I lost the coin toss on Friday morning. This meant I would be accompanying my kindergarten son to Halloween trick-or-treating at his elementary school followed by a showing of “Despicable Me” in the gymnasium. Flipping a coin to decide who was lucky enough to stay home with our two-year-old daughter was merely the first despicable act of the day.
We arrived at school in time to join the hallway stroll with ninjas, princesses, athletes, grannies, superheros, mummies, and one very inappropriate five-year-old Lady Gaga who made my miniature Transformer blush. It’s no stretch to say that girl’s mom committed the second despicable act of the day.
With prizes in hand and blankets on the hard floor, we waited for the movie to start. The lights went down and the gymnasium fell silent. About 30 minutes into the movie, my left leg started tingling which only enhanced the numbness of my rear. It was time to move from my cross-legged position and look around the room to see if the other parents looked as uncomfortable as I felt.
To my surprise, the room was glowing like a Bon Jovi concert. About 60% of the light was coming from little ones wearing their new glow bracelets, but the other 40% was coming from parents looking at their mobile phones. Hmmm. Well, I did have a few e-mails that needed attention, so I fired up my BB and joined the crowd of despicable parents who can’t sit with their kids for a 90-minute movie.
Like all good animated films, this movie had an underlying theme hidden in the brilliant lines of Steve Carell and the antics of his minions, who were really just Universal Studio’s version of the oompa loompa. The theme was about loving somebody unconditionally despite their flaws. It’s the kind of love that I have been blessed enough to receive from both my parents and my children. I can only hope that it’s strong enough to endure when my son is a teenager and he realizes that not only did his parents flip a coin to determine who had to attend his movie night, but that his mother was rude enough to send e-mails during the movie. I am ashamed of myself.
One good thing did come from the evening, however. I feel great relief knowing that if ever a tornado blows through town on a school day, Noah will be secure in that gymnasium. I know this because the glow from those mobile devices danced around the room as we all stretched our arms toward the open door waving them around for a better signal. Despicable.