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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SLICE OF LIFE




When the going get tough, the tough go to the movies. That's always been my theory anyway, and it's proved workable at many different points in my life. 

Take my twenties, for instance. I moved to Denver pretty much straight out of college. I got involved in a church and established a really fun circle of friends- people to eat with and hike with and see on weekends. But then those friends started getting married. And I wasn't. Most of the time I was ok with that.

But then, there were times when the loneliness closed in. And then, I did what any thinking person does. I went to the movies. I would buy a box of bad for you movie popcorn and a drink (or sometimes I'd sneak in my own) and settle into for a couple of hours at a dark theater. For two hours, I'd forget my quiet house, the nights of Lean Cuisine, and my longing for companionship-- and I would settle in to somebody else's life or story. And when the lights came back on, I was good to go again.

Fast forward ten years. The summer I adopted the boys was full of adjustments, for them and for me. The boys had been through a lot, and they had lots to overcome.  Like most new mothers,  I was exhausted, most of the time. My independent do what I want when I want lifestyle had been totally altered. Gone were the days of author readings at the Tattered Cover and Tuesday hikes with my home gals. I didn't have a lot of backup. I couldn't take a nap because there was no one to watch my two very busy guys.

So I did what any thinking mom would do. I took them to the movies. I would buy them their box of $4 candy (I know, horribly unthrifty of me) and for two hours, they would be entertained. And me, well during those two hours, I'm ashamed to admit, I often dozed off a little, ok, sometimes from the opening scene to the credits, but…). For years, I thought I was fooling the boys-- until finally, when Son #1 was about 13 he asked me why I always bought a ticket, when all I did was sleep anyway!

Fast forward ten more years… this has been, so far, a long hot summer. neither of the boys has jobs. Son #1 is in what I'm told is a common push me/pull me, "I'm a man, I can do it myself, I don't need you to tell me what to do, no wait, I need you to …" routine. Pretty much every day he tells me that he is leaving and will not be back for two years, not even for Christmas, and that I will not hear from him, and I better not call. He breaks my mama's heart.  Son #2 is having a really hard time with life in in general. His brother/best friend is leaving for two years. A girl that he has cared about deeply (and now insists he doesn't, although my mama's eyes tell me different) is leaving for college. He made some really poor choices in school and is now facing the consequences.  It is not a lot of fun living with him.

And so, I make the only obvious choice. I go to the movies. A couple of times a week, when my patience has reached it's absolute breaking point, when I can't stand one more minute of nasty teenagers, or a just cleaned already messy house, I simply leave. And I go to the movies. For two hours, I slip away into someone else's world- this summer I've been to India, the bayous of Louisiana, and last night, a small island in New England. Better yet, this summer, I have discovered a new theater. It costs $3 more than a regular theater, BUT (and here's the hook for me!) the popcorn and soda are FREE! So actually I save about $6 or $8 every time I go.

When the going get tough, the tough go to the movies.

11 comments:

Dana said...

Oh Carol, I can relate to an escape to the movies. I have never been one of those, "You can't go to the movies alone" people and love a good comedy when I'm in need of escape. What a lovely escape those two hours can be. Loved the title of this piece and tie-in to your last line. I'm sorry your boys are being such ... well...pains. Teenagers! Wishing you peace and kind words from all today.

Mary Lee said...

May there always be a good movie showing just when you need it most.

Linda at teacherdance said...

I love the push me/pull me words-so true as I remember those teen times. I didn't often go to the movies. In the summer, when my husband was still at work, I would read, or stay in the outside, gardening-anything to escape. You are so right to find some kind of escape, or reward maybe. If it's any consolation, my mother used to remind me (when I talked with her about the struggles with my own kids) that I was awful the summer before college. She thought it was because I was terrified to leave & didn't want to admit it. Maybe there's a little bit of that with your older son? And, maybe it's time for us to have a little escape to TC? I'm free some of the days!

Michelle said...

So glad that you can escape in those moments of desperation! It's so hard being a mom who loves so much - I feel your pain even though I'm only dealing with two year olds at the moment! But your words are so true "I don't need you. I need you." Wait, my girls are going through this stage too -- so apparently it's a never ending cycle! (Aaahh!!) Oh, what we do for our kids and my only hope is that someday they will understand the sacrifices we made - daily! Hang in there Carol and enjoy your moments to get away! So, are you going to start doing movie reviews too? :)

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Good for you that you found a place to just close off the "real world" and feed you soul. We all need a respite like this from time to time. And even better that you found a great deal!

Chris said...

The movies! AHA! I will survive the teenage years with some popcorn and snowcaps. Thanks for sharing!

Amy Rudd said...

Sometimes, life just stinks! I am glad that you found a way to at least neutralize the stench for a short time! Thinking of you and hoping things get better!

Jaana said...

I have to remember your motto for next school year!

Peg D said...

So glad you have an outlet that allows you to center so you can be the mom they need. Good for you!

Lori said...

I agree with Linda. The summer before college is the worst. I tell my friends it's God's way of making us let them go.
Good Luck!

Nanc said...

Our life transitions aren't really easy on us. I want a few movie reviews...seriously. I love being able to watch and have tears fall without having to explain it to anyone. Love your boys, they are so normal and you are always so honest. xo nanc