The Gift of Three Movies
There’s something special about seeing a movie in theaters for the first time. The lights go out. The opening music starts to play. For two hours, you can forget your problems and sink into a world created to entertain you.
I love watching movies. It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with people. The idea that you and I can sit in the same theater, watch the same movie, and still interpret it differently is so strange to me. Some of my favorite conversations with people are about movies and what they take away from it.
A good example: the Jurassic Park movies. Why would they continue trying to open a theme park if it always leads to people getting eaten by dinosaurs? My friends and I can go on for hours about this. The conversation can change to five different subjects (some related, others not), and we could never answer the original question, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is the valuable time that I spend with my friends, talking about a movie that we can all understand and laugh about.
Personally, I don’t care about seeing movies first with somebody. I will go see the same movie twelve times with twelve different people because movies, and sharing that experience with another person, make me happy. I also know that, as an older sister and a girlfriend, not everyone feels that way. It’s more difficult because my siblings and boyfriend share most of their movie interests. They all want to see the movie with me first. I’m such a sucker that I took Hannah and CJ to see Batman V. Superman on different nights, just to make it special for them. However, I also have moments where I can’t remember who I’ve seen what with, and it hurts when I realize that I’ve forgotten to take CJ to see Justice League like I promised.
There isn’t an easy solution to my problem. Hannah and CJ live in Kansas. Casey lives in Oklahoma. It’s not always feasible between work, school, and other commitments to find a time that works for the four of us. It isn’t fair to Hannah and CJ that I always see movies with Casey first. It wouldn’t be fair the other way around either. I’m sure that plenty of you have found yourselves in similar situations. There are only so many hours in the day, and you can’t be in two places at once, no matter how hard you try. Well, I’ve found quite the solution, and I’m feeling nice enough to share with the rest of you. Hannah and CJ loved it. They loved that their big sister cared enough to notice how they felt. More importantly, they had tangible proof to show that I love them. I added their movie choices below so you can see what Hannah and CJ picked.
My solution: The Gift of Three Movies
- Come up with a witty introduction, written on some notebook paper. Tell them that they matter to you and that you want to take them out to the movies. Make sure to lay it on thick so they can’t smell the guilt that comes from a movie you know you forgot to take them to. Emphasize that they will be the first person you see that movie with. For Hannah’s gift, I gave myself a consequence if I see her movies with someone else. She gets to punch me in the face if I don’t do what I promised, so she’s pretty excited for her movies. CJ would’ve gotten a similar chance, but he’s huge and I don’t want a broken nose.
- Make a list of movies that are released in the year following whatever holiday prompted this gift. They need to be movies that you know the recipient will actually want to see. It isn’t fair if the movies that you picked are all ones you want to see. That really defeats the purpose.
- Sort the movies that you’ve come up with into three categories, with five movies in each of these. For Hannah and CJ, I gave them the category options of ‘Live-Action’, ‘Animated’, and ‘Superhero’. Any bigger movies, like Infinity War that I knew everyone would want to see, were left off the list so we could try to come up with a joint solution.
- Stick it in an envelope and pray that they like the movies that you’ve chosen.
- This is an additional step, called compromise. You’ll notice below that Hannah chose two animated movies instead of one, but she didn’t like the live-action choices that I gave her. So, in the interest of making her happy for her birthday, I let her trade the live-action choice for an extra animated movie. Be willing to work with them if you don’t do a good job picking movies.
Hannah’s Movies: Deadpool 2, Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet, Hotel Transylvania 3.
CJ’s Movies: Black Panther, Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
If you find yourself in a similar situation and can’t seem to find a solution, please give mine a try. You won’t regret it.