“Let’s go to a movie tonight,” said Janet.
“That doesn’t sound good to me,” yawned Ralph.
As Janet was gathering up her coat and purse, Ralph suddenly clicked off the television set and
announced he would be joining her.
Janet, already set to have a nice evening alone, asked, “Are you sure you want to go?”
Ralph assured her, and out the door they went.
As they drove into the parking lot, Ralph mumbled that the last movie must not have gotten out yet. So where did they expect everybody to park? Certainly the theatre could do a better job of scheduling.
As they waited in line to buy tickets, Ralph said that everybody and their brother must have decided to see this movie judging by the length of the line.
Janet, sensing Ralph’s annoyance, made small talk. She wanted this to be a good evening.
When they got into the lobby, Janet suggested that Ralph go with the crowd and find seats. She would get the popcorn.
Ralph replied, “You’re going to stand in that line just for popcorn?”
Janet shook her head yes, and in her head told Ralph he was acting like a jerk.
With popcorn in hand, Janet made her way to where Ralph was seated. His comment on seeing her: “You didn’t get anything to drink?”
“No,” she said. But she offered to go back after the movie started to get Ralph a drink.
“Never mind,” Ralph said.
“No, I’ll go back,” Janet replied. “I just didn’t think you’d want anything.”
“I don’t now,” said Ralph.
As they sat in silence waiting for the show to start, Janet struggled with feelings of guilt over the drink and irritation over Ralph’s negativism.
During the movie she couldn’t help checking on Ralph, trying to determine if he was having a good time. Every time he shifted his body, she felt a twinge of anxiety.
Once he commented that the popcorn tasted stale.
At the end of the movie he asked her what she thought. She said she loved it.
And what did he think, she asked. He said it was okay.
They rode home in silence.
The moral of the story: Good sportsmanship goes beyond the playing field.
Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World,” “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,” and “Thin Becomes You” at Doris’ web page: http://www.doriswildhelmering.com.
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