For some reason, going to the movies just isn’t the same any more for me. Not being a movie critic here or anything, but the experience just doesn’t seem to hold that special something anymore for me. Not sure why.
Throughout my lifetime, going to the movies has always held such a special place in my heart. I loved the forced stillness and quiet of the theater, sitting there waiting for the lights to dim while you ever-so-slowly chew your popcorn. Being afraid of even the slightest sound of munching will shatter the quiet place has been created.
As I write this, I can’t help but think of all of the special memories I have of going to the movies. Interestingly enough, the movies themselves aren’t that special but it’s other things that immediately come to mind. Things such as going to Rambo III back in 1982 with my best friend Wilma Jean (I really only just called her Jean but her real name was Wilma Jean and for dramatic purposes I thought it fit nicely here). Needless to say, the sad and heartfelt scene where Mick was passing and Rocky was so distraught didn’t have the effect on us two high school freshmen as it did on the more mature adults in attendance. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Not sure why but it was that full belly laugh that came over the both of us at the exact same time. It was magic. Movie magic.
Back then, going to the movies was an event I looked forward to all through the week. No matter what type of movie was playing. And I can even say that this routine followed me through a big part of my life. I know that when you get older more things can and do often occupy your life but going to the moves was often an escape for me. When I was married to my first husband and he was off at medical school; I saw him probably a total of one night per week. This, coupled with the fact that we had chosen to live in an isolated farm house, going to the movies by myself became even a two or three time a week event for me. Those movies helped get me through the loneliness that the 342 farm cats that lived in the barn couldn’t.
And when I found husband #2 and our children were born, going to the movies by myself was a luxury for me that although didn’t come as often as I would have liked, still allowed that precious alone time that I needed to remain sane. It’s funny. As a young mother, I would need to escape all of the crying and pooping at home for a brief time (that even included dealing with husband #2) only to go to a movie filled with loud car crashes and fart jokes but still come out feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Anyway, those times were precious to me. Going to the movies was special.
Funny story. When our boys were very young, my husband’s high school reunion came around and we made plans to attend. Now, at this point in our life, we were living paycheck to paycheck. Actually, being honest, we were living more like paycheck to paycheck and subsidized by precious spare change located in pants pockets and couch cushions. Anyway, I was nervous going to the reunion but in reality, I had already planned on going to a movie on that Sunday and had been looking forward to it all week and I was afraid the reunion was going to fuck that up for me. It was going to be my down time. Couldn’t tell you what the movie was, hell I probably couldn’t have told you what movie I was going to see then, it was just the fact that I had that 2 hours of down time planned for only me and I didn’t want to lose that opportunity.
On our way to the reunion, I kept harping on my hubby that I needed only $10.00 to go to the show the next day so I was begging him not to spend all of our surplus cash. I kept envisioning him either spending all our money except $10.00 and then I would be the one to have to decide to leave us entirely wiped out for the week so that I could still go, or I would not be able to go at all. It consumed me. All through the reunion I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. And yes, there he was, standing up at the bar with all of his friends that he hadn’t seen in 10 years, buying them drinks. Laughing and having the type of fun he was supposed to be having at his reunion. At one point he was even dancing on the tables acting as if he was a stripper. I couldn’t do anything but sit miserably on my own in the corner. Looking back now I can only imagine the impression that his classmates got of me that night. All alone, in the corner, looking as if I wanted to kill my husband and being ridiculously selfish. Great impression. At the end of the night, hubby was so drunk, the hotel staff had to help me get him into our back seat carrying a large salad bowl under his chin so that he wouldn’t ruin their carpet. When we arrived home, and I pulled into the garage, he was snoring loudly sprawled out so I just left him there in disgust. No, I didn’t leave the motor running. I thought about it but …. well, the main thing is that I didn’t.
The next morning, after getting the boys fed and started on the day and finally having a chance to sit down, here comes the hubs from the garage looking like hammered shit. Hair in ten different directions, shirt untucked, pants dirty. He stopped in the doorway and just looked at me. All he could offer was that he was so sorry and that he would make it up to me and take care of the boys all day so that I could hole up in our bedroom and read if I wanted to. Really? I remember asking how that usually works out for me when I close the bathroom door just to poop. He had no response. I told him to go take a shower, he stunk. Wasn’t I a bitch!!??!!?
Anyway, it wasn’t five minutes later that he comes running out of the back bedroom flashing all kinds of money at me, babbling like an idiot. I couldn’t believe it. There were tens and twenties all fanned out waving majestically back and forth. What in the ass?! Well, apparently, when Magic Mike was up on the tables, drunken classmates had been stuffing his pants with moolah!!!! The movie gods had intervened. Sitting there in the movies that afternoon, and by the way I think I splurged and got Milk Duds too that day, it was just heaven.
But movie experiences just don’t happen like that anymore to me. Is it because I can afford the ticket now without breaking the bank, or sending my hubby out to stand on the corner and offer his body for cash? Is it the quality of the movies? Is it that I have matured and can find other ways to relax? Whatever the reason, it makes me a little sad.
They say that movie theaters are a dying breed. Hmmm …….