The first time I went to the movies in the United Arab Emirates was with my buddy Alex and it was annoying. The second time I went with my fiancé, and she was miserable. The third time must be the charm. Tonight has to be the night that everything goes right. And The Maze Runner is the movie where it all falls into place… hopefully.
One of the new perks of married life is your regular “Date Night”. Date Night is this planned or un-planned evening with your spouse at an exotic place eating exotic cuisine. Some nights we eat mini pizzas from the Italian place attached to our building. Some nights we eat real Italian food with bread and oil and the folded noodles with stuff inside – real fancy stuff. And some nights we just go to Shake Shack. Mmmmmm, burgers. This night however we decided to hit up the local cinema, which based on our history, was a gamble.
My previous two theatrical outings here in the Emirates proved to be quite exhausting. For my first experience, I went to see The Hunger Games: Part 2, Catching Fire with my friend Alex who had not seen the previous movie. Well, lucky for him, there was a young girl in the row behind us who was in a similar predicament whose friend decided to fill her in on all the details from the first movie scene-by-scene. (Sarcasm) This was not lucky. We spent half the movie listening to her rundowns of each moment.
Did you know Jennifer Lawrence’s big break was in a film called Winter’s Bone which was similar to her role in Hunger Games in many ways? Did you know that? Because, if anyone in the theatre didn’t, they did soon enough. It went on like that until someone (Ahem – me), finally had the guts to turn around and give her the business. “Excuse me. If you don’t mind, I’d like to watch Catniss without the commentary.” That kept her quiet. How was I going to fully experience Catniss’ and Peeta’s torrid love affair with Chatty McChatterson yappin’ away in the background. But that didn’t compare in the least to the second movie experience.
While at the impressively grand and presumptuous Dubai Mall, we decided to see The Lego Movie. Which is probably why there were so many children populating the theater. And with so many children, there will inevitably be a legion of little hands. And little hands like to touch things – things like my fiancé’s hair. Throughout the entire film, Mr. Handsie behind us, enjoyed running his hands back and forth through Janae’s hair. A few looks, an audible grunt, and one or two re-directions of the young man’s hands were all not enough to stop his filamentous fidgeting. In the end, it was a firm slap to the hand that taught the child some boundaries. Whether right or wrong to slap another person’s child in public, I know not, but it was successful nonetheless.
Now, I understand that moviegoers around the world suffer from these pangs, so I know this is not just symptomatic of the UAE. I still have been scarred by these experiences. But I will give over that tonight I have hope. Tonight, I venture out for Movie Night #3 in great anticipation of a quiet, hands-free evening with the woman I love. And if all else fails, we’ll complain, get free vouchers, and buy loads of unhealthy movie food.