American Pastimes Are Expensive

Photo: Summer is for chasing lightning bugs. Gone are the days of pickle jars with holes in the lid, though. The lightning bugs my boys caught luxuriated in a mesh-netted container, so comfortable and breathable that they actually survived through the night! 2018 never ceases to amaze!


I should start this post by saying that I rarely go to the movie theater. Rarely is a movie worth it to me to go through the torture of it. I didn’t even see Black Panther in the theater (in that case, I wanted to go see it in the theater, but couldn’t get into the city to go see it with my Black friends. Because I couldn’t enjoy the culture moment with my friends, I waited until it came out on DVD so I could enjoy it by myself rather than have to see it with anyone else. Not even my husband. Totally worth it!). Because of this, the boys don’t get to go to the theater much, either, and that makes me a bit sad. I decided that it’s summer time and they deserve to have that quintessential experience of going to the theater to see a film. The Incredibles 2 seemed like a great reason to head out to the movies on a Friday night.

I bought the tickets in the morning right before taking the boys to camp. 1 adult, 2 kids, $40. Lordy. But yeah, ok, that sounds about right. It’s not awesome, but it sounds about right.

The boys were so excited to go. They ooo’d and ahhhh’d at the posters and the spacious lobby. We were delighted to walk up to the snack counter and asked for popcorn and sprite. I negotiated them down to pink lemonade, which, in retrospect, probably has just as much sugar in it. 2 small popcorns, 2 lemonades, please.

The teenaged girl with a face that screamed “I hate my job and I hate you” put in the order, and I looked down at the two tender faces of my children and shrugged. “You know what? Make it three. Three popcorns, three lemonades, please.”

“Oh. Ok.”

She added the extra goodies. Began to go collect them. One at a time. One popcorn… handed it to a child. One lemonade… handed it to a child. And so on and so forth. 10 minutes of my life. Popcorns taller than their little bodies (“these are a small?”) and pink lemonades I swear must have been a half-liter each (“these are a small??”).

The teen did some beeping and booping on her side of the counter, ringing up the order, than she swiveled the screen my way to “confirm” and show me the price.

The price, Dear Reader, was $37.90.

$37 whole American dollars and 90 whole American cents!?

For three popcorns and three pink lemonades!!?!?

Since when!?!?

“Oy yoy yoooooyyyy” I moaned.

“What?” Major asked.

“Nothing, baby bear…” focus on the joy… focus on the joy… I broke out some plastic to pay the girl behind the counter. Perhaps I was the 10th mom of the day to have a near heart attack while purchasing snacks for her kiddos, because this young woman had absolutely no sympathy in her eyes for me. The boys could barely walk with all the stuff in their hands. I suppose they gave me plenty for the value! Or something.

Ironically, the first thing I hissed to two little boys when we got to our seats was, “now don’t you go drinkin’ all that lemonade all at once or you won’t make it through the whole movie!”

We did make it through the whole movie, thanks be to God. The boys really, really enjoyed it. While I was not an adult who was counting down the days or anything, I will say that I enjoyed the first Incredibles a lot and this one was totally worth the wait. More sophisticated reviewers than I am spent a lot of time writing about the “messaging” of the movie, the commentary on motherhood, balance and family. I certainly got the message and the viewpoint of the writer/director. What I really got, though, was a great time. Pixar makes a great movie. They have yet to disappoint.

Was it worth the $40 I spent on the tickets to see it? Yes. Was it worth $80 after snacks…? Well… let’s just say I don’t feel a need to step into a theater again any time soon.  (Side note: Yes, I’ve learned my lesson. Spontaneity will now be married with Groupon or something. Surely I paid a “stupid tax” on Friday for not doing better homework.)

By the way, I’ve told this story to no less than 4 other people, and they’ve all shrugged and been like, “how…. how much did you think it was going to be…?” Yo, not $40… Why is no one else offended by this!? Are we all really that exhausted!? That’s a skein of yarn, ya’ll! That could be two skeins of yarn if you do your life right! That’s a scarf! Am I crazy? I know I’m not crazy.

Ok… a little crazy. Shhh. 

My economic mourning aside, it’s been a summer of joy. The boys don’t know how lucky they are. I’m ok with that, for now.

How was your weekend, Dear Reader? The world is still burning, I know. The news today…? Lord… don’t get me started. I hope you took a bit of a break over the weekend. Rest breeds focus. Don’t forget that. If you didn’t do it last weekend, let’s look forward to doing it this weekend. But first… onward. There is a week to accomplish. I’m right here with you. Let’s get things done.

Shout out to the few of you Dear Readers who shared a few of my Quiet Thoughts on Facebook over the weekend! 🙂 Not only was there a special friend who put a quote up in her feed (I see you, Dear Reader! Thank you!!), but there were a few new visitors who popped in via Facebook links. I gain new readers every day and it’s thanks to Dear Readers like you who choose to share me with others. It means a  lot. Thank you and thank you again!

Until Wednesday, take care.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. nshami14 says:

    No, you’re NOT crazy. Movie snacks cost way too much $$$. Like you, I rarely go to the theatre unless it’s something amazing (Black Panther) or fun (Incredibles 2) and I go after a meal so I don’t get robbed twice. Glad u had a nice family outing though!

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      I will do that next time: early dinner for two little boys and THEN the movie. Probably the same cost when it’s all over, but at least they will have had real food! Lordy!

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