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Posts Tagged ‘on my own’

Note: This is a short piece I wrote at a recent writing workshop.  The prompt was to write either about “Saturday mornings” or “On my way here”.  It was a seven minute write.  Here’s what happened:

On my way here I thought about Saturdays and Saturday mornings and how the day has changed or what I do on this day has changed from year to year.

Growing up I remember not liking Saturdays because there was no school on Saturday and I loved school.  Later on I looked forward to Saturday evenings because I would get to do things—fun things—with my sisters.  We might go to a school sponsored event or we might go to the drive-in, or to a dance.

As a mom, I looked forward to Saturday morning because it was a day to sleep in and spend lots of time with my kids.  I remember waking up and hearing the slight sound of Saturday morning cartoons playing on the TV in the den, next to the master bedroom.  The kids would get up and turn on the cartoons for themselves, turning the volume down low and letting Mom and Dad sleep in—at least sleep in until they could not agree on which cartoon to watch.  That’s when they would come running in to Mom and Dad to settle the dispute.

When the kids were older, in high school, there were always places they had to go to meet with school mates for homework or to see some specific place for background info for school.  Sometimes it meant taking a carload of their friends some place for some school activity for extra credit.  I also remember taking them to cultural events like a cinco de mayo carnival or a dies y seis de septiembre festival.  Saturday nights were for drive-in movies if they had nothing to do for school.

Then they were gone and all there is left is quiet as I wake up to an empty house with only me on Saturday mornings.

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I haven’t seen a movie in a while.  There were several I wanted to see this year but I didn’t get to.  I don’t go to the movie theater alone so if there is no one to go with me, I don’t go.  Some years I don’t go at all.  This year I was lucky to go twice; once when my sister was in town (we saw My Sister’s Keeper) and once when my niece and nephew were here (we saw The Proposal).  I wanted to see Julie & Julia and The Time Traveler’s Wife and more recently, Where the Wild Things Are (because I remember reading the book to my kids over and over and over again).  No luck.  No one to go with.

The one and only time I have gone by myself was many years ago when the movie, Ransom (1996) was showing.  I had seen previews and it had been recommended by friends but I didn’t have anyone to go with and I had three kids at home so it would have been difficult to go without them.  One night, when they were at their father’s for their Wednesday night sleep over, I decided to go to see the movie.  My thinking was that if I went on a Wednesday, there would be fewer people there and I could easily find a seat without having to sit next to strangers.  So I found the theater that was showing it for a late night show and prepared to go.

Preparing to go involved taking my own snacks in a huge purse.  I knew the theater did not allow outside food or drink but I wasn’t going to pay the exorbitant price of the ticket and snack and beverage so I packed some M&M (my downfall), Sour Patch Kids, and a can of Diet Coke.  I should have gotten a plastic bottle but those were more expensive so I grabbed a can out of my fridge before I left.  I was careful not to put it in my purse too soon so it wouldn’t get jostled so it would not squirt all over when I opened it inside the theater.  So once in the door, I headed for the theater where it was screening and found a seat in the last row.  I sat there all alone.  There were probably only 20 people in the theater that night and they all chose to sit in the front half of the room.  I sat in the back and waited for the lights to go out before I took out my snacks and my soda can.

Previews went on and on and were finally over.  I reached in my purse and got ready to pull the tab off the can of soda but I waited with my hand on the pull tab until the music was really loud, figuring no one would hear me.  It worked.  No one was aware of me opening my Diet Coke.  I set the can in the drink holder and enjoyed the movie and my smuggled candy.  Then, when there was a particularly quiet and tense scene, I reached for my can of Diet Coke and somehow I knocked it out of the drink holder and it fell on the floor.  Not only did it make a huge noise as it fell on the floor, it also made loud noises as it rolled all the way down to the front (and bottom) of the theater from the very last (and top) row where I was sitting.  Everyone heard it.   Everyone turned to look and I was the only person sitting back there!

I usually wait until all the credits run before I leave the theater but that night, as soon as I was sure it was over, and even before the credits began to roll, I popped out of my seat and headed for the exit!

That was the first and only time I ever went to the theater alone.

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