Movie Night

Gracie’s one of those girls. Yes, that person in the back row with a comment for every scene, every line and a whisper to punctuate every suspenseful pause. It’s not even much of a whisper – more of a muted yell, cupped by a hand that tells you it’s a private conversation between you and her. Of course the people in front of us disagree. And even I can’t stop her.

Normally I’d worry about the popcorn and candy we smuggled past the 15-year-old clerk at the front counter. I tucked the taffy in my sleeve while Brooke hid the pop in her purse. Gracie claimed the popcorn, proudly puffing up the front of her coat as she folded her arms discretely. But he didn’t care. He was too busy with teenage angst to worry about the profits on the theater’s $9 bag of popcorn and a keg of pop. Yet, Gracie’s whisper prevailed – not two steps beyond the counter. “Geez Dad, I really kept that popcorn hidden, didn’t I?” she asked. I looked back, expecting the theater police and wondering who I was going to call for bail. He looked on. Maybe this has happened before.

Minutes later we were seated and the movie began. Still the whisper continued. I motioned to her to keep quiet. “What if I whisper?” she asked. It was hardly a whisper. “Oh, I like this film, Dad. You can tell by the music that something’s going to happen,” she explained. Even the man in front of us looked back. Apparently this was news to him as well. Even he knew she was one of those girls. I smiled and gestured to her to stop talking. Satisfied, he looked forward. But it was not the last. The characters in the film entered an abandoned building, ultimately suggesting that their best solution was to divide to investigate. “Oh, that’s never a good idea,” Gracie commented. “Why does everyone think that breaking up is a good idea? Of course the monster will get them that way. They really should stay together.” Ultimately she was right. The monster found each character, one-by-one. “You see, I told them. That never works,” she said, shaking her head in disgust with her hands in the air. The man looked back again while I smiled uncomfortably.

It was a long movie. Yet the best performance that night wasn’t on the screen, but instead in the seat right next to me. From title to ending credits, Gracie was the director, at times shifting between instructions for the characters to commentary for us. And by the second monster scene even the couple in front of us smiled when she gestured to the screen and asked “Aren’t they even listening to me!”

I couldn’t begin to tell you what the movie was about. There were monsters, heroes and heroines. There was even a plot – something about saving the world – but that’s how about every movie works. Yet it was Gracie’s performance that stole the show. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. The monsters were defeated, the world was saved and the hero and heroine kissed – to which both Gracie and I responded with “Yheeeewww”.

Movie night. I guess now even I’m one of those people.

2 Responses to “Movie Night”

  1. Kelli says:

    What a classic moment! Since reading your book and becoming aquainted with your family, I have found it much easier to see the lighter side of many situations with my children(3 boys!), I just wish that all the “too” serious adults around the world could get a little chuckle from the lovely innocence of children and the quirky things they do and say. Thanks for sharing!

  2. deborah says:

    Thank you for still sharing.