When you're a couple with kids, seeing the latest movie or show takes on a whole new complexity. You have to find someone to stay with the kids to make your night out possible, adding planning and expense to the equation. This makes non-home-based entertainment a rarer proposition than for your single or childless friends.
Of course, you have another option -- you could choose to go out separately, making the childcare question moot. That's easy enough when only one member of the couple is interested in the show. When both are, though, there's a feeling that you ought to wait to see it together, both in terms of economy and solidarity.
We were hoping to get a sitter this weekend to go see Super 8, but haven't been able to find one. And Noel and the kids are going to be out of town next weekend. So he decided to go out on his own to see the movie tonight (and run a couple of other errands), since I would have plenty of time while he's gone to see it on my own.
That makes perfect sense, and while I wish we were going to be able to experience it together and discuss it afterwards -- it's one of our more anticipated films of the summer -- that means depriving him of the chance to see it for the next couple of weeks.
Noel deserves a night out; he's not only been working hard but also dealing with the sudden addition of two full-time summer-vacation kid charges to the household for the last two days. And I'll get the time back in spades when he takes them to Nashville next week -- not that an evening at home with them is hard work, since they are hard at play together in their rooms by 6:30 pm. Still, even though it's eminently reasonable to split up the moviegoing, it feels like a regression to a pre-married or pre-kids era, or a temporary pause in the agreed-upon arrangements. With such unspoken consensus about our mutual time, we have forged habits that are surprisingly rigid even when they do not serve any perceptible interest.