Have a Marlis Day!

Left at the Movies

Posted on: January 29, 2012

The old movie theater in our town is where I saw my first movie, we had our first date, and where we took our children to their first movie. Since then, it’s been vacant, a church, and is now setting up for laser tag & miniature golf.

I loved it when my parents took us to the movies, especially the Disney films. However, when it was a grown-up  movie, I had trouble staying awake. My head nodded, my eyes blurred, and I zonked out. After all, it was way past my bedtime. Once when I was just about to fall asleep, my father leaned over and whispered, “You better stay awake. If you go to sleep, we’ll just leave you here.” Horrified, I totally believed him and spent the rest of the movie devising ways to keep myself awake. Always the prankster, I imagine my dad peeked at me and laughingly told his buddies the next day how I’d swung my feet, popped myself on the forehead, and tried to hold my eyes open. Waking up in a cold, dark theater in the middle of the night was my worst nightmare. I envisioned myself wandering around the empty seats and living for days on stale popcorn and water from the fountain. I imagined my parents meeting friends on the street later and this conversation:

“How ya doing?”  “Fine, how about you?” “All good.” “Say, I see your two boys there; I thought you had a girl.” “No, just the two boys now.” “Hmm. I thought there was a girl, sorta between the boys?” “Ohhh, you must mean Marlis.” “Yes, Marlis. That was her name. I do remember her- fiesty little girl.” “Well, Marlis isn’t with us anymore.” “Oh, that’s too bad…what was it? Polio?” “Oh no, not polio. She fell asleep at the movies.” “Oh, I see. Well, you can’t have that, now can you?” “No, we couldn’t abide with that.” “Well, you have a nice day.”  “Thanks, you too. Say hello to the missus.” “Will do.”

I was pleased when we started going to the drive-in theaters, because the car always came home. I could fall asleep and no one cared. After all, we always went on “Buck Night,”so we all got in for a dollar and no money was wasted by a kid falling asleep.


1 Response to "Left at the Movies"

I went to a few movies here while in college:) A friend of mine would dearly love to do something with the one by JC Penney:)

I remember a movie or two I would have liked to fall asleep to, but never could. I DID, however, sleep through my 1st drive-in; Bachelor Party and Porkey’s. Don’t ask me how….I think my date’s shoulder must have been a little too snuggly:) And he never took me to the movies again….

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