Sunday, December 11, 2016

Popcorn

On Friday Skylar told me he was going to some party at some woman's house and he asked if I wanted to come along. I wasn't really in the mood and I was tired and lazy and TV and stuff so I started to decline but then he promised me that he was only going to stay for 15 minutes and then he wanted to go to a movie after.

That sounded fine to me because popcorn.

So I agreed under the terms. Skylar told me this was a "PJ party." This sounded odd to me because (A) we are grownups, (B) what the hell is a "PJ party," (C) we are grownups. But I decided not to question it because another human told me I was about to get into a car, drive to a place with food, then go to another place with popcorn, and I could do all of this in sweats. And I've learned in my life that if something sounds too good to be true, it definitely is so just ride the high of belief in an impossible thing for as long as you can and postpone the devastation until later.

We showed up at the party, in sweats.

But not just sweats. I was wearing old black sweatpants and, for reasons that don't make any sense at all, an oversized itchy Mexican poncho that I bought in Tijuana in 2007 for $4.

Here.



We were the only people dressed this way. This is because this was not a "PJ party." This was a "Christmas sweater party." So everyone else was clad in slacks and sweaters, sipping on hot cider, and engaged in adult conversation.

When I pointed this out to Skylar, he whizzed through some run-on sentence about how sweaters basically are PJs and he knew this was the best way to get me out of the house and he wanted to wear sweats anyway so actually this was all a very well-crafted and brilliant plan.

The 15 minutes lasted 35, and then we were off to the movie. Some young adult angsty something or other movie that I had never heard of.

But I didn't care. Because popcorn. I wanted popcorn. I need you to understand how important popcorn was for me on Friday.

The movie started at 10:05, which is so late for a movie to start that I think it might actually be unconstitutional.

When we got to the Megaplex Skylar said he was going to run to the restroom and just meet me in the theater.

So I went to the concessions line and promptly purchased:

1. A pizza

2. The largest bucket of popcorn available (but to be fair to me, when they asked if I wanted "extra butter" I responded, "YES. But don't go crazy." Because healthy)

3. The largest cup of Coke available, which was so big that I kept having to set it down on ledges to get a better grip during my 50-step walk to the ticket taker.

Because this was a movie theater, the above-listed items cost me $493.

But I didn't care. Because food.

And I was hungry.

I need you now to picture this situation. Do your very best. Shut your eyes for a minute if you need to. Do a google image search for "sad gross American" if you think it will help.

There I was, hobbling, across the floor toward the ticket-taker. I had my left arm wrapped around a giant barrel of extra-butter popcorn. My left hand was also magically holding onto the boxed pizza that was underneath the barrel. In my right hand, the jug of soda, held up to my chest to better keep it from slipping away.

I was wearing sweatpants and a Mexican poncho. My hair looked like, well, magic. My hair always looks like magic. But the rest of me? The rest of me was a disaster.

I shuffled my feet across the floor. Because the barrel of popcorn was up to my face, I would occasionally stick my tongue into it to catch a few of the kernels at the top.

And keep in mind, everyone, that it was 10:00 PM on a Friday night and I was seemingly alone.

It's not like I had a gaggle of friends around me making this situation look cute and lovably indulging, like a bunch of middle-aged women on a diet who say things like, "let's be bad!" right before ordering the slice of cheesecake to share after picking at their walnut salads.

I was alone. Hugging 12,000-calories of food against my sweatpantsed body, on a Friday night. And I couldn't even wait to get into the theater before partaking of the sustenance so I was already licking butter out of a bucket with my tongue.

And that's when. THAT'S WHEN. That is when it happened. That is when this next thing happened.

That is when I turned a corner. One second after the ticket-taker took my ticket and loudly announced to an echoing auditorium of a lobby area which angsty young adult film I was there to see. One second after that. Right when I turned a corner. With those words still echoing throughout the building. With my tongue buried three inches into trans fats that NASA doesn't even know about yet.

Right then. When I turned that corner, I ran into a well-dressed couple, half of whom I formerly dated and have not seen in nearly two years.

You know how you imagine running into someone you dated once and you picture looking amazing, with a stunning new haircut and clothes out of a magazine, with an impossibly hot and remarkably accomplished significant other at your side and you politely nod to the old flame who failed realize how good you were back when they should have realized how good you were and you walk away riding that high for three weeks?

Well, this isn't one of those stories.

In the state described above, I ran into this couple.

And when I say "ran into," I actually mean "ran into."

There was physical contact.

My face bounced against the popcorn barrel.

I almost lost grip of the pizza AND the jug of carbonated sugar.

We stopped.

All three of us.

I looked at them.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

Several times.

They looked at me.

I looked at them.

Both of them.

I took turns looking at each of them.

Several turns.

Then I looked down at everything I was holding.

Then I looked back at them.

And then I said this:

"Welp! This is unfortunate!"

And then I shimmied around them, sucking up enough Coke through a bendy straw to put out the Great Chicago Fire as I walked.

It took one minute for me to figure out how to open the door just behind them to get into the theater that had only one person in it.

