Date Night: noun, informal
a prearranged occasion on which an established couple, especially one with children, go for a night out together
Some couples are great at making date nights happen. They have a long list of great babysitter options. Then, on the appointed night, they get dressed up and then indulge in the pleasure of an adult-oriented evening after dark. Other couples just crash on the couch and let themselves succumb to exhaustion. You can guess which camp Mr. Mad Cow and I fall into.
I actually do enjoy an evening out with my husband. However, at $15+/hr, the going urban babysitter rate these days, I’m not dying to pay for it. Especially with the added expense of lost sleep. Whenever we have family in town, and thus have free childcare, it’s easier to break free from the coach inertia. Especially for the relatively low-key act of going to the movies.
Now if there was ever a gateway activity to turn Mr MC and I into date night regulars, then going to movies should be it. But no. For reasons that now escape me, I adopted a strict no movie policy when it came to deciding what events were actually worth booking a babysitter for. Perhaps, it’s a holdover from our Zurich days, when the sticker shock of the movies meant I got quite neurotic about what we should see and what could wait.
Mr. MC and I even went went to see the new Star Wars movie separately. If there were ever a cinematic event that would merit some principle-shattering, you’d would think this would be it. Again, no. I had to endure twenty-four hours of silence before he and I could discuss the movie.
But then came the Big Short. Yeah, I know. Of all movies. Not exactly typical date night material.
On our drive to DC, we listened an interview with Adam McKay, the director of the movie. This guy is best known for making Will Ferrell movies, the kind that never would have made the seeing-it-in-the-theater cut in Zurich. He was riveted by the non-fiction book of the same name, and we were riveted by what he had to say about the book, why he wanted to make it into a movie, and how he could make such a seemingly dry topic accessible to the masses. Seriously, having some pop culture celebrity define obscure financial terms like CDOs, what a brilliant idea. Long story short, we both wanted to see it.
Then I saw it was playing at the Somerville Theater, our neighborhood movie theater, and that sealed the deal. I texted our babysitter, and a principle was shattered.
And the movie itself? Was it worth the additional $45 babysitter? Well, it wasn’t quite as comedic as we thought it would be, and there’s a certain punched-in-the-gut feeling that comes with the disturbing subject matter. It was, after all, based on a true story. The world economy really did almost collapse. Again, not typical date night material. But I’m still really glad we saw it in the theater, and I think you should too. It was entertaining and thought-provoking, which may be among the best reasons for measuring a movie’s worth, for all that I am a sucker for a good epic. Mr. MC and I left the theater talking about real things that shaped real lives. And, if nothing else, the movie reaffirmed I am clearly more principled that everyone on Wall Street.