Needless to say, when the inevitable hysteria started mounting in advance of the hugely anticipated, long awaited sequel, you can bet we jumped right on that glittery, snowflake fueled bandwagon. In fact, I think we began talking about it as early as Summer, when the first short teasers were released. Then during one of our recent Sunday afternoon phone calls, Derek suddenly asked me, in a tone of barely contained enthusiasm, "Do you know what happens in 2 weeks?" Momentarily stumped, I glanced at the calendar and stalled..."Um...you'll be here for the holiday?" Fortunately he bailed me out with the correct answer: Frozen II opens! Oh, yeah--how could I forget? (A brief lapse, I assure you. There will be no need to alert the...I don't know...Mouseketeer Police? And don't even THINK about trying to take away my Honorary Princess card, 'cuz that's just not happening...)
Now, there's a bit of a...minor dispute...about what transpired next. You see, the way I recall the conversation, Derek said, "You're gonna wait until I get home to see it, right?" I assured him that was the plan. I even graciously agreed--given that he naturally wanted to spend time with his neighborhood buddies, and also would be going back to Columbia early for the big football game--that we might have to wait until the end of the semester when he'd be home for several weeks, rather than attempting to cram it in over TG.
And so, I prepared myself to (impatiently) hold out until I could share the experience with my precious child...you can guess where this is going, hmm? I received a text on 11/23 (that would be "the day after it premiered") that read "The lads and I pulled up to the 10:30 primetime showing of Frozen. I feel bad, so I'm ok with seeing it over break if you want." I...I just...let's say I was..."miffed" and leave it at that. I thought it best in this instance NOT to reply, so I maintained radio silence (and stewed), and would you believe he had the sheer nerve to add, at 1:31 a.m. "Great movie btw". Grrrr! He was definitely holding the position of least favorite son at that moment (which is really saying something, in a pool of only 2).
By the time he strolled through the door on Sunday night, though, he'd been forgiven. I told him I understand that if his whole posse decides to do something together, he can't very well be the one that bows out because "he promised his Mom". Besides, now that he was back in town, we were able to hash out the details of our own agenda...buy our tickets...and get ready for the magic (again, for some of us, but whatever)! It turned out that the best day for us would be Friday...also known as "the most chaotic shopping day of the year"...AND our preferred theater happens to be at a mall...what could possibly go wrong?
This called for a carefully constructed, strategic course of action, so I went ahead and reserved the passes online to avoid any box office madness, and we settled on a departure time that would allow us plenty of leeway for traffic and...whatnot. Part of me felt like our behavior might be a bit...paranoid, or at least dramatic...and we were probably overreacting, blah blah blah. But ay ay yi, it was a dang good thing we thought this through, because simply navigating the parking lot ended up being like how I imagine the 9th Circle of Hell--with minivans. Piloted by drivers weaving erratically, stopping unexpectedly, and crawling up and down the rows seeking nonexistent empty spots. Every single space was occupied, but thank heavens for the bankrupt Sears Auto Shop at the far end of the property, which afforded a few extra, precious yards of crumbling asphalt for those of us lucky--and early--enough to snag some.
After that--and the subsequent HIKE from our vehicle to the theater--it was fortuitous smooth sailing all the way. We cruised through the entrance, the snack line, the preemptive restroom break, and into our pre-selected assigned chairs...which incidentally include "recline", "footrest"...and even "seat warmer" at the push of a button! (Hey, it's a flick that features lots of ICE, so why not counteract that by toasting the tushie? Ha!) And then...we were transported to Arendelle, swept away with Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven once more. No spoilers, but the music was stunning, the story amazing, the animation gorgeous, and the whole package added up to yet another enchanting Disney triumph. In short: four very passionate thumbs-up from the WestEnders contingent.
On top of that, it was a delightful interlude of Mother/Son bonding before Derek had to hit the road. And when you think about it, we didn't have to suffer through Winchester for our entertainment payoff...no one came down with a nasty ailment...we survived a retail center during holiday pandemonium...and WARM. BUTTS. Absolutely no doubt about it, this was a W-I-N! (And really, go catch the film; it's awesome. Heck, if you let me know, I'd totally tag along and see it again! I'll even try to sing only under my breath....but I make no promises. Consider yourself warned...)