Date Night #11: So Many Feels


Pixar Inside Out

Ah date night. That wonderful night when you forget about the daily grind, the minutiae of Mondays, and remind yourself what a privilege it is to be travelling through life with someone special at your side. This one took place at a screening of Inside Out…

It’s often hard to divorce a date from the day that preceded it. This week for example, my girlfriend V. and I had decided to go and see Inside Out, the new Pixar movie. If you’ve not seen the trailer, it’s all about a young girl called Riley and the anthropomorphised emotions that live in her brain. There’s the bubbly Joy, a bright sprite with a can-do attitude; Disgust, a valley girl shaped like a piece of broccoli; Fear, a nervous hypochondriac; Anger, a boiling cauldron of rage: and Sadness, a literal sad sack who’s permanently blue. The film shows how the various emotions take turns at the console in your brain, and it got me thinking about my own day before I met up with V.

It had started out with a healthy dose of fear. For the last year, V. had been working on a qualification. She’d been ramping up for her exams when we’d first met, and a significant part of our courtship had involved us sitting on long bus journeys while I flashed her constantly. Er, with cards filled out with technical terms that she had to learn for her exam. We’d turned it into a fun game, and for every one she got right, she got a kiss. Who says learning can’t be fun? Anyway, today was the day the V. got her exam results back, and it’s fair to say that fear was driving her console that morning. She rang me while on a quick work break in tizzy.

“Has there been any post yet? I haven’t had any emails yet. Apparently the course leader has phoned other people, but I haven’t heard from her yet, although I had a missed call earlier!” She rang off, and I started to feel a bit of fear myself. She’d invested so much energy in this course, and had worked so hard, but what if it hadn’t paid off? Would I be spending the whole weekend consoling her? What if it knocked her confidence for her second year of studies?

It was at this point that I got a call from work with some bad news about a reduction in the amount of hours they were willing to give me a week, and suddenly, sadness joined fear at the console. I spent the afternoon in a funk, seemingly unable to get myself excited about doing the washing up. Which was weird, because normally I love doing the washing up.

Soon it was time to leave for the cinema, and I hopped on a train to meet V. This multiplex has recently started making you buy your tickets at the concession stand, presumably in the hope that once you’ve queued up you’ll spend £50 on a box of popcorn and a litre of coke while you’re there. I don’t know if it was the stress of the day so far, or if the family at the front of the queue was genuinely the most annoying family in the history of the universe (Probably a little of column A, a little of column B in reality), but as they kept ordering food and then changing their mind, and then asking about special offers, and then wanting to try a sip of the new Tango Ice Blast flavour to see if they liked it, as if it was a sodding craft ale or something, I just felt something starting to snap. I could feel a serious bout of queue rage building, and it didn’t help that all the other queues were moving much faster – although the law of sod has taught me long ago that switching lanes is just asking for it. So I stood there, softly seething, until finally, finally, it was my turn to order the tickets and the drinks. I bought a popcorn and the new flavour Tango Ice Blast, which was hilariously disgusting. Maybe those guys were onto something after all.

Soon we reached our seats. As is traditional with Pixar movies, there was a short film before the main feature, a lovely mini musical called Lava, about a lonely volcano looking for a soulmate. As V. and I grinned at the romantic short, she softly put her head on my shoulder, and I finally felt all the day’s woes wash away. Inside Out turned out to be an absolutely brilliant film, full of charm, emotion, and incredibly clever ideas about the way the mind works, and while it may be a bit metaphysical for most kids, as a date movie it was truly wonderful. I might even have cried a little. In a manly way, obviously.

Afterwards we got home, and V. noticed that there was a letter poking out from under the doormat, presumably kicked under there accidentally that morning. She opened it nervously, but she needn’t have worried – not only had she passed her exam – she’d only gone and got a distinction. Joy!

Anyway, thanks for listening. It’s been emotional.


Jon Hamblin writes ‘The Things I’ve Done To Impress Women”, an award winning blog that details his frequent failures to impress any women ever. Read about his other Date Nights here.

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