The hubs and I went to see a movie recently. We chose a matinee because I have a hard time these days trying to stay awake for a full feature that starts any later than 5 p.m. Also, the ticket price is reduced.
We belong to member rewards programs for every theater we frequent, even those on our snowbird schedule. This time we had an offer for a free small popcorn, which we upgraded to medium size. We added a medium beverage to share, like kids in the old days did when they were broke — one soda, two straws.
Our movie date added up to $25, and we were doing it on the cheap. I’m guessing that going to see a movie is still high on the list of acceptable date nights for teenagers. Forget college funds, better find a high yield investment fund to foot the movie budget.
Our senior date didn’t end with the movie. We decided to stop for a bite to eat afterwards.
We’re not real fans of chain restaurants for the most part, but we’re old, so after a while we sort of forget why. Then we see an advertisement with tempting appe-teasers, and mouth watering entrées, and we think it all looks pretty good.
I remember why I don’t care much for these chains soon as we’re seated and six different menus are strewn on the table, There are just too many choices — all the same things, in different combinations. Did I want the shrimp with parmesan and a steak, tossed in a salad, heaped on top of a bowl of rice, or as part of a two-for-one price combo that includes dessert?
Honestly, I could skip the shrimp all together and just go for the dessert and coffee. When dessert comes after dinner, I’m always full. I eat because it’s dessert. Who skips dessert? Hello, that’s the best part of the meal.
I ordered the shrimp in the bowl of rice and a glass of water with lemon, because I’m off coffee — I don’t wan’t to talk about it.
The shrimp bowl was too spicy. I like spicy food, but a few months ago it stopped liking me just the way coffee did. I don’t want to talk about it.
Hubs asked about beer selections. Our very cheery server offered him “two-for-one.” She brought both at the same time. If you like your beer so cold it’s almost frozen, this does not bode well for enjoying the second glass.
The tap beer at two-for-one turned out to be the price of premium bottled selections. Hubs inquired if that’s what they charged for one domestic tap. Then ensued some double speak I’m still trying to figure out about how ordering two beers one at a time adds up to more than the two for one so she just offers that right off the bat. “It just makes sense, right?”
It didn’t. It still doesn’t. But we’re old, so in these situations, we just smile, pay our bill and tip generously.
As we got in the car and drove away I thought about how our movie and dinner out cost more than what any of us Boomers spent on prom back in the day. And not just the after-prom, the whole shebang — tickets, the flowers from Wolfs or Engwalls, the Gunne Sax dress from Maurice’s, and pizza at the Elbow Room. No limo, no tux, no up-sell.
Judith Liebaert writes for Positively Superior and the Duluthian. She is the author of “Sins Of The Fathers,” a crime novel set in Superior and inspired by a true cold case. Find her online at judithliebaert.com.