I had lofty goals for this evening.

I did.

With school around the corner, my classrooms still in a state of unreadiness, a book still needing to be read, and family arriving on the morrow, I just needed a mindless break for a good two hours and an episode or two of Star Trek: The Next Generation was just not going to cut it tonight.

My plan was to go see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets at the theater a hop, skip, and a jump from my place; finish doing a little tidying up in preparation for family arrival tomorrow, which involved cleaning, laundry, and, yes, ants . . . ; read for work, which I have been putting off; and do some blog writing.

All of these tasks would have been manageable. The theater is less than five minutes away when driving. I had just cleaned thoroughly for a friend’s going away party, and I was going to stop by the store to pick up some friendly ant-killing spray on the way to the movies. I’d motivate myself to read my work text by interspersing chapters of the book with back issues of Guardians of the Galaxy or an issue or two of the highly entertaining Rat Queens series.

And, finally, I would get down to some blog writing. I had several ideas already jotted down for potential posts, doing a third edition of “The Vagina Rocket Attempts to Summit a Mountain”, which this time would be about my actual trip up Pike’s Peak, or I considered writing about a particular dream I had had recently, which woke me in a cold and angry panic at 3:31 AM, a dream in which I told certain people exactly what I thought of them, and by certain people, I mean my father. But, I also had other ideas, non-jotted down ideas, that I was considering writing about. Family coming to visit being one of them, still not sure what to take my grandparents to and wondering how much I should de-rainbowtize my place. Some Facebook musings, centering on my Facebook stalking of my mom’s profile and seeing her posting/tagging of her recent visit to my brother’s and knowing I would not be receiving the same treatment on this weekend’s visit. And, one in which I just had some vague ideas for, but a pretty decent title, “It’s Easy to Hate Yourself When Your Father Believes You’re the Devil’s Puppet”.

Once I decided, for sure, to proceed with my evening plans, it began without a hitch. I stopped by the local store near the theater and picked up some environmentally friendly ant poison, which later when I sprayed it could not stop thinking about how it smelled like root beer. Heading to the theater, I tossed the aerosol can of poison into my car and hoped it wouldn’t explode while I was in the movies. Albuquerque sun can be miserably hot, but the evening was already cooling off. The Vagina Rocket was also safely shaded in a parking garage. I believed myself to be in the clear.

I purchased my ticket, stamped my parking ticket, and took my child-sized soda (a soda the size of a small child) into the theater, where I promptly posted a lackluster Facebook check-in to my wall.

The trailers before the film were unmemorable, for the most part.

Although, it might be interesting to see Kylo Ren in a redneck, NASCAR robbing role in the upcoming Logan Lucky. And, while it does not look good, I know I will still see Pitch Perfect 3 because aca-I-want-to, dammit!

I had skimmed through a few reviews for Valerian before deciding to go. Even though the reviews were very average, which is being kind, I was still hoping for something entertaining for two hours. Maybe not The 5th Element good, but hopefully at least a little enjoyable . . .

Unfortunately, I was finding that the reviews were right.

The movie was pretty to look at, but that was about it. In a weird sci-fi smash up of Star Trek ideals with Star Wars prequel visuals, mixed in with even worse acting/interest/chemistry than Anakin and Padme, the two leads in the movie seemed to be even more bored than I was annoyed at the movie’s focus of reinforcing gender stereotypes.

With only fifteen or so minutes left, I just wanted to see how the movie ended. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the screen went blank, the lights started flashing, and a recorded voice told the movie patrons to evacuate.

Like curious and mindless sheep, we circled around outside the theater to try to figure out what was going on. We huddled together as the fire truck arrived and were told to stand clear of the area, being forced to congregate at the Brazilian meat stick place.

After twenty minutes, it was clear that no one knew what was going on. The crowd speculated that someone pulled the alarm, but no one really knew for sure.

After another twenty minutes, the movie theater folks announced they would be letting people back in, issuing rainchecks, and the movie would pick up right where it left off.

After another ten minutes, I had my rain check in hand. But, we were still all outside the theater.

While waiting, I posted another Facebook update, and I began to think about all the things I had to get down the next day at work, which led me to think about all the things I needed to get done tonight.

I kept waiting.

I did want to see how the movie ended. Even though it was rife with gender stereotyping, was poorly plotted, and led by two lackluster leads, the movie still looked pretty. It still had some interesting moments.

It wasn’t too late for it to turn itself around, right?

It might end of a high note.

In the end, I decided my two hour diversion had turned into a three hour ordeal.

It wasn’t worth waiting around to catch the last act. Sure, it might look good, and it might be trying, but sometimes, effort and appearance can only hide the substance underneath for so long.

Sometimes, whatever you are waiting for isn’t worth the wait.

I slipped my rain check into my wallet and began to make my way to my car.


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