I went to a movie tonight.
You’re probably saying, big deal. Who cares? People go to the movies all the time, and you’re right.
But not me. I hadn’t been to a movie since 2010, the year bed bugs were becoming a national issue. No joke (my last movie outing, not the bed bug epidemic which was also, no joke).
The last movie I went to, in a cinema, was The Town, in Framingham, Massachusetts. And like tonight, the memorable correlation was spontaneity. Again I’d not been to a movie in ages, worked too much and didn’t think about such recreational pleasures.
At that time, I traveled for work 85% of my life and my socialization revolved around business events, customer dinners and family. When I wasn’t doing that, I was sleeping – or rather, crashing and burning. I never viewed it as a sacrifice, I made it all work. But looking back, it did cost me some things. We did share some memorable vacations in between, milestone occasions and have fun, but it’s all a blur today. 100 miles per hour, full speed and limited sense of self.
Fast forward my title may have changed, but my work ethic is the same. Combine that and a long-term relationship with someone who wanted to do nothing, along with the COVID years – this girl didn’t get out much.
But tonight, I went to the movies.
My parents stopped by for dinner and over meal conversations, my mother and I were suddenly signing up for movie tickets. I visited the site, navigated the clicks and selects, then found myself with movie tickets. Why not?
I found myself anxious at first – how can I do this? I had a night of work ahead of me. I couldn’t afford this time.
Then I contemplated, and exhaled. Life is short. I’m so fortunate to have my parents in my life. And I will get the work done – always do, always did, but somewhere along the line, I forgot how to live.
So tonight, I took a break and went to the movies with my mother. I walked into the theater and confessed to the young workers that I hadn’t been to the movie in 12 years and didn’t know what the heck I was doing. They were warm and welcoming, despite the inside smiles and I’m sure, WTH?!
I was blown away by today’s movie theater. No more sticky floors. No more flip seats. Such luxuries at our disposable.
Two ladies with a vodka bottle, chatting away.
A recliner with heated seats.
And loud. So loud. My mother was thrilled, while I still wonder if I’ll hear again tomorrow.
What fun we had, because I allowed spontaneity to take charge. I said what the heck, let’s do it, because believe me, that suits my personality – or always did. It works for me – and half of my family. Sometimes the other half.
But I’d lost sight of that, what that was like, and how much I loved that.
Tonight, I lived. May sound so small to you, but it was huge to me.
My father and I go out for breakfast weekly. I told my mother tonight that we will need, at minimum, a monthly movie date – previews were great (and so was the sinful, salty popcorn). My parents and I spend ample time together, but that will never be enough when I look back. Our special dates are aside from our daily visits. I cherish every moment.
I got back to work when my parents left this evening, but I was so grateful for the magic of spontaneity.
I spent many years with a partner who subtly and unknowingly extinguished my passion and desire to live – but I didn’t die. I buried the relationship, then I came back to life, in every way.
Never dismiss spontaneity. It’s magical.