I had to reluctantly set one of my comically-large food items onto the ground to accomplish this. Then I propped the door with my foot, carefully lowered myself to pick the item back up off of the floor, like it was my baby and I was worried it was going to wake up, and entered the theater.

I shuffled up some stairs and down an aisle. Then Skylar made an observation as I fell into my seat.

Skylar: You look like a mess.

Eli: But look! They had pizza!

~It Just Gets Stranger

54 comments:

  1. Have you ever heard of the German word fremdschämen? It's basically when you feel vicarious embarrassment for someone else.

    Let's just say it's a common occurrence when I read your blog...

    But at least your hair looked fabulous as usual!

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  2. I had a similar experience recently that made me feel the need to buy real clothes and, get this, think about buying make up. Like eye liner and draw it on my face in such a way that makes me look better.

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    1. Over-rated, join the sweatpants revolution instead.

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  3. I guarantee that's all ex noticed. "His hair!" (Long internal sigh) "I gave up that hair for this?" (Side glance at new partner). Or something like that, probably. And just now this, had you publicly posted your whereabouts at that theatre, you would have had standing room only in that movie of Strangers that would happily stalk you out of any embarrassing situation. That is so comforting, isn't it?

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  4. Oh. My. Gosh. One of the best things I've read in a while.

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  5. The imagry in this one is awesome. Can we please find out if the theater has video footage of this?

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    1. PLEASE!!! There had to be a security camera filming this interaction!

      I'm laughing so hard I'm in tears. Thank you.

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  6. Theatre popcorn is THeeeee. Bessssst.

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    1. Best movie theatre popcorn in the world is at the MovieWorks cinema in Jackson, WY. Seriously.the.best. All other popcorn pales in comparison.

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    2. THE BEST movie popcorn is in North Ogden. They have CROCKPOTS of real melted butter which they ladel on the popcorn. AND they have crushed ice. You can have larges of both (with a free refill of each,) plus a king size candy bar for $10. Pick a day and I'll meet you there. I'll be in sweats.

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    3. Oooooh which theatre? I live in Logan but I'm in Ogden a lot and this seems like something I need to try. Seriously, I'll be in sweats too.

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    4. Walker Cinemas. Is there Walker's in Logan? There might be. We should have a Stranger Christmas Movie in North Ogden. We can all meet and wear sweats. Eli?

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    5. Oh yeah, they own the discount theater in North Logan, the Cinefour. Their concessions are the cheapest in town and their popcorn is really good. I love the idea of a Stranger Christmas Movie Sweats night.

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    6. If we did do a movie night the Cineman 502 in Ogden allows you to rent out their theatre and play any movie you want. I've been wanting to do it for a while but could never get a big enough group of people together.

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    7. You want me to go to Butt-Freaking Egypt North Ogden for POPCORN?

      I just can't even.

      But please enjoy some for me next time you go. And then maybe reconsider your life choices that led you to living in NORTH Ogden #shudder ;-)

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    8. Oh I am so tempted to fly to Utah and drive to North Ogden for a Stranger Christmas Movie. Would we watch one of Paul Simon's concerts, Fuller House, or have a lecture from Dean Strang? This needs to happen Period Exclamation point

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    9. Come on Craig, where's your sense of adventure? It's not like we're asking you to go to Tooele or anything.

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    10. Wow, Craig Foster.

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    11. I realize I'm a day late to the conversation, but The Kaysville Theatre in, you know, Kaysville, Utah also has fabulous popcorn. AND they are a dollar theatre so that makes everything better.

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    12. Tessa dollar theatres are the best!

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  7. In case anyone was wondering, this is the first link that Google gave me for "sad gross American": http://saddesklunch.com/

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  8. I think calling your poncho oversized is a bit of a stretch (unless the arms are supposed to be too short?)...but your hair looks good.

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    1. Good catch. I think I meant to type "undersized" but my fingers are swollen from all the popcorn.

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    2. I thought "oversized" was perfect! Well, made me laugh. It was followed by the year you bought it which meant to imply your arms have grown since then or....shrunk in the washer but haven't cared enough to DI it since you know that trend has gotta come back around sometime. They always do.

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    3. Compared to his t-shirts he usually wears, the poncho is oversized. NOT THAT WE KNOW WHAT TIGHT CLOTHING IS, CATHIE AND I ALSO DON'T EVER SAY Y'ALL.

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  9. "Get a good look Pat, cuz look how comfy I am. Does your new boyfriend give you ~this?!"

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  10. could be worse, you could have not had any clothes

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  11. Ouch, I know that feeling, but hey apparently you had a pizza and they didn't so that's something.

    A couple weeks ago I was going to the Christmas Rifftrax at the Cinemark in the Newgate Mall with a large group of friends from Logan, there were about 20 of us. We decided to eat at Bob's Burgers (not making that up) in the mall food court before the movie. After we got our food I walked up to the counter to ask for more napkins (they had given us 1 napkin for about every 3 people).

