I haven't been to a movie in approximately three years. I can't remember the last time I truly enjoyed one. On my first date with my husband of thirty two years, he took me to see Orca the Whale...since then I could count on one hand the times we've gone to the movies.
Movies did play a role in my childhood. Every Saturday my friends and I would go to the movies or the picture show as we called it. You could buy your ticket, purchase a coke, popcorn or dill pickle and a Slo Poke all for 50 cents. My friend Greer's uncle owned the theater in Grenada. We thought that was great!
Once on a particularly crowded Saturday, she and I got to our seats early. They were good seats and I was excited that we had such a good view. I noticed a woman and her little boy walking up and down the aisle as the lights began to dim. They couldn't find a seat and they must have walked around the theater two or three times. Ever the "bleeding heart", I said to Greer, "Look at that lady and her poor little boy. They can't find a seat." Greer looked at them and I think she knew what was coming next. "I think we should give them our seats," I said. "Why?" she asked. "Because they need somewhere to sit," I replied. So the next time they wandered by, we got up and gave them our seats. BTW: I have always felt personally responsible for the Viet Nam Conflict, if that gives you a sense of where I am coming from.
By the time Greer's mother came back to pick us up, we'd been standing in the back for over two hours. "What are you doing standing back here?" she queried. When we explained our kind deed, she let us know that THAT is exactly why we got there early. So that same thing wouldn't happen to us. Oh, that's how it works...we never did that again.
Now I have already introduced the fourth member of this Merry Group of Girls in a very early post, but if you weren't reading carefully you may have missed her. My friend, Beth was also an only child and of the four of us, she was the most serious. If I had to assign descriptions to each of the four they would be as follows: Greer- mischievous, daredevil; Martha Ray-peacemaker, most sheltered; Me-homebody, artsy/craftsy; Beth-studious, most mature. Even though she appeared quite quiet on the outside, WE knew the truth. Beth was hilarious in a quiet way. You know the type...very dry sense of humor. (Except when it came to the "Beth dropped the cookie episode"...another blog, another day.)
In the 5th grade, Beth and I shared a boyfriend. His name was Ward. I think that secretly every mother of every girl in the 5th grade had their eye on Ward as a potential suitor. His father was a pharmacist and they thought he would be one too, so it was to our advantage to keep our eye on him. On Saturday we'd take turns sitting by Ward at the movies. One Saturday he was Beth's boyfriend and the next Saturday he was mine. We never fought and we weren't jealous of each other. It was understood that on MY Saturday, I got to sit by him and vica versa BTW: neither of us married him and he IS a pharmacist. I could use a good discount on my blood pressure medication about now.
The big night in every teenager's life in Grenada, MS was the night we first attended the MIDNIGHT SHOW. The movie began at 10 P.M. and the first time you got to walk into the Midnight Show with a date was a night like no other. We were all waiting with baited breath to be asked.
I remember my first Midnight Show. You could always tell who were the "first timers" because they'd parade up and down the aisles a lot. Well, I wanted to make certain everyone knew I was there, so I ceremoniously traipsed up the aisle to the restroom The restroom was pretty nice but the floor always seemed slightly damp. As I washed and dried my hands and prepared to flounce back down the aisle before the lights dimmed, I unknowingly had about 6 feet of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.
I checked my lipstick, oh, yes, I looked just perfect. I started my victory march down the aisle and never noticed the TP until someone behind me called my name. As I tossed a casual look over my shoulder to see who had seen me, I was horrified to see the toilet paper trailing behind me like a wedding train for my shoes. I tried to dislodge the paper but it was wrapped around one of the legs of an aisle seat. I had to bend over in a very short skirt and fight the paper off my shoes. What began as a titter of laughter spread and swelled to orchestral proportions. Boy, could I make an entrance. See? My friend, Beth would have checked for all those things before she exited the restroom.
My real point in all this is to say how much I miss those days. All four of us living up and down Line Street in Grenada. Going to the movies. Most of the movies were so great! Gone With the Wind, The Ten Commandments, Walt Disney's Fantasia, South Pacific, West Side Story and a host of Gidget & Elvis movies were our fare. You may have paid less, but you sure got more bang for your buck. Very few cuss words, lots of action and the good guys usually won! I know this world is a world away from our children and grandchildren's world, but I can't help but wish for those days again. Life was simpler in so many ways. We didn't have Facebook or computers, but we had radios, black and white T.V. and phones which were attached to the wall!
Once in Cub Scouts, I had the boys try to drop a handful of clothes pins one by one into a glass milk jug. My son looked at me and in all seriousness said, "This is fun! What are these wooden things?" Poor thing. This young generation has missed so much that made America a wonderful country. Not just frills like movies, but the desire to work hard, do a good job and finish it...the way it feels to have roots and when the right day comes (and not too early) to try out those wings...always knowing that they could come back to those roots anytime. Not to feel entitled but to feel truly appreciative for what God has given us. Our world was so different and I think in most ways, better. Lest I sound like a fawning old lady who longs for the past and can't function in the present, let me say that I have really made the effort to "roll with the tide" and stay up to date, but sometimes it just does my heart good to think back to the good ole days....I can't believe I just said that!
Lessons to be Learned:
I think that they are obvious.