New Years Resolution # 1 Clean out my handbag.
We went to see the much anticipated “Life of Pi” last night. I was so looking forward to seeing the movie, I bought the tickets on Sunday night. To avoid potential queuing on opening night, I also purchased two tickets for my friend and her partner. We all met at a neighbouring hip cafe/restaurant for an early dinner. Some guests were late and out of the ten of us, only five chose to actually eat dinner. Our dinners arrived at 6.10 pm and the movie was due to commence at 6.25 pm. Talk about stuff your dinner down. I had opted for completely oil free baked vegetables which were served on top of a generous mountain of trendy lettuce varieties – no dressing. Somehow I managed to chew through my dry leaves before snatching some dry sourdough off my daughters 70% uneaten upmarket scrambled egg dish.
My friend, who wasn’t eating asked me for her tickets so they could scoot off to the movie. Under pressure, I glanced in my bag to look for my wallet, which usually sits atop the mess. Not unlike our movie character Pi, my wallet looks like the survivor of a shipwreck, floating on the broken up contents of my life since my last handbag cleanup.
“Oh my God, where’s my wallet?” I gasp. Had it drowned in the mess? A quick scoot around the docket infested depths produced nothing but a few long strands of blonde hair wound around one of my rings. I remembered pulling my wallet out earlier that afternoon to give my father his movie ticket, since he had wisely opted out of the pre movie dinner rush.
“Damn…I’ve left my wallet at home on the lounge!” I announce.
“Ooooooh MUM!” my son groans as if I always leave my wallet behind.
My friend meets the news with not one of her usual worldly and soft spoken french phrases but rather a…..
“OH…. F…K !” Pardon the not so french.
“We’ll have to buy some more,” she announces and off she goes.
The time is ticking….I rush to the cinema and see my friend at the box office purchasing tickets. I rush up to her panic stricken and begin explaining the story to the teenager in the window.
“I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait in line….” he says with the first of one of his fixed and irritating smiles.
“Yes…I should think so” says a white haired older man as his much younger girlfriend of Asian appearance shakes her head disapprovingly.
“Well….sorry….hasn’t someone had a late night” I throw sarcastically over my shoulder.
“OHhhhhhhh …..Muuummmmmm….” my son groans.
“Let’s phone Dad on his mobile and tell him what’s happened” I say as my son begins dialling Dads number. No luck.
“Well Dad will be here soon, he can buy us some more tickets and we’ll get a refund once we return with the original tickets….where is he?” I pace over to the glass doors wishing Dad would instantly materialise.
“How long would it take you to go home and get your wallet?” my friend asks trying to be helpful.
“Over half an hour….too long…no Dad will be here soon” I reply.
We spot Dad on the horizon and the kids race up to him. I watch him stop suddenly, rummage around in his bag to locate his mobile phone. I groan inwardly as I know he’s only going to hear our lame message on his answering machine. More minutes tick by.
“Poppy’s cut his hand…his hand is dripping with blood” my daughter declares.
Dad arrives with splatters of blood on his shirt and and a large bloodstain on his trousers.
“How did you do that?” I ask
“When I pressed the button to cross the road” he answers.
“How the hell could that happen…on a button!?” I ask, but I’m really more concerned for the fact that the movie was starting and we still didn’t have tickets.
“Do you have any money Dad…I’ll have to buy some more and then they’ll credit us,” I rush him.
Poor Dad fumbles with his bag and his handkerchief wrapped tightly around his finger.
He produces a twenty dollar note. My son rushes it to the box office. The smiling face in the window says cheerily…”That will be forty one dollars thank you.” I think to myself, the cinema may look like we’re back in the golden age of movies, but a twenty just won’t buy us four tickets anymore.
My son steps back onto my toe and I shriek in pain. Two movie patrons lined up at the lolly counter turn to stare. Oh turn around and stuff your faces with more sugar I think to myself. I’m beyond giving a damn about social niceties.
My friend is back on the scene checking on our progress. “Go back and enjoy the movie,” I politely urge.
“We can pay for your tickets if you don’t have enough” she kindly offers.
“No….we have enough….Dad…..we need more money” I add.
Dad searches in his bag for more money and produces a ten dollar note.
My son now has thirty dollars sitting in front of the happy box office employee.
“Still not enough Dad” I inform him.
“Oh..he says….I’ll get my credit card“….his bloodied fingers pulling at the corners of the card which as usual is encased too tightly within its plastic confines.
Finally it lands with a clatter on the golden tray in front of smiling boy.
“Sorry Sir…..cash only!” he grins. At this point I would love to wipe the smile off his Cheshire cat face.
“Great!…” we groan in unison.
“There’s a teller machine in the corner” he smiles.
Dad tries to insert the card into one of the machine slots. No luck.
“Hang on….I’ll have to get my glasses….” he says with exasperation.
My son grabs the card and inserts it into the correct slot. I remember this teller machine, it must be the slowest one on earth.
The machines screen lights up TELLER IS UNAVAILABLE…
“Oh my God…you are joking aren’t you!” I splutter.
I walk over to the box office to give my one last plea for clemency.
“Really, this is ridiculous. I bought the tickets on Sunday night! I can bring them to you after the movie…..”
“I’m sorry….if you don’t have your tickets I can’t let you in….the manager is not here today…..I’m sorry….these are the rules” he smiles sweetly, completely unmoved by our situation.
I have an idea I might have some loose change in the depths of my handbag. I plonk the heavy load onto the lounge and start rummaging. Out pops my wallet.
“HERE’S MY WALLET!” I declare triumphantly holding it high for effect.
“OOooooooohhh…..MM…UUUU…MMMMM!” my son sighs loudly.
“You are sooooo…….EMBARRASSING!”
I stuff the tickets under smiling boys nose.” Now….I’ll have a credit for my friends tickets THANK YOU……”
We rush up the stairs and into our seats and the movie hasn’t even started yet. I wonder how I’m ever going to settle down and relax. But I do, knowing what today’s blog will be about.