The comedy is us

Now and then, we crave for comedy. We want to laugh, to feel lighthearted, to find amusement in the silly and even accept the foolish in hopes that there’s a lesson to be learned. Last weekend, on a whim, two seniors and I decided to watch a romance comedy. A bold decision. Spontaneity is not these seniors’ regular fare.

Excited to embark on this impulsive adventure, we three seniors abandoned our chores at home, dressed quickly and rushed to the movie house to catch a showing of Book Club. The film preview captured our interest, because the story runs a narrative about four elderly women’s escapades and eclectic experiences. Our bubble of expectation for a good watch burst when the ticket seller announced that tickets were sold out. Also for the next three days. Why … aha! It’s a holiday long weekend – we forgot about that, we remarked boisterously and simultaneously, as though we each had a light bulb switch on in our heads at the same time. Or, we surmised, maybe Book Club is a smash, not only with the young once but also with young ones, and that’s why all tickets had been taken.

Utterly disappointed, we slumped on the concrete bench outside the movie house and started to people watch, hoping that would distract us from disappointment. In silence, we stared at passers-by but rejoiced when others were turned away from the ticket counter. Strange comfort — they shared in our deflated expectations. I knew when things weren’t going right when one of us called attention to a female whom she said looked like me. No way did she resemble me. Yes, her hair was up in a bun like mine, but I was taller, lighter haired (with blond streaks that camouflaged the gray), slimmer and, if I may say so, spunkier and xxxxxxxx (I meant, prettier). So, I said – nah, not at all like me. “Look at the way she walks,” the observer countered. No, I don’t walk with a hip sway, I wanted to yell. An argument could have ensued if someone didn’t suggest food. That’s how sad our conversation deteriorated, all because we couldn’t watch that movie that we straddled our whims on to – it’s like whetting our appetite for ice cream, and there’s no ice cream to be had.

I shall call ourselves One, Two, Three. I’m One. In our frenzy to make it to the early afternoon showing, we behaved like the seniors celebrated in the comedy. Two insisted on driving us to the movie house, though I wanted to. She took the Rengstorff route because her husband said that was the easier and faster way. We got lost, and ended driving around for extra precious minutes that got us closer to show time. Three kept saying, “You should have gone the direction I told you”. It sounded like a taunt, so Two got irked and barked, “OK, you tell me the way”. Of course, at that point, she didn’t know where to go, and none of us knew the way, since all three are direction challenged.

One couldn’t help commenting, “It’s best to trust familiarity, so always go the way you’ve gone before”. The car cruised on the middle lane, with all three of us wildly looking left and right, hoping to find a familiar sign or some clue for direction to the theater. Suddenly, One yelled, “We’re here. Look up, it says Movies with the arrow to the right”. The car could not easily turn right because we were in the middle lane. Nervously waiting for the line of cars on the right lane to pass, it seemed like eternity, especially because the truck behind kept honking. This was getting wild, and just too much for Two who had to deal with back-seat drivers since she turned on Rengstorff. When the right lane was empty, Two drove to the road on the right. Suddenly, everything looked familiar to us. We were on the movie lane! As though we found gold, we all laughed heartily while releasing heavy sighs of relief. But hey – we nearly missed the entrance to the movie house.

Whew! Finally, we were there. The parking lot was practically full. After trying several lanes and finding a spot, Two and One jumped out of the car and walked rapidly to the ticket cashier to beat the lines. Surprise, no lines! We looked back and Three was not following behind. Funny, Three was inside the car, frantically tapping on the window and making wild gestures. Two had inadvertently locked the car as she shut her door, not noticing of course, that Three was still inside. I thought to myself, was that a payback for Three’s nasty remarks about Two’s driving?

Walking back to the car, Two pressed her remote key to unlock it. Three slipped out partly looking mortified but all of a sudden, laughed her head off. Nice, I thought. I would have been upset if that was me locked up in the car. One laughed even louder at the incongruity of the situation. Two joined in the silly laughter but gave no apologies for locking Three in the car. This was a zany moment. All giddy with expectation, we hurriedly approached the ticket counter. Book Club was the gold at the end of our wacky adventure.

Upon reaching the ticket counter, we morosely listened to the ticket seller announce that the shows that Saturday were sold out. He added that most tickets had been purchased in advance or online. Now, wait a minute – these three seniors never bought tickets online or even in advance. Going to the movies was always easy, and tickets were always there at the counter, for the asking. When did that change?

One, Two and Three dejectedly and slowly trudged to the bench outside to sit and digest the sad news.

“That woman there looks like you,” Two said.
“Nah – not at all,” One slurred.
“Just look at her front, her shape is the same,” Two chuckled her words.
I tuned her out. One more word, and …
“Let’s just go and eat,” Three chirped.

Linda P. Jacob