Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

It may come as a shock to some of you, but in the past couple of weeks, I have been to see not one, but two movies at a movie theatre. I don’t know if this is the beginning of a new phase in my life, or if it was just a matter of propinquity. Even with these two new experiences in film-viewing, I can still count the number of movies I have gone to see in the last decade on the fingers of both hands.

The first occasion happened a week ago Saturday, with my husband. I decided I really didn’t want to make anything for supper that night—I’d been putting in a lot of hours writing, and I was tired. Being the only cook in the house, if I don’t cook it, it doesn’t get cooked. We had some gift cards from Christmas for our favorite steak house, so hubby and I decided to go out to eat. And then, quite unexpectedly, we turned the event into a date night.

You should probably know that for the most part, we don’t do “date night”. It’s a phenomenon of marriage that came into being at a time when it wasn’t necessarily possible for us to choose a regular night of the week to go out. Sure, once in a while we would give the kids their favorite Saturday supper—hot dogs on the grill—and would then grill a couple of steaks for us after they were in bed. So I guess that was a kind of a date night. But with three kids, and our focus on them, financially, there really was nothing much left over for us. And that was fine. Since we are creatures of habit, date night is one habit we never formed. I honestly don’t know if we ever will.

But this particular Saturday night we did have a date night. Instead of dinner and a movie, however, it was a movie and dinner. We get tired earlier than we used to. The idea of going to the two o’clock in the afternoon show and then having a slightly early dinner appealed to us both.

We saw Pixar’s Inside Out. It was a pretty good movie and boy was I glad we didn’t opt for the 3D version.   With all those colors and shapes and the way the characters moved through the “memories”, I might have come out with a headache if I’d seen it in 3D. Not to mention, of course, that there weren’t all that many people in our chosen theater—they had two different showings of the movie—and not any small children at all.

At the restaurant, we indulged in surf and turf (for me) and a huge New Yorker (for David) and at this particular steak house we each almost always select the twice baked potato as our side dish. We didn’t bother with appetizers, but I did succumb to temptation and had their crème Brule for dessert.  Our date ended with our returning home in time for the evening news. Perfect, for us.

Then, just a couple days after that outing, I took my daughter to see the new Magic Mike movie because it was her birthday. Yes, I’d seen the first one, but at home when it came on the movie network. This film was funny in places. I liked the music and the dancing, and the plot—well, such as it was. And I may be sixty-one, but there’s nothing wrong with looking at buff men in thongs.

I don’t really think this going to the multi-plex in the next town is necessarily going to become a new trend for me, but it’s nice that since I’ve been put on a new medication, that I can count on being able to go places more often. There aren’t too many new releases coming up from filmmakers that I want to go see—I guard my time as carefully as I can. I want to avoid as much as possible having an experience and regretting the time spent, time that can never be retrieved.

My husband is a true lover of the cinema and with our daughter will go most Mondays in the winter time, and see anything from a comedy to a science fiction doomsday thriller, to an action-packed car-chase extravaganza. He freely admits that some of the movies he’s seen over the years have been stinkers, and he doesn’t mind that overmuch.

I guess I’m just a little too picky. When the kids were small, and before this demanding career of mine, we would rent movies every weekend, and that’s how we’d spend Friday and Saturday nights, at home with the kids sometimes watching two movies in a single night!

These days, unless I’m treating someone else, a movie really has to draw me in order for me to invest my time in watching it, whether out or at home on pay-per-view. In recent memory, the two I went to see that come to mind are Lincoln, and The King’s Speech. Both were exceptional movies, and I was glad that I had gone to see them.

Otherwise, I’d really rather be reading a book. Or better yet, writing one.

Love,
Morgan

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