I did something today that I still find very amusing. I went to the cinema on a beautiful, summer day, during the middle of the day.
I can still hear my mother's voice saying, 'what are you doing inside on a day like today?'
As children, if it was dry, and there was a single ray of sun shining through the clouds, it was 'a nice day'. Also, as a child, in England, I remember three television channels. Twenty four hour television was perhaps thought of as a thing of the future, and morning shows did not start until I was well into my teens, if not later, and if it was 'a nice day', the three channels were considered null and void, as television was not an option. This did not stop us sneaking into a friends house, should something 'worthwhile' be on the box. However, it was rare that anything was worthwhile, during the hours of daylight.
The television guide was paper. We either looked in the newspaper, or in either of the two weekly magazines; one was for the two BBC channels, and one for the independent television channel. In most households, the remote control was the adult, until the children were old enough to turn, or press, the switch that would change the channel. There was no 'flicking' during the commercials. No matter how inane, the adverts were part and parcel of the programme, and that is why it was always preferable to watch the BBC. There were no interruptions.
I can remember looking through the magazines, and seeing films that would be of interest. Having only one television was the norm, and during the winter months, Sunday afternoon was spent watching the highlights of the previous days football (soccer) matches. Films were for the summer. However, if it was a 'nice day', the film was forfeited for 'fresh air'. There were no recording devices, much less 'direct TV'. If you had to 'be excused' during a movie, or show, you had to rely on someone to tell you what happened, or alternatively, just cross your legs and hope the comedy was not too amusing, or the film too frightening. When it was time for bed, you went to sleep. When portable televisions became popular and affordable, it was possible to watch a programme before retiring for the night. Snuggling down and relaxing into a doze was futile, as when the programming came to an end, you had to get up to turn off the appliance. Tell kids today that one of the most exciting part of growing up was being allowed to stay up late enough to turn off the television and watch the white spot that remained, disappear, and they will look at you like you are an alien. Okay, I can't be the only one who waited for the white spot to disappear!
However, today was a beautiful day and we chose to accept our friends' offer of dinner and a movie. Living in the USA, this takes on a whole new concept. Dinner and a movie are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Although we did not partake of the convenience, it was possible to have a full meal while watching the film. The cinema was very plush. It was like flying first class, minus the turbulence. The seats reclined, there was a tray table that could be put in front or to the side of the seat. Popcorn and sodas were refillable at no extra charge, and there were 'flatbeds' in the front of the 'craft'. However, I did not run and hide when they announced they were having 'technical difficulties'.
During the week, we had suggested to Joe and Gail, friends whom I have mentioned on a regular occasion, that it would be fun to 'do something' this weekend. Saturday evening, as we were on our way to Walmart, Joe called to make a suggestion. A movie, followed by dinner. My head shook violently. We had to do the weekly shopping, and we had just eaten. There was no way I could consume another thing anytime soon. The affirmative answer to the question, 'do you mean tomorrow' produced such relief, that I cared little about the choice of movie, or food. As long as it wasn't later that night. The showing was at one o'clock on Sunday, and we had the choice of eating at the theater or at an alternative restaurant.
Leaving the condo in order to meet Gail and Joe at 12.30, at the coffee roastery, was an agreement I regretted, when I woke up much later than anticipated. Sunday is my 'catch up' day. I had planned to bake a couple of loaves, and needed to clean my fridge. Not the most exhilerating of tasks, but a necessity. I prepared the dough while coffee was brewing, and had a very nice twenty minutes or so on the telephone to my mum. Multi tasking is one of my strong points, which was a blessing this morning.
I had made a mental note to let Samantha know I was going to be out of pocket for a while. As mentioned above, there was a technical hitch which delayed the start of the film and when everyone was seated, (the show must go on, however it does not go on until everyone is seated) the projectionist made an appearance, and announced that he would start the film momentarily, foregoing the usual trailers, previews and advertisements. The audience responded enthusiastically by clapping vigourously. The lights dimmed and the prelude began. I sat back and was enjoying the film. What happened approximately half an hour into the film was not my fault. The lack of trailers, previews and advertisements meant that there were no reminders to turn off my phone. As I said, it was not my fault. The ring, which seemed to be louder than usual, boomed throughout the small cinema chamber. I pressed the answer button and found my lack of co-ordination skills had once again surfaced. I could not talk, and I needed to put the ringer on to silent. However, due to my inability to function, I returned Samantha's call, stopped the call, then answered her second incoming call. If I were to take a test in lack of co-ordination today, I would have passed with flying colours. Fortunately, somewhere in the deep recess of my brain, something clicked and I managed to silence my mobile. I then broke every rule in my personal cinema goers guide, and sent her a message, illuminating the theater as if a laser had been activated. I held my breath, but there were no sighs, or complaints and I was exonerated without trial. I continued to enjoy the rest of the film.
We lunched at a delightful restaurant, previously unknown to Dana and me, overlooking the creek. We sat outside, amid the fans and coolers, as the temperature soared above a century and we then drove back to the coffee shop for some dark brown nectar.
Arriving home, a little after five, I went for a very refreshing swim. I suppose my mother's words were still circling somewhere in my head and I could not fail to take advantage of what was left of the 'nice day'. I am always aware of how very blessed I am to be able to come home and take a dip in the pool. I swam a few laps, floated on one of the 'communal' foam noodles, chatted with a couple of neighbours, and came back to the condo about an hour later to bake the bread that had been left rising all afternoon.
Although I felt as if I had somehow played hookey, I enjoyed the film immensely and would recommend it without a doubt. 'Midnight in Paris', was delightful and witty. I know I will have an element of guilt when I report to my mum that I was indeed inside and not taking advantage of the fresh air, although I am sure she will not bat an eyelid, and just be pleased that I enjoyed my day.
Next weekend will certainly be special as it is 4th July weekend, when the USA celebrate my birthday, as well as their independence, and I am sure that will be cause for ..... another story.