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Dinner and A Movie - part I
by Karen Pecota

My husband and I have long-time friends whose company we enjoy. When opportunity knocks, we grab the chance to get together because our varied lifestyles hinder us from meeting as often as we prefer.

The male half of the group members are childhood buddies; the female half are their life-long partners. For the past eighteen years our paths crossed less frequently due to the various countries and states that separated us, but from the moment we all reconnected in Seattle this past year, there’s been a revival of energy to rekindle the relationships. We delight to plan the next rendezvous and once a decision has been made, the designated date is “pressed in ink” into our calendars.

The most recent rendezvous was dinner and movie during Seattle’s International Film Festival 2008. Our first meeting point was Peso’s Kitchen and Bar on Queen Anne Ave North for spicy southern Cuisine. The delicious Mexican food was shared over exciting conversation recounting events experienced since our last meeting.

To our amazement, on this particular evening, our quirky commonality was that we all found parking spaces, on the street, near the restaurant. And, we all paid too much! Yes! The meter did not correctly tell us that we had paid enough for the last remaining minutes. It kept gleefully eating our coins while showing the same number of minutes viewed on the clock! Eventually, we “got it”! But, now, doesn’t the city owe us something?

Our second commonality is that we all have kids in the arts and entertainment industry. As parents we feed off of each child’s latest escapades, all the more exciting when told in a descriptive dialogue – like a good narrative. Their life as starving artists adds “bite and kick” to their existence. As their parents we often worry but are good for an encouraging word and a listening ear. We even give advice when asked! We don’t tell all, of course, but we delight to make them shine in the eyes of our friends. We are so proud! A very cool camaraderie we share! And, we believe that our kids have “the right stuff” to make a difference.

Our evening continued as we walked down the street to wait in the ticket line outside Seattle’s Uptown Cinema for the film Phoebe in Wonderland. Our placement was near the front but my friends wanted to know why we could not stand in the PASS HOLDERS line because they saw them enter the theater ahead of schedule. We had tickets too! They wanted me to get in early for good seats by showing off my press pass. I explained that my credentials were not good enough for an early entrance at this type of showing. They didn’t really believe me but let it slide! While we basked in the warmth of the evening, we made ourselves useful and answered SIFF questionnaires, joked about this and that, and I grabbed my two cameras to document the event.

To our delight, the film was a gripping narrative describing the seriousness of Tourettes Syndrome that appears in children and the importance of a correct diagnosis. It was both entertaining and compelling. The entire experience made for a perfect date night!