Twenty-thousand dollar bag of popcorn.

Twenty-thousand dollar bag of popcorn.

The boy and I went to the movies after raiding a store for snacks. Smuggling food is fun. Paying double-digits for stale GMO-popped grains swimming in chemical “butter” is not fun.

Food concealed, we bought tickets and sat down. I’d been warned by several viral posts that this was a dangerous movie. Subversive, even. “This movie will make your son gay.”

Good. I like him to be happy.

“No. Not happy-gay. Gay gay.” I read the articles. Capital G-gay. I decided to take the risk. Rhode Island lets people marry regardless of gender, so if the viral posts are right, we’re covered. Butter cream wedding cake for all, guys and girls included.

I watched closely for dangerous elements. Subliminal scenes. A political agenda. I didn’t see any. There were problems in the kingdom, a bad guy usurping the throne, a magic snowman and true love saving everyone, and way, way too many songs. I fell asleep during one–maybe that was when all the controversy played out. Could the danger be because it was a musical? Everybody knows about musicals….

I shrugged my shoulders and looked harder. The only evil agenda I could find at the movies was a conspiracy to take my money. $17.50 for two tickets which forced us to watch commercials for other films even though we paid. There was a mortgage broker working the popcorn stand, taking deeds for medium-bag upsells. The whole afternoon seemed like a problem of capitalism, not sexual orientation.

I had a fleeting question–I wondered if parents of gay children get concerned that some movies might make their children straight? Do they write articles warning parents?

I had a great afternoon with my son. He laughed, he giggled, he ate his smuggled lollipop, ignoring healthier snacks. He looked merry. And gay. Happy-gay with a small g, not Gay-gay with a big G. But either way, I watched him enjoy himself. I laughed with him. He’ll be fine, whoever he is and whatever he chooses in life.

I, myself, not so much. “Mommy! Let’s see that movie next.” It seemed the advertisements had gotten him. “And next time, Mommy, let’s get some popcorn.”

Maybe I imagined it, but I think the mortgage broker behind the popcorn counter looked our way, rubbed his hands together, winked, and mouthed, “I’ve got you now.” That’s a problem, I fear, that won’t go away.