Sunday afternoon at the matinee


It was Sunday afternoon and Lincoln was playing at the Liberty.

As we do every Sunday evening, we got together for family night. My children came flying in about the same time we got to their house. They were talking and laughing about the afternoon they had just spent at the matinee. “It was filled with old people; not an empty seat in the house.”

“Old people? I thought kids went to matinees. Older people can go any time; isn’t it the same price?” I said to them.

“No, the older people don’t drive after dark. So, they must go to afternoon matinees. We were the only two young people in the whole theatre,” My son-in law with the white hair spoke up.

Then they began telling me about their afternoon. “Mind you, it was Lincoln and not a lot of action. It was all talking on the big screen. The audience talked among themselves. ‘Huh? What did they say?’  Someone answered, ‘I don’t know. Ask Harvey.’ Then the other yelled back, ‘They said …’ And she would repeat it. This went on through the whole movie. It was so noisy, it was like we were watching with kids, and we couldn’t hear a thing. Never again will we go to an afternoon matinee.”

“It couldn’t be that bad.”

“Trust us, it was that bad. Then, there was a gentleman who escorted in two older ladies. The women got seated with their purses. Pulled out their drinks from their bags, and opened Ziplock baggies with their snacks.

“Before the movie started, the gentleman said, ‘Myrtle always has to go to the bathroom, let’s change seats.’ They all stood up, picked up their bags, and filed out into the aisle. The gentleman went in first and sat down. Then the two older ladies took their seats next to him on the aisle, and settled in with their goodies again.

“During the movie guess who had to go to the bathroom? You guessed it! It wasn’t the two ladies, but it was the gentleman. The two older ladies had to get up, pick up their stuff and move to the aisle again. They let him out and then stood in the aisle until he returned. Then they went through the whole exercise again, getting settled in.”

My son-in-law said, “One woman was snoring louder than I ever snore. We couldn’t stop laughing, we felt like we were in the Twilight Zone (the sci-fi, not the ones with the vampires).”

Thoughts were going through my head,  “Well, you know you are bringing it close to home. I am aware of all those little things we do now that we are getting older which drives younger people crazy. A good example is this. Your Dad will stand at the register, hold up the line, and tell the cashier something she doesn’t care anything about. She endures him. I’ll tell him, ‘Honey, get out of the way. She doesn’t want to hear about your hunting story.’

I noticed this is also happening to me. I have certain pockets for my finances. I’ll stand at the checkout until I have my market card put away, my debit card put back, the purchase is registered in my checkbook, and then I will move out of the way. The checker has started ringing up the next customer and pushing my things to the side.

I always thought I moved fast. I used to, but apparently I don’t anymore. We went to a restaurant outside of Denver; you know the one, where you stand in line to order your burrito, and they bullet “pico de gallo, or spicy corn salsa, beef or chicken, cheese?” I have been reciting my order for five minutes before they get to me, and then … “deer in headlights.” I look at them, verging on a panic attack and suddenly, I can’t seem to say steak fast enough and I can’t remember if it’s better with or without sour cream.

The counter girl has been on some kind of drug, with only five hours of sleep the night before, is rolling her eyes and looking at the next customer, like, “Really, who is this woman?” The girl is stepping from one foot to another. No doubt she has the order on her iPhone, ready to recite it.

I guess the young move at a different clip.  Or, have you noticed at a buffet line, two older people will talk a little, change places with their friend, sample it, change places again, discuss what the ingredients must be in the different dishes, and then tell a story of, “Remember when …?” You can just stand back and let them have their own little party or go around.

My children said to us, ”You will really like Lincoln, but there is a lot of dialogue in the whole movie. I think it is best for you to watch it on Pay Per View, so that you have the subtitles on the screen.” Maybe they are just keeping us off the streets.

Final Brushstroke: I am not ready to get old. Is it necessary? But please be nice, we are probably someone’s parents.

Artist’s quote

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” — Jerry Rice

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This story was posted on March 14, 2013.