Sunday was the first time I have taken the kids to a movie, the whole family went. They have been to movies before, just not with me.
I had bought them both candy at the gas station but told them they could get an Icee at the theatre. Of course, Brady wanted to know why I was buying candy at the gas station and I told him because the candy at the theatre was very expensive. I suddenly had visions of Brady telling the person at the snack line that mommy was hiding candy in her purse.
“Hey Brady,” I said, “Don’t tell anyone that I have candy in my purse, okay?”
“Because you’re really not supposed to bring any in, they want you to buy it there.”
“Is it against the law? Are we going to get in trouble?” He asked.
“Um, no, it’s not against the law. We wouldn’t really get in trouble but maybe they’d take the candy away.”
It’s such a delicate thing, trying to explain to a child when it’s okay to break the rules.
We got to the theatre and bought our tickets; four matinee tickets cost $24. Not too bad, I thought. They didn’t charge for Colin, but the ticket guy looked at me rather suspiciously and asked how old he was. (He is the size of some two year olds, but he’s not even nine months old.) We went over to the concessions and ordered four Icees. The girl rang them up and said, “$24”
My eyes huge and mouth agape, I looked up at the prices. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I realize I might be a little out of touch but when did THAT happen? I wanted to tell her that those better have some Captain Morgan in them, but then I remembered the children, and the fact that it wasn’t her fault that the prices are outrageous. The poor girl probably has to work a whole hour just to afford her own Icee from the concessions.
I was left wondering why they charge so much. Because they can? Do they think it’s Disney World? (I don’t like dogs or Disney World but I promise I am not entirely soulless.) I can get a Slurpee at 7-11 for $1.50 and I’m guessing they have some kind of profit margin, so why is it necessary to charge 4 times that amount for the same product? I’m no business major, but it seems to me that the simple laws of supply and demand would mean that if they priced their items reasonably, people like me would buy more stuff at their concessions and not make a pit stop on the way to the theatre, and they might make more money. Or maybe there are just a bunch of suckers, like me, who order without looking at the prices and then are shocked into submission.
I was having an internal conflict between frugal mom and fun mom which ended with frugal mom dying a little inside. I paid for the drinks, filled up our cups, and we made our way into the movie theatre. I savored every single sip of that Icee. Monsters University was adorable. I only had to leave the theatre three times with little Colin and only had to retrieve Brady from running down the aisles four times. All in all, a good (and expensive) experience.
When we got home, I asked the boys if they liked the movie.
“What movie?” Brady asked.
“The movie we just saw.”
“What movie we just saw?”
Sully chimed in next, “What’s Monsters University?”
I just had to shake my head. I sure am glad I spent $48 on that. I probably could have given the kids a big empty box to play with and they would have had a more memorable experience.