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Going to the Movies

I wrote a “guest blog” a couple of weeks ago while Gretchen was attending her Woman’s retreat. I debated myself quite a long time before finally deciding to post. (Precedent can be a dangerous adventure if one is not willing to take on the task again). But I decided the need to tell Joel’s story outweighed my desire to hide behind the title of “lifenut weblog administrator.” So, after another debate—this one much shorter, and much more one sided (I was after all debating Gretchen), here I am again.

You see, Gretchen last wrote in anticipation of taking Tommy to his first movie. Not being of sound mind, I chose to sit next to him at the movie. Since she was separated from him by exactly four seats she judged it best I should write about Tommy today. (I still think it’s punishment for having stolen her moment). The greatest misfortune is you (the reader) are now forced to sit in punishment as well. I apologize for making you endure my prose; and I promise to return you to your regular author as soon as possible. So, let’s get to it…

Movie going is serious business. It’s important to make the experience as perfect as possible: You need to make sure to get your tickets well in advance. You need to get to the theater early so you can find the good seats in the center of the theater. You need to have your popcorn hot and buttered. You need your Junior Mints…

I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed straight for the computer. (If you can blog in your PJ’s why not buy movie tickets in them too?). I quickly found a convenient showing at our local theater, and was nearing purchase commitment when Gretchen calmly commented from behind my shoulder, “A six dollar surcharge! That’s an entire ticket!” 90 seconds later I was dressed, and heading out the door.

Tommy didn’t want to go to the movie—not at first, anyway. He spent the morning answering, “I don’t wanna go.” each time he was asked if he was excited about the movie. The other kids were very excited. Given the number of us this time around, we figured it would be a good idea to get tickets in advance. (Do theaters make group rates available to large families)?

At 3:00 we all left for the theater—including Tommy, who was still in a very serious mood. My sister and her son came too. We all met in the parking lot and made our way inside. The first stop was the concession stand. Tommy wandered slowly through the lobby studying it with concerned awe. The other kids swirled around him like little cotton-candy whirlwinds.

Popcorn and drinks in hand, we pushed on to the theater; and to find some seats. We promptly found a row—and filled it. (Remember, I sat next to Tommy). The usual commercials played. We passed out popcorn and explained our complex drink sharing scheme—okay, my scheme. Tommy sat and silently munched popcorn. He wore his trademark chicken hawk scowl while he took in the surroundings.

I leaned over and whispered, “See the big, white screen. It’s like a giant TV.” Tommy just stared straight ahead. I continued my introduction, “Pretty soon the movie’s going to start. The lights are going to turn off, and then you’ll need to be very quiet. It’s not nice to talk during movies; and you need to sit very still.”

Almost immediately, the lights dimmed. Tommy immediately brightened up. He clapped his hands and shouted, “Yeah!” Fifteen minutes and ten trailers later the movie finally started.
The boy in front us leaned over to ask his dad a question. As the dad responded, Tommy whispered down to them, “Shut-up. You need to be quiet.” I looked over at him. He was back in serious mode, but this time with an excited sparkle in his eyes. He spent the entire movie like that—very serious, and clearly very excited.

Tommy proved to be a moviegoer after my own heart. He took the experience just seriously enough to immerse himself in the film; and he clearly enjoyed himself. I have to admit he brought to mind all of the movies I saw with my dad—the two of us there in concentrated enjoyment. Tommy will easily carry on the family legacy. All I gotta do is teach him to sit through the credits.

1 comment to Going to the Movies

  • Momofmopsy

    Ha, Ha, I can just picture you all. I glad Tommy enjoyed his first movie and I’de like to have him around when there is a noisy theatre. Who’s going to talk back to a little chicken hawk??

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