I’d put out an email to a group of friends: “Who wants to see “Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri” on Tuesday night? Cheap night! Only $6.”
Now the first thing that can happen when three women of a certain age go out on the town, is that one or more will forget the date. There she is curled up with her glass of wine, the fireplace cozy and warm, when something niggles in her brain. Wasn’t she supposed to be somewhere? It almost happened, but fortunately she remembered at the last minute. Another thing might be that one or more of them is “too pooped to pop” by 4 p.m. and is tempted to cancel out. That almost happened, too, but (it must the pleasure of my company, after all!), we all got to the theatre.
Not early enough to get three seats together, however. Remember, it’s cheap Tuesday, and the Valley is full of many older people eager for a cheap date. The early show is preferred to the late one (otherwise, you might be too pooped to keep your eyes open for the show.) So there we were, on a date, scattered throughout the theatre, waving at each other and mouthing words we couldn’t lip read. We couldn’t even have a nice congenial chat while we sat through the interminable previews of coming shows, most featuring explosions and car chases and gruesome endings. A congenial chat would have been nice -- a little gossip, a little catch-up in the news department, a little comparison about our health issues.
Then came the movie. Another thing that might happen when you let three women out on the town is that one of the women could forget her hearing aids, or her glasses, or the Obus form that make the sprung seats bearable so you don’t wreck your back. Yes, a few adaptive appliances got left at home. Par for the course. These things happen, and you have to live with it – mamma always said life isn’t a bed of roses. So you miss a few lines of dialogue, or end up with a sore back. It is what it is. Women of a certain age know that for a fact.
We emerged from the theatre, shaking our heads and laughing a little. This called for a debriefing, but Courtenay has few coffee shops open at night. Did I mention that our Valley is, in the words of the last census report, “characterized by a relatively large 65+ age cohort and a rising median age. This age cohort is over-represented in the region in comparison to provincial and national figures.” Really, we are just a little ticked that they would get so personal as to mention our “large” “figures”, but oh, well, whatever. So we went to Timmies, which is open 24 hours, and attracts all kinds of other people out on the town, mostly teenagers (because the old-timers in bed already.) I texted my RS – “Having tea at Tommies. See you later.” Darn that autocorrect – then again, maybe he’d text back and say, “Who the heck is Tommie and what are you doing at his place?” but all he texted back was “OK.” I was disappointed.
Over cups of tea, the three women debrief about the movie, then get down to the congenial chat they’d missed out on, featuring gossip, a catch-up in the news department, and an organ recital about the various parts of our bodies that were giving us problems. We all looked at our watches to make sure we won’t be turning into pumpkins anytime soon, but nobody was wearing one. I had a cell phone, however, which I checked: getting close to 9, the witching hour.
This led to a discussion of cell phones and all that newfangled technology. One of the women confessed she had to ask some kids out on the street how to turn the thing on when she first tried using it. Another said that she still hasn’t figured out how to send messages – every time she tries, the phone operates like a ... surprise, surprise!... phone, making a call that connects her to the party she’s trying to text. She displays one of her screens and says, “Hey, but I do have a personal hot spot. Do you have one of those?” There’s a moment of shocked silence, before one of us replies, “Uh yes, but mamma says you don’talk about that in public.” The titters become giggles become loud guffaws. The teenagers at the next table look over in surprise. What’s so funny? Oh, if you only knew.
It’s hard to control three women of a certain age when you let them out on the town.
It was time to go, so after a visit to the biffy (don’t ever pass up that opportunity when you are a woman of a certain age) we headed home. Mission accomplished: a good date. And cheap, even.
So it looks like there may be a few more of those chick movie nights in the offing. Anyone want to join us?