So I go to the movies. A lot. Like, more than most people I know. I like the movie theater experience, okay? There’s something about sitting in the dark theater, with no distractions—no work cell phone, no barking dogs...I love the communal experience of seeing a new movie in the dark with a bunch of strangers; it’s my happy place.

In years past, we have typically purchased a popcorn bucket and soda cup from Cinemark theaters (a plastic cup and little pail, the equivalent of a medium popcorn and large soda which are slightly extortionate at the time of purchase, but can then be refilled for a discounted price for the entire year) because we patronized them so frequently, it was cheaper in the long run to fork over the extra money at the beginning of the year.

Then I lost my job. Wait, it’s not a sad story, I got a new job! A new job that ate up a LOT of my time, causing our movie-going habit to be be severely curtailed. So much so, that in January I said “what’s the point of spending the money on this dumb cup? We never go anymore!” And every other month or so, when we’d finally make it back to our favorite cineplex, the same slightly surly teenager would try to hustle me into buying a cup and/or popcorn bucket. Nope, sorry kid. I’m not a regular anymore! It would be a waste!And then this week happened. I have been traveling a lot—pretty much for the last three weeks straight, between work and my own vacation. And I have been so distraught over all of the great movies that are coming out that I would inevitably miss! No now that I’m home, I totally made up for lost time. In the past week and a half, I’ve seen

The Woman in Gold

Age of Adeline

Pitch Perfect 2

Mad Max

Far From the Madding Crowd

And was waited on by the same surly, increasingly smug teen. And tonight, as he rang up my eleventy billionth transaction of the week, he leaned over the counter conspiratorially and said “I bet you REALLY wish you had bought that cup, huh? That’ll be $42.”

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I’m pretty sure I could hear him laughing all the way to my seat.