Wild Within


“When did they start making these so small?” my friend asked, as we all wriggled into our seats, juggling movie popcorn. “Sssshh,” I swore I heard from the darkness.

On Sunday, my three best friends and I went to the movies. The occasion is significant. The situation hasn’t presented itself in more than twenty years. Why so long? Mainly, we are all working Mom’s, we’ve lived in separate cities, at times even countries, and we are time poor. No excuses, just fact.

Years ago we’d squeeze as many of us into the back trunk of a car (cause we fit then, and to save on admission) to enjoy the all-night movie-marathon at the drive-in. Today, we opt for movies, snacks at a comfortable cinema for an afternoon matinee. Wild. Nah. But, it beats the norm, at home, in our sweats, and we are, seeing a movie…entitled, Wild.

The film, Wild stars Reese Witherspoon in a powerful drama based on a true story of Cheryl Strayed. After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl (Witherspoon) makes a rash decision. After the death of her mother and with no experience, she sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own.

At the same time Cheryl was making her hike across the PCT, I was hiking and backpacking in the Pacific (Australia and New Zealand). These days, my wanderlust is fulfilled at the movies.

Going to the movies has long been a source of entertainment—a place for hanging with friends, and today the dynamic sound, space, and even the snack-bar menu is larger than life. You will find the old favorites, warm buttery popcorn, red licorice, Maltezers, and today you can get hot dogs, nacho’s with cheese/ or salsa, and even a cup of coffee!

Given that our Mom’s ‘Day Out’ was, in fact, three free hours for a movie including driving time, meant it was minus the lazy lunch elsewhere. We lined up for our snacks at the theatre.

My friend, Helen loves movie popcorn. Not simply popcorn, but movie popcorn. She claims it tastes better than all others. I had the hot dog combo. I slathered ketchup, mustard and not going to lie was looking for the sauerkraut and onions until I remembered I was at the movies, not a ‘vendor-dog-stand’. Admittedly, I love hotdogs from a street vendor probably as much as Helen loves movie popcorn. Something about the street pollution mixed with the smoky grilled hotdog gets me every time. Even though, I know there are way better things for me, I have to stop to purchase one.

Recently, I learned that my hot dog might be healthier than her movie popcorn. The Examiner reports, “Movie popcorn can have 1,000 calories or more,” With its flavored butter, it all adds up —I believe you should make an informed decision to eat or not to eat.

In true “Mom” fashion, we took our seats just as the film was about to start. The stars aligned once again, and we scored great seats. The middle rows, four seats anchored on the end in case of emergency calls from home, or a quick washroom break. Yes. We are the ‘tommy texter’s’, he is not a teenage boy, but more realistically a Mom desperately trying to unplug from home.

I took a bite of my ketchup filled hotdog, flanked by my friends. The movie opened with Cheryl (Witherspoon) sitting on a mountaintop, clearly in pain, taking off her hiking boots, and socks to reveal a septic toe. I took one look at my hot-dog and her bleeding blistering toe, (magnified on the large screen) as she ripped off her toenail. Suddenly my hotdog wasn’t settling too well.

The movie is a powerful journey as a young woman discovers and embraces her grief. There were tears, laughter and dark moments too. Great book, now a great movie, made all the better enjoyed with good friends. I can’t recall who said it, but the saying goes, “life is a journey, best shared with friends.” Isn’t that the truth.

I had left them all behind in 1995 to start my own journey, alone. But, they were never far from mind. Truth is they’ve always been there. I take them with me and am blessed to count them as friends still. We vowed not to let another decade pass till we make a trip to the movies altogether.

May the next twenty years be wild, and may our butt’s still fit in the seat.

Movie Hot Spots in Kingston:

The Screening Room
120 Princess Street, Kingston

Landmark Cinemas
120 Dalton Avenue

Riocan Centre, 636 Gardiners Rd, Kingston

If you have a foodie biz or restaurant suggestion, email me at ladydinesalot@gmail.com or follow my blog LadyDinesAlot.com.

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