Mommy’s Night Out

This past Wednesday night, Chris convinced me to take a night off and go to the movies. Actually, he did everything but force my arms in to my coat, throw my purse at me, and shove me out the door. For some reason, I resisted committing to going out that night, despite the fact that he had been attempting to convince me I needed a break since the previous Monday.

Max has been fussy this week, probably due to the traveling and general hullabaloo which is Christmas. It may be the “most wonderful time of the year” to Johnny Mathis and many others. Kids may think they like it. But honestly, it seems to stress them out more than anything else. I really thought my niece Cailyn was going to explode. Secretly, she wanted to explode, because at least then the wrapping paper might be blown off the presents that had been sitting under the tree and TORTURING her with their mysteriousness for weeks. Or maybe it was days. I’m not sure how long my mom had them under there.

Anyway, Chris was right about me needing a break, but Max was once again fussing when he got home and I felt like I couldn’t possibly leave the baby with his father when he was fussing! Who ever heard of such a thing? Leaving him with his other parent? The “not-the-momma”? I would probably be stripped of the title of Momma if I did such a thing.

He finally got me out the door and I arrived at the Alamo Lake Creek, thinking it would be easy to get in to the movie of my choice with two minutes to showtime, since it was a Wednesday. Wrong. EVERY MOVIE I WANTED TO SEE WAS SOLD OUT. And that list constituted almost all of the movies the theater was showing. I couldn’t wait for a later show, because I didn’t want to stay out that late. After asking the ticket person for verification that, indeed, most of the movies were sold out (Prompting her to remind everyone to look at the screen before approaching the ticket window. Hello, everyone in line was ignoring that warning, because the screen was flashing too fast, which was why they kept asking and annoying her.), I found out that the 7:30 showing of Did You Hear About the Morgans? was still available. I was feeling kind of lukewarm about that one, so I stepped out of line to think and call my husband. The only spot I could find to call Chris where I wasn’t assaulted by secondhand smoke was in the corner by the front door where loud Nirvana music was blaring.

Me: Honey,  you’re not going to believe this. ALL of the movies are sold out. (Not true, but more dramatic.)

Chris: What? What are you going to do? (He then proceeds to list many suitable alternatives to each of which I respond with a wan and self-pitying “Maybe. I don’t know.”)

We hang up after I have made him feel suitably guilty for doing absolutely nothing but try to give me an evening off. I start back to my car through the cloud of secondhand smoke and stop about halfway there. Should I go to the 7:30? I would actually have time to order food before the movie starts, with the lights on, and maybe jot down some blog ideas while I waited for the movie to start. I decided no, that I didn’t want to wait forty-five minutes for the movie to start and I DEFINITELY couldn’t wait fifteen minutes for the movie to start seating and then wait to have my order taken and then wait even longer for food. My crazy breast-feeding momma appetite would not allow that.

I got back to my car, waaaaay at the back of the parking lot (Did I mention that it was below 50 degrees outside, which is the equivalent of an Arctic freeze to me, since I have never been north of Albuquerque during the winter and I spent most of the week I was there inside?), jotted down the blog ideas, and then had second thoughts. Maybe I should go. I didn’t want to go to a restaurant without a book to read or a person to talk to. I didn’t want to go to the bookstore, because I needed a decent dinner. I didn’t want to drive to another Alamo or other movie theater, because they were probably just as crowded. I decided that if I found a closer parking space, it was a sign I should go.

I didn’t find a closer space, but I went in anyway, screaming “satisficer” in my head the whole way. (One of my new mantras, thanks to Parenting magazine. It means to be happy with what you get, instead of making yourself crazy always trying to make everything perfect.) I had popcorn, an Italian soda (I wanted a margarita, since I have not had one since before I got pregnant, but I was driving home and the Alamo Lake Creek apparently makes their margaritas with wine or something crazy like that, since they have no liquor license.) , a “Diggler dog”, and fries. The food was awesome (Although the popcorn was way too salty.) and the movie was pleasant and entertaining. I don’t know why the reviews have been so bad. Then, I do like silly, sappy rom-coms. The sillier and sappier, the better.

Alas, I did not make my post-movie trip to the bookstore, since I went to a later movie. I was too anxious to see Max by the time I got out. That is saying something since I have not been to a bookstore since he was born. I am the bibliest of bibliophiles. I don’t just love to read books, I love the actual physical books themselves. The smells, the cover art and dust jackets for different editions, the little notes that previous owners wrote in them. My husband doesn’t have to worry about me buying expensive clothes, jewelry, or makeup. He has to worry about me getting on ebay and buying lots of obscure and/or expensive L. M. Montgomery books. (But, honey, it was the 50th impression of the 38th edition of Anne of Green Gables in Polish!! Come on!) Or at least, he would have to worry about it if I hadn’t banned myself from ebay after racking up a pretty nice collection (and the attendant credit card bills) in grad school. (It was for my work.)

Hopefully, the next Mommy’s Night Out will be about my trip to a bookstore. Or maybe I will go some afternoon and take Max with me. He has never been to a bookstore and it’s high time his education began.

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