I have a good explanation. I promise I do. First of all, it was Ten Dollar Date Night. And as the name suggests, we couldn't spend more than ten dollars. So, I decided to be creative, and I scoured the internet for tickets for free movie screenings. I have done this once before, and I believe Jake and I ended up at a movie theater a week too early for the free screening of 50/50 (I really need to get a calendar). We ended up paying to go see it a month later. But I eventually came across tickets for a free screening of Joyful Noise, the new Dolly Parton & Queen Latifah movie (I say this as if they make movies together all the time). I knew this movie was not going to win any Oscar nominations. I knew there would be no film festival awards. I basically knew what I was getting into. It was a movie starring Dolly and Queen Latifah. I couldn't expect too much.
We arrived at 6:05 p.m. The movie started at 7. The line was relatively long and wrapped around to the point where I was standing right next to the people at the front of the line. I casually leaned over and asked what time they had arrived to secure their spot. 3 p.m. No free movie is worth standing in line for 4 hours to see, but, my goodness, I bet those people were mad after they figured out how dumb the movie was. Anyway, onto the bathroom dinner. Jake and I had to stay around our $10 budget, and we hadn't eaten dinner yet. With a drink and popcorn being $13.50, there was no way we could afford dinner at the theater, and of course, no outside food or drink was permitted. But I had a purse. A big one.
Thankfully, the movie theater is in the mall. And right across from this theater is a food court. And in the food court is a Chick-fil-A. You see where this is going. Jake held our place in line, and I ran to Chick-fil-A to grab a sandwich for him, a kids meal for me, and bottled water and chocolate milk to drink.
I need that to go.
Only not in a bag. I will just put it in my purse.
We are going to the movies.
Ohhhhhhh! (shakes his head slowly like he gets it and I am totally normal)
He suggested that I cover my waffle fries with a napkin so they wouldn't spill out in my purse, and I did. I ran back up the escalator and met Jake with our dinner, planning to eat it all once we were safely in the darkness of the theater. It was the perfect plan. Until...
We passed through the line, and we got an arm band as a ticket into the free screening. And then I saw them right outside the theater door... the purse checkers. Now, they were checking for cameras and recording equipment, and I knew this, but I am kind of a rule follower and I freaked out a little. I pulled Jake out of the line heading for the purse checkers and frantically whispered my concern.
They are checking purses! Here, take this.
And with that, I shoved his contraband spicy chicken sandwich into his coat pocket and pointed toward the mens' restroom to our left. I turned to the right to go to the ladies restroom. I had a choice, throw away my 6 piece chicken nuggets and fries or eat them right there in the ladies room. And so I did what any frugal, Truett-Cathy-loving American would do. I locked myself into the cleanest stall I could find, and I ate my food, laughing quietly to myself the whole time about how we beat the system. When I walked out of the restrooms, hands freshly washed and feeling perfectly full, I felt fine about it. In fact, I thought it was kind of hilarious. I laughed all the way into the theater, half from embarrassment at what I had just done and half because I was so happy to have broken the rules and gotten away with it. I managed to get into the theater with Jake's bottle of water in my purse, and I felt like we had done something good.
The movie was terrible. Apparently, the entire theater disagreed because they laughed hysterically at every bad joke, and we laughed at them for being so easily amused. The music was fine, but dialogue was just dumb. I don't know any other word for it. But at the end of the evening, we had spent around $10 on dinner and a movie. Ten Dollar Date Night #1 was a success... if you count sneaking past movie theater guards and eating deep fried poultry and waffle fries in a movie theater bathroom a success. And I do.
Tonight was Ten Dollar Date Night #2. We skipped the eating dinner out, and I made homemade chicken noodle soup (and I specified "homemade" lest you think we eat such things out of cans). We drove down to Plano to the dollar theater and we saw Moneyball for $1.50 each. I signed up this afternoon for movie theater coupons, and so we spent $4 on a drink and got a free popcorn with the coupon. No one searched my purse, and I could have sneaked in all manner of snacks if I had a mind to. But after that last scare, I decided to obey the rules this week.
After we left the theater last week, though, I realized one thing about my purse. It's a Miche bag, a super fabulous two-part bag the size of the Grand Canyon. There is a base purse that holds all of my junk and it has a removable outer shell so that I can change purses super speedy quick. And the magic of this is that there is storage between those two parts, secret storage that can't be seen by movie theater purse inspectors. So realistically, we could have taken our food inside the theater and eaten in a relatively normal setting. But then we wouldn't have a fun story. Still. Next time, I'm using the purse.