat it to me when we are in the position of next one up in line. If you are unable to decide, I will make the choice for you and expect you to thank me for it.
I will have selected the optimum seating despite your preference for either sitting in the back or in the front. Well, you want to enjoy the movie don’t you?
I will help you open and place all of your snacks correctly. Drinks on the right hand, box of candy on the left- opened and ready to go.
I will ask you to produce your cell phone in order to make sure it is silenced and offer to keep if for you- just in case you have the urge to check something while the movie is playing.
I will remind you not to get comfortable in your recliner yet as there may be others who will be needing to access the row. When the lights begin to darken I will help you get into position, so you don’t bother me with all that annoying moving back and forth.
I will critique the previews with a simple “yes” or “no”, related to whether or not we should see the upcoming film.
Once the movie begins, I will reenforce the “no talking” rule by refusing to speak to you at all. If you happen to choke on a popcorn kernel, please remember to use the international sign for choking as I will not pay any attention to your pawing my arm or gasping for air. Remember, I am watching the movie which costs me time and money.
No, I don’t go to the movies that much anymore….why do you ask?