American girls

Jaycie: An American Girl

I was stunned by the sheer amount of giggling. It was like a wall of giggles. Phil Spector would have been impressed. The last time I had seen the Shakopee Town Square Theater so crowded it was for The Omen on 06/06/06. As we wheeled into the super-secret back parking lot, I fully believed that Jaycie, Max, and I would be the only ones in the joint to see the 10 a.m. showing of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. The movie’d been out for over a month and it was 10 in the morning.

Wow. I haven’t underestimated a crowd this much since the infamous Lilith Fair incident of 1997 (really, we don’t have to leave early, nobody’s going to come to a concert in Shakopee). I am pretty sure that every girl in the Minnesota River Valley between the ages of 3 and 13 were there, plus me and Max.

Max was not pleased. He wasn’t so keen on seeing the girl movie to begin with and then to see the theater overrun with girls and their American Girl dolls, it was his nine-year-old version of Hell. The line for popcorn snaked across the lobby and there were so many girls that they played the movie on two screens. There were so many girls that they started the movie fifteen minutes late and cut all the previews.

There were a lot of girls. And giggling.

I was happy that my favorite seats in the handicap row (lots of legroom) were open. As soon as we sat down Max curled into himself, making a fortress of his long, curly bangs and his knees.

“Do you want me to go get popcorn?” I asked. Popcorn is his favorite part, and I have a soft spot for movie popcorn
. Mostly I wanted to ease his pain in some way. “And you can stay here and save our seats?”
He widened his eyes at me and shook his head in mock terror. “Don’t leave me here with all these girls.”
“We can get the popcorn,” Jaycie said.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah,” she assured me. “Come on Max, come with me.”

They went out to the lobby. I sat and tried to estimate how long they would have to be gone before I realized they’d been kidnapped but was distracted by the mom sitting behind me who kept taking pictures of Maddy and Hannah and Claire and Katie and Emily.

Jaycie and Max returned three minute later, empty-handed.

“Max complained,” Jaycie said, handing me back the cash.
“The lines were long,” he said. “There were SO MANY GIRLS!”
“I’m sorry.” I shrugged at him. “I can’t help it.”
“I just want to go home.” He glared at me, crossed his arms, and flopped into the seat.

Jaycie whispered words of reassurance that he wasn’t the only boy there or older sister threats about how she was going to kick his butt if he screwed this up. I just sat and listened to the crinkle of the $2 popcorn bags and the gentle hum of excited little girls.

Eventually the lights went down and the girls held their breath, en masse, in anticipation. The movie is what you’d expect — hokey, predictable, little-girl fair that made me bawl my head off. I’m a goober. And I’m really a goober for movies that are pro-girl. There are so few of them. It didn’t help that ol’ Kit Kittredge was an aspiring journalist, or that she was friends with cute Hobos or that her family, though poor, was all about helping those less-fortunate. Or that the Hobo camp was all about goodness and socialism.

Oh god, I cried.

But I cried the most, when after the movie ended, the entire audience of little girls burst into random spontaneous applause. It was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever witnessed at a movie theater. Who claps when a movie ends? Little girls, that’s who. It was awesome.

In the end Max loved the movie, and talked about how they should have advertised that it wasn’t just a girl movie and that it had Hobos in it. He loved it so much that once we go home we decided to draw Hobo signs on rocks. Because Hobo signs are cool.

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  1. christa 09.Aug.08 at 9:23 pm

    i was at that lilith fair, too. i love shakopee, since that is where valley fair lives.

  2. Jodi 09.Aug.08 at 10:49 pm

    Oh yes, you were at that Lilith Fair. You, me, and about seventy kajillion other chicks. I was so stunned by the turnout. I lost my car (a 1979 Chrysler Newport) in one of Canterbury’s back, unlit parking lots that night.

  3. Jodi 10.Aug.08 at 9:51 am

    We didn’t find the H when we were doing our Hobo Sign research. I drew “safe camp” on mine. If I had known, it’d have that H.


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