I'm dying to write about my belly dance class on Friday, but my time to blog is limited today, so I'll save it for tomorrow :) I did want to write quickly about my experience taking Hank to see Toy Story 3 this weekend, since it has been quite some time since I've been to the theater to see a first run movie.
It was a bit of a culture shock :) I wanted to treat Hank for his graduation, and believe me, when you find out what I'm about to tell you about how much things cost me, you will agree with me that this was a *treat*.
I first got the idea to take him when I saw a commercial for the movie, and noted that it was playing at our local IMAX theater. I've never been to the IMAX theater (and frankly, didn't really know what IMAX even meant) but I figured it was some sort of extra super special 3D. The seedling of idea had been planted in my mind, so the next day I logged onto Fandango.com. I wanted to get 2 tickets for the Saturday matinee show. Well.
I picked my date and time, and waited for the price to materialize. I figured that it would be more than I wanted to pay (because first run movies have been like that for me for many, many years; it's why I haven't been to see one in, well, many, many years. We wait for the second run theater, or the Redbox). The price comes up. I nearly fell off of my office chair. $15.50 for me, and $13.50 for Hank. FOR A MATINEE. Whoa baby. It took me about 5 minutes to even recover from seeing that up on my computer screen, let alone have it be charged to my credit card, so I demurred. I checked at our local Regal and found out the scoop: matinee tickets for adults are $8 (sigh) and tickets for children all the time are $8 (another sigh). To see it in 3D, it's an additional $3.50 per ticket. So, it would be $11.50 each for Hank and I to see it in 3D.
I did a lot of grumbling, but I ended up buying the 3D tickets. For $3.50 per ticket, I figured it would be worth it. I then found out that Fandago charges you $1 per ticket as a "convenience charge," *rolls eyes*. Like I said, a *treat*.
Saturday rolled around, and my mom ended up joining us. We proceed past the box office (the benefit of Fandango) and move to the concession stand. I'm certain you know what will transpire at this point. Yes, sir. 1 child's package (little popcorn with fruit snack and drink), 2 medium Diet Coke's and 1 medium popcorn for my mom and I to share later, we had to shell out **$24**. So, all in all, for 3 3D tickets, and those mild concessions, the afternoon cost us $61. This my friends, is why we never go to the movies. I mean, that just about takes my breath away. How could a family of 4 ever afford to do this? Crazy talk, I tell you, absolute crazy talk.
Loaded down with our snacks and trailing popcorn in our wake, we get to the theater entrance and hand the guy our pre-printed tickets. He gives us 3 pairs of 3D glasses. I had no idea that 3D movies still involved 3D glasses. This demonstrates the depth of my knowledge of modern cinema.
We get into the theater, get adjusted in our seats (extremely plush, I have to admit) and promptly spill a quarter of our popcorn bucket. I clean up what I can, but before I get too far, the trailers start. I spend the 20 full minutes of trailer time assisting Hank to get started on his children's snack tray, cleaning off our seats, and discreetly fetching popcorn that had gone down the front of my blouse.
Finally, the movie begins and I settle in with the remaining popcorn and my gigantic Diet Coke. The movie, I will say first off, was *excellent*. Excellent! Worth even $11.50. Hank was transfixed for the duration, and my mom and I laughed and cried where appropriate through the whole thing. And seeing a movie in 3D was a great novelty for both Hank and I. It really added to the experience. I kept sneaking peeks at him munching his popcorn with his glasses perched adorably on his nose.
As the movie begins, we see our beloved toys abandoned in Andy's old toy box, longing for his love once again. As Andy packs for college, my bladder situation code alert is:
Beige - Neutral
I ordered a *medium* size drink. This sucker could have watered a village. I would have been thrilled to have had less liquid if I could have paid less than, you know, $5.75 or whatever freakish price they charged me. But me being me, the Coke was there, and I was nibbling salty popcorn, so naturally, I drank it all.
About halfway through the movie, as our toys are getting situated in the daycare center to which they've been donated, my bladder code is:
Yellow - Slightly Full but Well Contained
Well. By time I was sobbing over the fate of those precious toys and hoping for a happy ending to come swiftly, my bladder code was :
Red - Full Full Full
As the credits rolled, I found that there is a code past Red:
Flashing Lights Disco Style - Can Barely Walk
It took every ounce of self control that I had not to mow people down in my quest to reach the ladies room. GOOD HEAVENS. I have never experienced that level of discomfort, even when heavily pregnant. This is what drinking theater-sized beverages will reduce you to.
Once inside, I longed to put Hank in his own stall, but one minor thing prevented me from doing that. What, you ask? Well, as we approached the ladies room, I heard a sound like what can only be compared to a landing 747 coming from the restroom. It was the hand dryer. No normal hand dryer, this model. This guy dried your hands with the force of of a cyclone, and I saw the words "SUPER DRYER" on its surface. Frankly, it kind of freaked me out.
And it was SO LOUD that everyone in the ladies room had their hands over their ears. I've never heard anything like it. It was so loud that I was afraid to leave Hank in his own stall for fear that I wouldn't hear him if he wandered out.
Thus, I had to bring him in with me and alleviate my suffering while trying to keep him from (a) opening the door, or (b) dismantling the toilet paper holder.
The afternoon of a parent. Glamour, all glamour.