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Why My Husband Will Not Go To the Movies With Me

March 6, 2009

I am so lucky to have a mother and father-in-law who are willing and enthusiastic about keeping the kids EVERY stinking Friday night so that Duane and I can have Date Night. Even though lately, more often than not, Date Night consists of us grabbing a meal together and watching something from Netflix, or even going our separate ways—Duane off to fish or hunt and I off with a girlfriend—it has been such an amazing blessing.


They have been there doing this since Autumn was only six weeks old, keeping them through the night and well into Saturday. Not only has it created an incredible relationship between the grandparents and the children, but it gives us some much-needed time to decompress, to get our minds wrapped around whatever’s coming up for the weekend, and to cancel out the noise of the week that is thankfully past. We can talk without interruption, eat a good meal without coaching the two offspring on restaurant manners, and, if Duane is in a the right mood, maybe even watch a movie.


That’s what we did tonight…dinner at Shakers, followed by Valkyrie at the Dollar Theater (which now costs $2.00, but who’s quibbling?). Duane is not a movie-goer, while I could happily watch a couple a day, given the right circumstances. I can entice, cajole, or just flat-out command his presence at maybe one every four to six weeks, but most of the time I have to go alone or with a girlfriend, which is usually fine. The girlfriends don’t generally want to see things like Valkyrie or Quantum of Solace, though—they tend to prefer the Chick Flick, which is great most of the time. However, being a somewhat odd female, I actually happen to equally enjoy action movies and those with heavier plotlines. So I have to bring out the guns every now and then and make Duane accompany me.


We arrived at the movie in plenty of time to find a couple of seats and settle ourselves. The lights went out pretty much right on cue, the previews rolled and then ended, and then again right on cue, a couple of couples arrived around five minutes late, one set excusing themselves to fumble past us to the seats beside us, the other fumbling past the people in front of us. We suffered through it, hitching our legs up to give them the space necessary to squeeze past, and refocused our attention on the movie.


After a few minutes the girl beside me stood up, excused herself, and fumbled past us to go to the bathroom. When she returned and repeated the whole process, only giggling loudly this time because she wasn’t sure she’d found the right row. “Rodney?” she called, standing right beside us. “Is that you? I can’t see you!”


By this time Duane was getting a little agitated. He doesn’t like crowds of people in the first place, and all of this was just icing on his people cake. He leaned toward me. In a loud whisper he asked, “Have I told you that I don’t like people? This is why I like watching movies at home.”


I stifled a grin. Around this point in the movie, Stauffenberg had lost his hand and a few fingers and was struggling with his clothing. The chick next to me exhaled a loud, breathy, gag-gravating sigh… “Oh, look! He can’t button his shirt!” I wondered if I was going to need to break out the tissues. But no…she ended up talking more than she watched and tissues were unnecessary. I breathed my own sigh.

A short while later we heard the muted, musical tones of a cell phone. This is a particular pet peeve of mine, particularly with the advent of the very pointed commercials that precede the movies that ask you to silence your cell phones, because “it takes many calls to make a movie, and just one to ruin it.” I guess this woman missed that commercial, though—she was too busy getting there late. This particular ring tone went on and on and on—it was an Energizer Ring Tone! I figured maybe she didn’t know how to silence the ringer, because after a minute it rang again. (And rang, and rang some more.) I could, after a moment, see the glow of the luminous screen, and then she was whispering to her husband, “So and so’s on the road.”


Duane leaned in close and whispered, “Have I mentioned that I don’t like people?”


But wait. There’s more. In the Land of Two Dollar-Dollar Movies the fun is never-ending. In Valkyrie, an officer opened a missive and scanned it briefly before folding it quickly and putting it away. I had a hard time holding back my snort of laughter when the chick beside me said anxiously, “but wait, I didn’t get all of that! What did it say?”


Her boyfriend replied quietly but with a note in his voice that said “been here, done this many times before,” “It’s okay. It was in German, honey.”


And that, friends, is why I in all likelihood will not be getting my husband back to the movies any time in the next decade. J

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