In my last post, I mentioned that my girls and I all read the “Hunger Games” trilogy at the beginning of the year. I made a deal with my middle daughter (Hayley) that if I finished the first book before the movie tickets for the midnight premier became available, I would not only buy all three of their tickets, but I would attend the movie with them as well.
My girls know this is a big deal for me. My body shuts down at 10:00 every night. Everyone gets on my nerves by 9:00. If I stay up past 10, I turn into a crazed, hysterical maniac who laughs at everything, especially myself. A prominent theme throughout the movie is: “May the odds be ever in your favor”, speaking of the game players. Which is a supremely ironic statement, because everyone has to die except one. That is kind of how I felt about staying awake at that hour of the night. But, I promised – sooooo, we went.
All day long I was sort of dreading it, especially when the thought dawned that I might get trampled to death. I fixated on this fear, determining to be at the doors by at least 10:00. That way, if I was near the front, the people in charge would protect me because they would be there too – also not wanting to get trampled. They would have plenty of room and control up there at the front, and I would be ok.
I had a car load of 6 girls and a bunch more (plus a few brave adults) to meet when we arrived. I planned my parking space even before I got there: first slot heading out of Starbucks, across from the Marquee, and alllllllll the way across the lot. I wanted outa there when it was over. (I even laid my pajamas out backwards on my bed, so all I’d have to do was jump into them once I got home.)
9:50: We arrive, pull into said parking spot, and view the sparsely populated area. Where were the huddled masses??? Maybe they were waiting until 10:00.
10:00: We head into the Marquee where we spot a few die-hards dressed as Katniss, the “girl on fire”, Effie – the pink wigged, white faced, overly excitable coordinator for district 12, and a few Peetas. I chat with my few brave adult friends, we take pictures (so everyone will know how cool we are – we are at the midnight viewing, for heaven’s sake), and then, we wait.
10:15: A lady directs us to a line converging on our side of the building (I believe all screens were showing), where we promptly sat on the floor, passed out magazines, and took pictures of the line. It all seemed very calm and orderly. In fact, it didn’t even seem that crowded. I didn’t get trampled, my toes didn’t even get stepped on.
11:00: We head into the theater, a girl instructing us to “be seated from the inside rows out, this theater is sold out”. Everyone gets situated and I end up next to a young man accompanying one of my lovely teenage friends; my oldest daughter, Taryn, to my right. I strike up a conversation with the young man next to me, expressing my concern at his lack of animation for this most auspicious occasion. He then explained to me that he’d never read the book, so he was going to sit back and be surprised while all of us were already anticipating knowing every direction the movie would take. I told him it was ok to cry if he felt emotional at any time during the movie. He assured me that he might just have to scream and let it all out at some point – just as the little teeny boppers in front of us were happily demonstrating.
11:30: Now is when you get the popcorn. After your seats have been securely established and the people around you guard them. I went for it – large popcorn (to be shared with my daughter, of course!), bag of M&M’s chocolate covered peanuts, and diet coke – the drink of elderly champions such as myself desiring to stay up all night and get our money’s worth.
11:45: More teeny-bopper screaming.
11:50: Screen goes dark. Teeny’s scream. A rumpled, overweight middle aged guy rolls out of bed anddddd….it’s another commercial.
11:59: Preview of the movie we are there to see plays (why? I don’t know). More screaming. I seek to soothe teenage guy beside me, making sure he’s not about to die with excitement. He’s not.
12:01: “Let the games begin!!!” (That’s another popular line in the movie.) And, much to my surprise – total quiet settles over the crowd.
As the film unfolded, the screaming started back up…which eventually turned into crying, and then….wailing. Screams depended on the love scenes (that means a kiss or a pat on the cheek in this movie), crying related to people dying or getting hurt; wailing meant someone reaalllllyyyyyy important got killed. This is how we knew who read the books because they were all ready to scream/cry/wail on the spot at any given scene…before any tragedy even began to transpire.
1:30 (A.M.): some little girl on the row behind us is all-out sobbing during a death scene, and everyone else who wanted to be sad starts to giggle at the girl who is obviously in deep distress. This is where the young man beside me starts to enjoy the movie. Not because it’s good, but because this girl is so entertaining. He begins making the 3 fingered signal with me (a sign expressing empathy) and I almost wonder if he’s not reminded of Mork from Ork. But no, he’s wayyyy too young to even know that Robin Williams started out as an alien with a hand sign for “Nanoo-Nanoo”.
2:00(A.M.): We glance back to realize we have lost our 30-something friends – only their two sodas are left behind. Maybe I’m not that elderly after all…
2:20 (ish): the movie ends. Everyone calmly walks out, we make the journey across the parking lot, my daughter questions me on how I’m going to ease the car out through the lines of traffic, which are both in front of me and to my left. I tell her to leave that to me, promptly edge out in front of some guy, and tear down the road.
2:45: I take a picture of everyone in the car before I start dropping kids off.
Everyone looks like the odds weren’t in our favor. We are tired, but we are happy – especially Hayley (the birthday girl in the back left ready to sack out on her neighbor), and me (the middle-aged mom who OVERCAME SLEEP!!!) (Oops – looks like I only got Taryn’s arm in the front.)
Moral of the story: always save extra food to nibble on throughout the movie. This keeps one’s head from nodding off.
#2 moral of the story: My kids will always remember that I went to this movie with them, drove the car, took their friends, and took a less-than-desirable picture of myself along with them in the car at 2:45 A.M. Now how many more chances will I have for that? Odds are NOT in my favor.
Oh by the way – GO see the movie!!! It was GOOD! Most of it was just as I pictured when I read the book! I’m going back again when I can sit away from wailing teeny boppers!!!!