The movies in high school

Sometimes, I wish I was back in high school. Not because I want to do things over, but because of my lack of options. I grew up a military brat and lived near the base. My choices for almost everything was limited. Limited by the exchange rate, by what was carried in the base exchange, by what was being done on base during the weekends, or by my lack of understanding the native language.

This weekend I remember the lack of choice in going to the movies. We didn’t get a go to the mega-plex, pick one of 17 movies currently playing, select from a dizzying array of snacks, including nachos and at least 20 different beverage varieties.

In high school, there was one movie per week. If it was popular, it would be shown for two weeks. There were two times it was shown, early and late. They were always the same time, every night. The options for snacks was limited to two sizes of popcorn, three sizes of drink, available in 6 varieties. For a sweet treat you could select from, if memory serves, 10 options for candy and nachos were an unthinkable luxury.

This is the paradox of choice, by having more options, I am less happy. Being forced to watch a movie that I didn’t chose and then select from a fairly limited menu was liberating. I didn’t have to worry about if my selection was “wrong” or if I was “missing out” on some unrealized option left unselected.