Honestly, it wasn't my* idea; Jackson asked to see Julie & Julia. He loves movies. He's watched The Devil Wears Prada a dozen times; he knows Amy Adams was Amelia Earhart and that sort-of Princess in Enchanted. And I guess he's interested in cooking, too, for the usual reasons: it's fun to eat cookie dough, knives are awesome, and he sees his dad in the kitchen doing something amazing every night he has the wherewithal to remain upright and chop.
*It's no secret that I am working to stamp out sexism every time it rears its ignorant head in our house, so it's important to me to raise a boy who doesn't dismiss any movie without robots or dead bodies as a "chick flick," and whose exposure to that old-fashioned strain of "women aren't funny, they should just make babies" bullshit continues to be limited pretty successfully.
Plus, I needed a date, and Jack didn't want to go to the 2:00 show. (Or the 5:00 show, or the 7:45.) (Or leave the couch for any reason at any time. I knew I shouldn't have let him build one of these: )
Jackson (as we stand in line for popcorn): "Are there going to be any scary previews for this?"
Me: " I doubt it. There'll be, like, cooking and old person movie previews."
Me (to girl behind concessions counter): "Are there any scary previews before this movie?"
Concessions girl: "I don't know. Here is your popcorn. Enjoy the show. My robotic smile is programmed to last another sixty seconds. Fifty-nine. Fifty-eight. Fifty-seven."
Jackson: "I'm not going in."
Me: "Uh, okay. Let's go sit on that bench and eat popcorn and wait."
Thirty seconds go by.
Concessions robot: "Twenty-six. Twenty-five."
Me: "I'm going to ask the ticket guy."
I go outside and stand in line again to ask the ticket guy his opinion. He says there are scary previews. I come back inside and sit.
Me: "I can't take it. I KNOW there aren't any scary previews. I'm going to go check. Stay right here."
I go in. Renee Zellweger is arguing with Kevin Bacon. I come out again.
Me: "It's some movie about a woman looking for a husband, who learns in the end that she's just fine by herself."
Jackson: "Were there zombies in it?"
Me: "Uh, well, I guess Kevin Bacon's not as dewy as he used to be . . ."
Jackson: "I'm not going in."
We sit. I wait another minute and go back to see what the next preview is. Meryl Streep and Steve Martin are laughing joyously over drinks in the dining room of a Spanish colonial estate. I come back out.
Me: "Now it's a movie about middle-aged people dating."
Ticket Guy (having watched us for the last couple of minutes): "You know, I was wrong, I was thinking of the last movie we showed. There aren't actually any scary previews for this at all."
Me: "Hear that?"
Jackson: "Tell me when the movie starts, I'm not going in until then."
Me: "God, you are stubborn. The previews are over. Let's go in."
Jackson: "How do you know they're over?"
Me: "I JUST KNOW. Let's move it."
Jackson: "NO ZOMBIES! NO ZOMBIES! WAAHHH!"
So I let him stand outside the door to the theater until I assured him that the very last preview was over and he was safe from THE ZOMBIES.
P.S. He liked the movie a lot.