I first moved out on my own the summer after my freshman year of college. On Tuesday nights, the movie theater near my apartment had a deal where any movie they were showing was only $5, and there were discounts on popcorn and slushies too. For an intern who was enjoying his time but not earning much, it was perfect.
As I saw movies each week, I would change where I sat in the theaters. Growing up, we always sat in the middle of the back row because that’s where my parents liked to sit, and I didn’t know any different.
One rainy Tuesday evening, I skipped my planned run and headed to the movies. They were showing the original “Jurassic Park,” which I had never seen in theaters. I picked a spot on a whim at the box office and took my large popcorn and blue-raspberry slushie into the movie.
As the score by John Williams began to play, I knew I had discovered my favorite spot: the middle of the very front row.
Seeing as the front row is regularly empty, I think moviegoers are missing an opportunity! With the reclining seats in theaters today, you aren’t straining to look up like you used to. Instead, you’re comfortably enthralled in all the action. I was closest to the Tyrannosaurus rex when he roared at the characters. I was practically in the park myself.
The summer I learned my favorite spot in the theaters was the summer I learned to swim against the tide. It's a beautifully natural thing that we get to learn the little things of life that become our favorites. We go shopping on our own and discover our style. We try new ice cream flavors and stock our dorm fridges with Häagen-Dazs pints.
This doesn’t mean that we forget everything we were taught; our parents’ choices still leave an impression. I love the unusual treat of mixing cottage cheese and applesauce only because my dad always made it for a snack. Our lives become combinations of the recommendations of our circle and the revelations we discover on our own.
I like to sit in the front row, and if I’m alone in the theater, then that’s where I’m going to sit.
Just don’t ask me to sit there in church.