LOUIS — DAY 14: At the Movies

Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

Not the movie theater I went to, I promise. This is the inside of the Ziegfeld, where the few occasions I’ve been lucky enough to visit have made me excited enough to take pictures like this one.

If you’ve read almost anything else I’ve written for Busted Halo, you know I’m quite the moviegoer. As such, I’ve got some pretty fixed rituals for my average trip — big ol’ cup of soda, similarly oversized container of popcorn, buttered and salted just so — not healthy rituals by a long shot, but a pattern nonetheless, and one that is almost irrevocably linked to my cinematic experience. (Stephen King shares my sentiment, if you’re curious, in an old Entertainment Weekly piece that has stuck in my mind since 2008.) So with my popcorn and soda mentality at its standard operating level, that is to say quite ingrained, I headed off to the movies the other day unaware of the trial that stood ahead of me.

You see, it had slipped my mind entirely that it’s Lent. (If you’re wondering what movie I was seeing, by the way, Muppets: Most Wanted. It was a screening, and it was a pretty solid sequel, though I’ll admit I’d be hard-pressed to ever give the Muppets a bad review.) Back to Lent. I went into the theater wholly unsuspecting that, naturally, my standard popcorn and soda practices would be precluded by my choice of Lenten sacrifice. So as you would expect, my time near the concessions stand must have been quite the spectacle as I eagerly approached, started to wait in line, and then (sudden realization and defeat flushing my face) turned and trudged back into the theater. I may be exaggerating a bit there, but at the very least, that’s how it felt. Still, I’m proud that I was able to hold onto my Lenten promise in spite of my typical habits, so that’s nice. And even without the popcorn and soda, I had a pretty nice time (though you can bet I have a combo order on hold at the nearest AMC for Easter Monday…)

Does your Lenten sacrifice fly in the face of any established habits you have? How have you reconciled the two? Let us know in the comments!