I adore going to the movies. It’s fun, relaxing, and let’s face it, putting your kids in front of huge screen for over an hour while feeding them sugar that’s coated in Red #40 allows you to enjoy popcorn, candy, and a soda all for yourself. It’s a dream.
Now before you think I’ve gone and won the lottery, or I was born into royalty and have a hefty inheritance just because we stuff our faces with snacks after buying movie tickets, let me be very clear: There’s a method to chowing down on cavity-causing treats that won’t cost exactly the same amount as your weekly grocery bill.
You guessed it, you bet your ass I sneak food and drinks into the movie theater, and you know this because you do it too. I’ve seen you trying to clutch your handbag just right so no one can hear the candy shaking with every step. I can spot you a mile away, and it makes me damn proud.
Moms are savvy like that. We learn how to balance a lot of things and how we spend our money is at the top of the list.
Some of us cut and color our own hair, but spend a shit ton on skin care.
Some of us refuse to spend money on expensive gym memberships because we need that dough for a kickass bra.
And some of us drop a Hershey’s bar and a Diet Coke into our ginormous bag when we got the movies.
It’s a skill we have mastered. We really can do all the things if we are cheap and skimpy in some areas. And bringing snacks into the movies is a given.
My mom taught me to do this when I was a kid. She used to pop popcorn at home and sneak it in her purse with homemade cookies. These days I slip in to Target where my kids get free popcorn, then we hit up the candy aisle and get some $1 candy and soda.
Or sometimes we go to McDonald’s and get some nourishment from the dollar menu because french fries always go with a good flick (just line your bag with wax paper to avoid grease stains), and everyone is always jealous they didn’t think of that idea too. I’ve even had a few moms tell me they were going to steal my idea. Also, I am not above smuggling a fountain soda into my purse because there is nothing that can compare to a cold McDonald’s Coke.
Maybe some think it’s horrible and dishonest, but you know what I find dishonorable? Charging 5 bucks for a box of candy only to open it and find exactly two Swedish Fish swimming around.
And no, thank you, I don’t want to spend 10 dollars on a gallon of soda. I don’t care if you are offering free refills. Unless you are going to put a toilet next to my ass so I don’t miss the whole movie because I’d be in the bathroom the whole time, I don’t want what you are selling.
I want a normal-sized beverage for a normal price. I want a box of candy that is full and satisfying and doesn’t leave me swearing in the middle of a Disney movie. Dammit, when we buy a box of candy we don’t wanted to be teased — we want to eat enough that we get that sugar high afterward. That’s the whole point.
And yes, the popcorn is good and sometimes we splurge, but it’s super difficult to manage a big tub that is slippery from fake butter when I have Mike and Ike and a few cold ones I’m trying to hide in my purse. Mothers can only carry so much.
So call me cheap and deceitful, or call me the woman who makes you feel better about yourself because you have a cup holder sewn into your purse for such events. I don’t really care. I just know I am not going to spend my hard-earned money on a skimpy-ass bag of corn syrup when I can get it on the cheap somewhere else and use the dough I save for more important things, like my kids’ college fund and Starbucks.
This article was originally published on