Written by Jessica Simms
Pro: If you go with him, you can guide him to sit in the back row. And if you can’t get him to the back row—he just can’t see clearly from there, you see, he really should get a new prescription for his glasses, but who has the time to go to the eye doctor, what with all the activities the kids are in, the extra hours at the office—at least you’re sitting next to him, so you can still see the screen.
Con: You’ll have to spend the whole movie ignoring the glares and mutters of everyone in the next three rows back (four, in smaller theaters).
Pro: He’s usually so happy someone’s asked him to hang out he’ll let you pick the movie without putting up a fight. Remember that time you took him to see King Kong? Wasn’t until halfway through you realized it might’ve been uncomfortable for him. You still feel a bit guilty about that.
Con: That smell his fur has—it’s worse inside and up close for that long. Worse even than when you’re next to him on the sideline at your kids’ mutual baseball game on one of those summer days so hot you can smell your skin burning. At least then there’s some airflow. And if it’s been raining? Like a wet dog covered in river mud standing in a musty basement.
Pro: He always gets a large popcorn then regrets it before the movie even starts and insists you help him eat it, so you won’t need to shell out much for snacks.
Con: It takes him forever at concessions. Not just because he’s indecisive but he’s got all those diet restrictions. He always squints up at the menu, scratching his cheek fur, asking whatever poor kid’s behind the counter if they know whether the nacho cheese sauce is gluten-free—and does it use real dairy?—and if he can read the ingredients on the candy boxes before—finally—settling on a large combo and a box of Raisinets, like he always does.
Pro: You wife hangs out with his wife, so when his wife mentions how you voluntarily went to the movies with him—and how happy he was to have friends for once—well, it’ll earn you brownie points if nothing else.
Con: He always wants to get dinner afterwards and you have to make some excuse why you can’t, which you’re pretty sure he always knows is just an excuse, since you’re not the kind of person who has much going on Saturday nights. You’ve tried avoiding the problem by suggesting later movies but he’ll only go to matinees. Theaters are too crowded at night, he says, which—to be fair—maybe suggests he’s more self-conscious of his height and odor than you’ve given him credit for.
Pro: He does have those season tickets for the Scarlet Dragons. Maybe you’ll take him up on his next dinner offer. Hell, you might even let him pick the movie.