On Saturday afternoon my mother agreed to take Leta for a few hours so that Jon and I could go see a movie. A movie in a movie theater. A whole movie with opening credits and a plot and closing credits with actors and music and a life lesson and everything. A MOVIE!
Jon and I haven’t seen a movie since Leta was born, not in a movie theater or even in our own home, as that would require a huge chunk of undivided attention. I haven’t been willing to make a commitment to a one hour and 48 minute story line, not when there are four loads of laundry to do and the bathroom sink needs to be scrubbed. Oh joyous bathroom scrubbing!
Plus, it’s been hard timing any sort of outing with Leta’s feedings, especially since her relationship with the bottle is sort of sketchy. ATTENTION INTERNET: I have tried to give Leta a bottle. Sometimes she takes it, most of the time she screams as if it is trying to drink her. I TRIED THE BOTTLE. GIVE ME SOME CREDIT.
We decided that we wanted to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because if we’re gonna go see a movie, we might as well make it something memorable and worthy of the effort of arranging an outing, because OH MY GOD THE ARRANGING. Timing everything so that we could make that movie on time was like planning a wedding, and in case you didn’t know, my husband and I eloped because I didn’t ever want to have to plan a wedding. YUCK.
We had to get ourselves showered, the baby dressed, the bags packed, the milk pumped, the bottles ready, the car seat base ready to switch cars, and then I had to feed the baby while my mother and step-father waited in the living room. And I really, really hate it when people are waiting on me while I’m breastfeeding — I get performance anxiety and I start to worry that maybe right then, RIGHT THAT SECOND, my boobs are going to dry up and everyone’s day will be ruined! Ruined because of my boobs!
With 20 minutes until showtime Jon and I kissed Leta goodbye (and there were four whole seconds there when I honestly thought of backing out of the whole arrangement, the thought of being away from Leta for FOUR WHOLE HOURS made my soul shrivel up), climbed into the car, and headed to downtown Salt Lake. We rolled down the windows, opened the sunroof, and turned the stereo so loud that we couldn’t hear each other screaming WE ARE GOING TO SEE A FUCKING MOVIE, AMERICA!
And I have to tell you, I had never been so excited to see a movie in my entire life. I had probably never been so excited about a car ride in my entire life, a car ride with no car seat and no screaming. Well, there was screaming, but it was celebratory screaming, not the type of screaming that can’t be consoled with rocking or walking around or turning on the hairdryer or PUTTING THE FUCKING BABY ON THE FUCKING WASHING MACHINE AND SHE STILL WON’T STOP SCREAMING.
So we’re celebratorily screaming, and the wind is flowing through our hair, and we are going to see a movie. (A MOVIE!) And we’re driving and it’s a beautiful day and maybe life is looking up, you know? Maybe we are going to come out the other end of this dark cave that has become our home lately, and life is going to be really, really good. And we’re four blocks from the movie theater and life is beautiful and what is that? Is that a police barricade? And why aren’t they letting people through? Turn Jon, TURN!
So Jon turns, and we go up a different street, just FOUR BLOCKS AWAY from the movie theater, and that street is blocked, too? TURN JON, TURN.
And Jon turns again, but we can’t get past another police barricade because today, this day, this here one, right here, THE DAY WE ARRANGED TO GO SEE A MOVIE, THE DAY I HAD TO BREASTFEED WHILE MY MOTHER AND STEP-FATHER WERE WAITING IN THE OTHER ROOM, today is the Salt Lake Marathon.
And we can’t get past that barricade.
And we’re STUCK in traffic.
On my movie day.
And we can’t go forward and we can’t back up and my soul has shriveled up into black nothingness and it’s wearing black tights and black mascara and my soul is totally listening to The Cure.
We spend the next 45 minutes IN OUR CAR, four blocks away from the movie theater. Every fifteen minutes or so Jon turns and asks me, “I shouldn’t talk to you right now, huh?”
I have never been so devastated.
When we finally get to the movie theater the only movie we can still see in time is 13 going on 30, the movie with Jennifer Garner, the woman who wears pleated pants that taper at the ankle. And it was terrible and awful and made me cringe in so many places, but it was the best movie I have ever seen.