Saturday, March 17, 2007

What kind of omen is it?

Okay, so I will own right now that I am not much of a party girl. After spending Thursday afternoon walking around stunned by the news of my tenure and promotion, I did little more than have a drink with the gf and watch basketball. But that Friday, the gf offered to do whatever I want. So, being the cinefile that I am, I asked to go to a movie and dinner.

Now, the gf and I have several genres of movies we both like (historical films, documentaries, queer films, and action flicks), but I like many many more. I come from a family of film buffs--and we will watch almost anything. (For a short while, you couldn't be in our familial circle of friends if you had not seen "Heathers." Oh, the humanity.)

Anyway, I was in the mood to see one of *my* films: nothing too serious, something funny and engaging. So, I asked her to be a sport and go with me to see a matinee of "Night at the Museum."

Because it has been out so long, the only place it was playing was in suburban hell, about 35 minutes from home. We agreed to meet there (it is between her work and home) and we made it on time. Unlike the college town theater, which is empty at matinees except for opening weekend, this theater was crawling with families, small children, boisterous teens, and older couples. While the gf hates crowds and movies with lots of kids, I am LOVING this. Nothing is better to me than a crowd in a theater.

The previews come on, and they are all for either cartoon features (i.e., The Simpsons movie and Shreck 3) or goofy movies (i.e., the new Will Ferrell ice skating flick). The gf is sighing while the children and I are tickled by the previews (esp. Shrek 3). We get about 10 minutes into the feature when a young usher opens the door and says, awkwardly, "There has been a fire alarm. Everyone has to leave!" Everyone in the audience looks around (the theater is still dark and the movie is playing), but we all eventually decide that we should probably vacate.

So, we make our way to the hallway...where we find billowing smoke. Really.
It looks like the concession stand is on fire!! All I can think about are the two 18-20 year old kids who had been working the concessions, and I hope they are alright. We hustle towards the far doors, along with a mother and her 2 small children. The mother explains to us that this is her children's first time at a real movie. They seem somewhat bewildered by it all. You can almost see them thinking,"Does this happen every time??"

We make our way to the front of the theater, where everyone is just milling around. In short order, there are 5 fire trucks, an ambulance, and 3 police cars. The kids are enjoying the firetrucks, sirens, and firefighters in full regalia (including axe). Parents are taking pictures with their camera-phones, as am I. The gf and I stand and watch while snacking on remaining popcorn. After a little while, everyone starts to figure out that the movies are out for the night. The manager and employees run around and hand out refund tickets (we get 2 each for our trouble, though that means more trips to the 'burbs to use them).

The gf and I decide to pursue plan B: a great homecooked meal (steak, portabello mushrooms with goat cheese, sweet potato, and salad) and more basketball. (Lucky for me that the gf likes to cook and she is good at it!)

So, what does the failed movie-watching/fire mean as an omen for my career as a newly-tenured associate prof? Is my career ablaze with possibilities? Is it just going to be memorable, but not quite what I imagined? Does doom and danger lurk ahead? What do you think?

1 comment:

zombieswan said...

I'll comment as a "zombiecomelately" on this. I know it's an old post, and it's always weird to me when people comment on too old posts-- I have to look back & see what they are commenting on. Anyway.

I think it means that there will always be surprises, but that you have to take them with humor (it sounds like you did) and support (which is sounds like you have.)

Was it John Lennon who said "life is what happens when you're making other plans?"

And, I wonder if you've gotten to see this yet. It is out on DVD now.... this is my only option, nowadays, with twin babies, cause we're SO not ready for movie theaters yet. :)