Here’s a shout out to Zach Barrett at the Desert Rigdge AMC. God bless him for having to deal with us today.

Doesn’t a movie on a beautiful Saturday afternoon sound relaxing and fun? Not if everyone is in a bad mood. The question? How can one be in a bad mood when you’re on an outing to see the movie of your choice coupled with you’re very own snack pack? Maybe that’s where I went wrong. Catering to the different tastes.

We get in the theatre without incident. The funk came upon us at the concession stand. Walking up, I quickly scanned the prices to notice that getting a slurpee, their favorite movie drink, by itself was almost the same price as the entire kid’s snack pack (including the slurpee). So, for a dollar more, each kid could not only get the drink, but popcorn and candy.

Of course, they didn’t like the snack pack candy of the day … but for one more buck, they could even get the candy of their choice. It’s Spring Break, so I decided, what the heck … let’s splurge. That’s when the trouble began.

“What would you like to drink?” … nice Zach asks the 9-yr old.

Instead of answering him, she looks at me. “Uhhmmmm….”
“What kind of Slurpee do you want.” I ask, pointing out there are only two flavors. And only one that any of them even like.
“Come on. — What do you want??!!” I begin to implore.
Again, looking at me, “I guess I’ll have a cherry Slurpee.”

Okay. Now that I’m a recovering enabler, the fact that’s she’s telling me acts as yet another reminder of their apparent inability to do anything themselves. She wanted to tell me so I could tell him. Forget the fact that he was standing directly in front of her on the other side of the counter.

“Tell HIM.” I point and head nudge his way.
She reluctantly turns to him, “I guess … uhhmmmm…. well…… I …. well….I’ll (hee,hee) get a cherry slurpee.”
Impatient me, “Okay! What kind of candy do you want??!!”
“I don’t know.”
(“Well go look at the shelf and figure it out,” I say to myself. “Or do I need to do that for you, too?! )

This is not good. With six of us, it is going to take FOREVER!

The 7-yr old next to her (Slow Walker) has morphed into Mumble Man.
“What kind of drink do you want?”
(You’ve got to be joking!) I retort rather forcefully, “Please speak so we can hear you! What. Kind. Of. Slurpee. Do. You. Want?!”
“mbllmmmll …blah-blah-blah-blah.”
I fight the urge to strangle him as poor Zach patiently watches the whole thing.
“Do you want a Dr. Pepper instead?!!!”
yes … Dr. Pepper
“What? … Did he say Dr. Pepper?”, I ask his neighboring sibling. After a nod, I tell Zach, “He’ll have a Dr. Pepper.”
I WANT A DR. PEPPER SLURPEE!!!“, he yells back at me. (Now he decides to be heard.)
“They don’t have a Dr. Pepper Slurpee. All they have is Cherry or blue. And you don’t like the blue!!!”

His candy choice is equally as frustrating. Then I ban him to a make-shift time out as Zach nicely tries to calm the situation.
“It’s okay. No worries. It’s alright.”

The teen tries to slip in Milk-Duds, an absolute no-no with braces. He then takes the popcorn, another known no. The 7-yr old is crying. The others are pelting me with their drink/candy requests. I’m now needing a vacation from my vacation.

The piece de resistance … When we had finally paid and made our way to the seats, I hear muffled dissatisfaction down the row. I didn’t want to ask, but the persistence required my inquiry.

“What’s wrong?”
The teen indignantly mouths as he shrugs his shoulders, hands questioning, “Where are the straws??!!”

Not only did he not get himself a straw at the stand, he expected me to get up and go get if for him. I’m thinking a twelve step “Enabler Anonymous” program might be in order for me. Unbelievably, his sweet sister actually gets up and goes to the stand to bring back a couple of straws.

Thank you Lord for silver linings and a nice concession guy named Zach.

Happy Wrinkles! … and thanks for walking the road with me.

(BTW — We did enjoy the movie … and they really are great kids.

Later that afternoon, I had a woman stop me. “Is this young man your child?” She asked pointing at my teen. “Yes.” I replied. “Are the rest of these yours, too?” She went on. “Yes, Mam,” I answered, not sure where she was going. “Well, I don’t know about the others, but this young man right here … He’s a fine boy.” … “Thank you — He sure is.” I nodded and she went on her way.

After digging for details, I learned from him that he had seen her struggling to carry her food. Apparently, he had b-lined over to help. No chiding from me, no performance, just plain old, chivalrous, courtesy.

Aaaahhh. Now that’s a sweet ending.)

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