I am sorry.
You, youthful, youthy, perfect, barely, sixteen-year-old girls that shared a row of seats with me on a crowded late night showing of Crazy Stupid Love at the budget cinema.
Oh, I’m sure you remember me from the 10PM show.
Ryan Gosling? The gasp? Now it’s all coming back, isn’t it?
I took myself to the discount showing of Crazy Stupid Love on Friday night. I’m sure this was a repeat viewing for you and that you saw it the first time around. I only catch movies when they’re a year old. Yes, that’s right–I took myself. This is an act of desperation you don’t yet understand. Do you know what it takes to go see a movie alone late at night, you perfectly beautiful things? No, you don’t yet. What it takes to decide to go see a movie alone, at 10PM, is seeing a block of time; free, unscheduled, and you make for the door before anyone has the chance to ask if you know where their soccer uniform is.
To the girl with the pretty pointed toe leopard spot flats who had half my soda dumped on her feet, I’m sorry. I just didn’t expect Ryan to whip off his shirt like that. Is that what they do now?, on a date, I mean. I am sorry. I usually don’t do things to get people’s attention. I’ve never been the class clown, despite my lone Three Stooges act that night with you.
To the girl who got her entire bucket of popcorn dumped onto her lap while she sat whispering about Emma Stone, I am sorry. I hope you got all the popcorn picked out of your waist length black hair–I just didn’t know the arm rest we shared would go flying up that quickly.
I am sorry to the girl who got hit in the head with my summer purse, even thought it’s now autumn, while she sat peacefully on the end. I couldn’t see a thing when I first entered the theater. It takes a helluva lot longer for your eyes to adjust to the dark after a certain age. It has to do with slower muscle contractions –I know this because when you get older, Google becomes your health care provider and you search out every new overnight growth or body change in hopes of finding out just what the hell is going on.
I realize all of you had to share a row with me on a crowded night and that meant you all had to smell the smell of fried Tilapia fillets. I am sorry. That was my hair. You see, it’s my boys’ favorite Friday night meal. And so I make it for them. Because that’s how exciting my life is now, I live to make fish on Friday nights. If you stay in college, this could be your dream life, too.
I am sorry to the girl that I kept giving answers to questions that I thought she was asking me, when she was actually just trying to talk to her friend on the phone. I should have known you weren’t asking me if I’d do Ryan Gosling. Do me a solid, and keep that answer between us, would you? Thank you.
To the girl I kept creeping out by telling her how cute she was, I am sorry. You really are. So cute. You don’t know this yet, because all you see is your imagined physical shortcomings when you compare yourself to the girl sitting in the middle of the row. Who, by the way, is not even close to being half as adorable as you are — and that look she’s sporting? totally sleazy.
I am sorry to the girl that had to keep moving her matchstick legs to the side for me, because I kept having to get up and down and up and down to go to the bathroom. It’s obnoxious, I know. But after three children, your bladder… see… um… I’m sorry.
I am sorry to the girl whose water bottle I kept kicking over with my feet –I was not trying to play a game of me kick you pick up. My feet are slowly becoming flippers, getting bigger every year. I graduated from high school a size seven shoe, and I’m not used to these size eight and halfs yet.
For the ninety minutes that I sat next to you ethereally divine angels in the theater, I thought of how you must think of me: a walking billboard for “Don’t get old! This could happen to you!” You see me, a middle aged woman, with hair that never did make it in for its appointment last week, dressed in a thrown on stretched out sweatshirt since she’s not cool enough for a hoodie and too tight brown yoga pants that she’s been in since Wednesday. On my two-months-ago pedicured feet are green flip flops that don’t even match my clothes, but they were the shoes closest to the door. And I’m in a theater, alone, because I really want to see this movie; and so, without time to call anyone else, I go.
This won’t be us, I know that’s the promise you make to yourselves. We’ll never wear clothes that look like they’re our husband’s, or let our feet get all gnarly like that, or go to the movies ALONE. I practically read your minds.
The thing is this: you are all so beautiful. Being young is so naturally beautiful. And you’re blind to that right now. But, one night with me and you’re feeling like Emma Stone up there, aren’t you?
And that’s all right, because then my work here is done. I live to serve now: just come watch me some Friday when it’s fish night at our house, I wield a mean Tilapia.
I am sorry.
And you are welcome.
And my gosh, but that Ryan Gosling? Whew—is that how they make ‘em nowadays? Because I never would have stood a chance.
(Editor’s note: Need more Alexandra? Check out her wonderful blog, GOOD DAY, REGULAR PEOPLE)