The Yellow Backpack

This backpack is twelve years old. While it’s not exactly my fashion style it’s been incredibly useful. It’s been with me to Korea twice, touring up and down the peninsula. From Beijing to Hong Kong and parts in between; on several trips to California, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, and even Las Vegas. For car trips around Florida when an overnight is involved. It’s been an extension of my purse on all these trips, hauling books, magazines, makeup, snacks, changes of clothes and toothbrushes, iPods, medicines. Anything and everything I could think of to get me through if something happened to delay a journey, whether by plane or car, has been crammed into the yellow backpack.
It’s never been an academic backpack, but always a backpack for traveling adventures. All travel is an adventure.
It washes up so well in the washing machine that it still looks fresh considering where it’s been. Its construction is sturdy with enough interior space and smaller, zippered compartments to jam it full while maintaining some semblance of organization.
Today, however, it served as my actual purse. I took it to the Regal Cinema and from now on, in it goes with me, filled with “outside food and beverage” so I can actually pretend that I can afford seeing a movie at the theatre anymore.
When ticket prices finally hit $10 around these parts, I hit the wall. Who can afford to take their family to a movie when tickets alone are $10 each? We all know what popcorn and soda and candy cost once you’re there, let’s face it, that’s part of the fun for the kids so who am I to deny them?
But since when did the matinee show times end at 3:00pm? Last I heard all shows before 6:00 were considered matinees. But, nooo, like everything else in this recessonista, portions have shrunk and prices increased.
So when I was asked to fork over $10/adult and $6/kid for the 4:00pm screening (and informed of the new, earlier matinee times) of Julie and Julia I was not sorry that I’d done this, packing it into two generous-sized brown paper bags

and dousing each with my special popcorn salt (plus pepper for me!), shaking them up good and placing them into the yellow backpack. (Excellent popcorn, Orville Redenbacher, popped with oil in my old school corn popper. For me, this is better than the popcorn you buy at the theatre which is never quite as good as it smells, when you’re standing in line to pay another $18 or so for eats.) I added a cold bottle of diet Pepsi for me and a cold can of creme soda for her, and then a quick stop at the Dollar Tree for a box of Sugar Babies (cost at the theatre for same candy = $3.50). We enjoyed the film, ate our snacks, and came home.
Thank you yellow backpack, for being my purse today. I look forward to many more outings to the theatre together.
If this sometimes-still-backward-town ever gets The September Issue, we’ll be heading out again soon. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting in my drawer for my next travel journey, whenever that may be.


  1. Karen says:

    Great idea..and isn't it outrageous, the cost of seeing a movie. It's no longer a fun, affordable date. What they charge for the popcorn, candy, soda, WATER BOTTLES??… I usually wait till it comes out on DVD.

  2. Sara says:

    I ALWAYS smuggle snacks in. Walgreens has "movie theater candy" usually 2 for $1! Who can afford to buy $5/box candy when you can get it so much cheaper just down the road! (Another reason why I am very loyal to large purses).
    I love reading your blog, by the way. Gets me thinking about things I may not think of otherwise.
    Love you 🙂

  3. Pam says:

    I always take my own snacks and I too am outraged at the cost of going to a movie these days. Seldom do I get to see a grown-up movie, usually it's one geared at 7-8 year olds. However, having On Demand is a great alternative….just have to wait a little while for it to be avaiable, but at movie theatre prices….I can wait.

  4. Mickey Johnson says:

    …love the bright yellow happy color and even better filled with sweet and salty yummy goodies! xo, mickey

  5. Jan says:

    great blog….always bring my own stuff…used to be beer back in the day…now diet coke and pretzels…boring..ok swedish fish too…

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