Cinema Latino de Fort Worth

About two months ago, I got a craving to start watching a movie series. Really, any series would do. I thought through the roster of movies I had never watched…Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc. At random, I selected Twilight.

Embarrassed by my selection, I sent someone else into Blockbuster to get the first one. I devoured it. We went back the next day to get the second and third, which I watched back to back. Then the fourth. In 24 hours, I became a Twihard. The fifth film of the saga was out in theaters, but our elusive schedule over the holidays made for 6 weeks of denying me what felt like my birthright. To appropriately quench my thirst (!), I took to the books, downloading one, then two, then three, then four…

I found ways to insert my newfound interest into random work conversations. I learned that I was about 7 years late on the hype, but that didn’t stop my zest for the product. When they put in a cafe in my office building and named it “Bella’s Cafe,” I couldn’t resist. When people talked about baby names, “EJ” and “Renesmee” came up. And of course, after last years “which of my two employees would win in the hunger games (against one another)” mass poll, I had to hold back temptations to start up an “Edward vs. Jacob” tally.

Fast forward weeks that dragged on like months. My husband insisted that we have a date night this past weekend. He told me to be ready to go by 3:45pm on Saturday. We cruised down the highway, a familiar route I take to work. As he pulled off on the exit that takes me to work, I glared at him. This didn’t feel like a date. This felt like work.

He circled into the parking lot of La Grande Plaza, straining to read the all-Spanish signs on the outside of each establishment. I kept my gaze forward; this was going to end badly. When he at last found what he was looking for, I dropped my jaw- “Cinema Latino de Fort Worth.”He proudly exclaimed it was the only showing left in town for the last Twilight movie.

The lady selling us tickets raised an eyebrow. Nearby children were dumping fudge syrup on their popcorn. I was not in Kansas anymore. There were six of us total in the theater. We watched the movie with Spanish subtitles framing each word. A woman in her fifties behind us exclaimed “yes!” every time the good guys beat the bad guys.

On the way out, we noticed the crowd at the mall shifted to a different demographic. The parking lot at La Grande Plaza on any given weekend night was a rave-fiesta of epic proportions. My husband was motivated to get us home. We hopped on the escalators to leave, and found a surprise on the bottom rung.

I burst into uncontrollable laughter, the kind that sounds fake, irreverent, and uncalled for at best. I pointed it out to everyone coming down the stairs behind us, but they didn’t seem to find it humorous at all. I tried to naively assume it was because they didn’t speak English, but shamefully, I knew better.

Everyone’s look insinuated we should probably leave, and that we didn’t get the cultural norms associated with the mall. My husband held me tightly, trying to silence me with comments about ‘just getting to the car,’ which only made my fit worse.

I had just seen a teenage heart throb movie as a married and pregnant anglo woman in a Hispanic mall with a runaway wiener. Why was this not funny to everyone else?

“Date nights are supposed to be memorable at least,” he commented. He wins.

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