I deservedly earned a reputation for not paying attention to the little things early in life.
I hate to think of how much money my mother spent on winter gloves and hats to replace the ones I lost. I didn’t mean to lose them. I just didn’t always pay attention to what I did with them when I didn’t have them on my body.
She also had to continually remind me that when she asked me to look for something, I needed to actually move other things to find it. Standing and staring at a shelf didn’t cut it. I didn’t see anything wrong with that because if it was important, why would someone put it behind something else?
As I have grown up, I have managed to slightly improve in this area. Some of it I credit to my 10 years as a reporter. Working as a “trained observer” helped me notice things a little better. Well, when I felt like it.
I still have trouble noticing an additional item in a room, a new haircut or, in the case of a recent outing with my wife, the number above the door at the movies.
With a child-free night because of a sleepover, we headed out to enjoy “Argo,” The Ben Affleck-drive, CIA thriller. My wife actually met the spy the story is based on, so we had a special interest in this movie.
We got our tickets, bought some snacks and settled into our seats a little early. We didn’t have anything better to do so we just sat and tolerated the on-screen entertainment.
Partway through the pre-show, we noticed something a little weird. A couple of groups of teenage girls came in the theatre and took their seats. I mentioned how I found that odd because I thought the movie had an R rating.
We talked about it a little and just assumed that Ben Affleck had enough draw to bring in folks who might not have an interest in CIA activities in 1979. The small audience also contained some adults, so we didn’t feel completely out of place.
The lights finally went down and the previews started. I started to forget about the whole “why are there high-school kids in here” thing until a preview for that Twilight movie started. Again, I wondered how they connected sparkly vampires with Cold War espionage.
That preview was the last one before the movie started. That’s when everything cleared up. Or got much more confusing, I guess, depending on your perspective.
Unless Affleck managed to connect the overthrow of the Shah of Iran with a capella singing competitions, I quickly realized we had indeed sat in the wrong theatre for a good 15-20 minutes. I hustled outside, looked up to see the number three which I had somehow envisioned as the number one above the door and headed back in to quickly exfiltrate my wife.
Luckily, the correct theatre sat just across the hall, and the two movies had started at the same time. We only missed a minute or two of exposition about the hostage crisis in Iran which created the situation for the movie’s plot. I felt pretty lucky.
But I made sure to check our area for any stray hats and gloves as we left. You can’t be too careful.