    At the counter there was another customer waiting to order and as I walked past him he says "Hey cowgirl, I know you." I just smiled and laughed and searched the counter for the napkin dispenser...which wasn't there. So I had to stand awkwardly at the counter trying to get the attention of the guys in the kitchen to ask for napkins. The tall guy with the blonde ponytail, dressed all in black, inched closer to me and smiled a smug smile and said "Yeah, I KNOW you.". Flustered I gave up on the napkins mumbled "Um, no, you don't." and speed walked back to the tables where my friends were sitting.

    I told my friends they would just have to share the napkins because I was NOT walking back up to the counter with Creepy McCreeperson standing there. We inhaled our food and went to the movie and then I realized that I actually knew Mr. Creepy. I had gone to school with him 16 years ago. And then I felt like a jackass for assuming he had been hitting on me. I tried to track him down to apologize but all I could do was send a lame facebook message. I haven't heard back.

    Here's the thing, this happens to me ALL the time. You think I would have learned my lesson by know. And it only happens with men. It never happens with women. I'm walking along in a parking lot, sidewalk, or restaurant lobby and some random guy stops me and asks where he knows me from and I in all my vanity assume it's a pick up line and I tell him I don't know him and walk away (if he lets me) and then hours or days later I smack myself on the forehead because I realized I DO know the poor guy. Because basically I'm a terrible person.

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    1. In my defense this latest incident was a bit creepy. If he had been less creepy I probably would have talked to him, you know something like "You look really familiar but I'm sorry I can't remember where I know you from, I'm Ryan..." would have gone over better than "Hey cowgirl, I know you."

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    2. Facial blindness is real, The Suzzzzzzzzz!

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    3. Seriously, my friends swear that I have it. Name blindness too. The struggle is real.

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    4. In related news I'm 99% sure that Isla Fisher and Amy Adams are the same person

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    5. Also in related news, I love Amy Adams and haven't a clue who Isla Fisher is. So there's that.

      hashtag old

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    6. Awesomsauciness it is because they are the same person.

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  12. I want you to know that my family has a weekly tradition of reading your most recent posts outloud on Sunday night before we go to bed (going on 2 years!). Last night we read this one and we were laughing so hard we had to take breaks. My dad was actually crying. So thank you for that.

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    1. I am completely jealous of your family. My husband thinks I'm weird because I talk about Stranger so much. Now I just refer to it as "The Blog" and Eli is "The Blogger" (because sometimes I also recite his tweets). Maybe I can start this tradition with my son - he gets me.

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  13. I am sitting in my favorite breakfast restaurant (everyone has one of those, right?) currently with bed-head, yesterday's jeans, and a hoodie. So that's ironic, but I just laughed so hard I had literal TEARS running down my face. The gaggle of dieting women was bad enough...then you ran into your ex and I nearly peed. Thanks for sharing your awkward life with the rest of us awkward strangers. 🙏🏼

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  14. Also - was the movie the Edge of Seventeen? That's my guess. I got carried to that young adult angsty movie this very weekend as well.

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    1. I have no clue what that movie is but it better have included the Stevie Nicks song...

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  15. I recently saw my ex at Costco while I was double fisting a food court slice of pizza and churro, also in sweats. Plus he was with his very pregnant wife. Thankfully they didn't appear to notice or recognize me, for which I was VERY grateful.

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  16. Welp, I've had my sinus enema for today, thankyouverymuch.

    In (un)related news, I've never had this happen to me. Not once. First, I ALWAYS look fabulous and secondly I was married at birth...well, before birth if you want to get technical...so I've never had an ex..anything. Except hair stylists, but then if I see one of them I explain that I've dumped them for my daughter and they can't complain. Because family.

    Love the poncho. LOVE me some popcorn. HATE going to the theater any more. Mostly because I don't want to have to take out a loan each time I go.

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    1. I remember your heaven wedding. So edgy to choose a color other than white.

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    2. Well, in my defense, animal skin was all the rage in 1200 B.C.

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  17. Ok, so you know how they have those little packets of parmesan and red pepper to put on your pizza? Last time I was at the movies I emptied a bunch of those packets onto my popcorn and it turned my already delicious popcorn into SPICY CHEESY POPCORN and it was so wonderful the angels wept in envy.

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  18. So I just randomly stumbled across your blog a few minutes ago, and I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a blog post!
    Seriously though, everything down to your response to your ex is something I would have done. I've just been sitting here reading and saying "Yesss" over and over with every new twist.

    Also the "sad gross American" bit is so funny, and yet not because I've totally played that role before.😬😕

    Anyway great post! I will be subscribing! 😄

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  19. This is my favorite thing you have ever posted.

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  20. I literally cannot!!! There were tears of laughter mixed with tears of second-hand embarrassment streaming down my face!

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  21. Thank you, Eli-- thank you. I read this to my brother (who is a hard person to impress), and he laughed so hard he choked on a coughing fit and decided that he had to reenact this little drama for himself. When the theater cop calls us to come collect our lunatic, I'm gonna blame you.

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  22. Kummerspeck would also be an appropriate German word for this situation. It's a phrase that literally means "Grief Bacon" but could also refer to grief popcorn, pizza, and soda.

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