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“Do I Really Need To Watch The Movies Before Avengers: Endgame?”

For 21 years, my husband has been the movie buff in the family. He can watch the same movie over and over (and over) again. On any given night, the TV is tuned in to one of the Star Wars movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Shawshank Redemption (which seems to be on at least one channel every night), or, if all else fails, a John Hughes movie. So, it makes sense that he is the one that has taken the kids to see every movie. But three kids and all these years later, I am feeling a bit left out.

With all the hype around Avengers: Endgame, and with a few teens interested in seeing it, I finally raise my hand.

“So what time are we seeing Avengers tomorrow?” I ask one evening. I am pretty sure I hear the needle scratch the record.

“We?” I hear someone ask.

“Yeah, I’m thinking this is the one.”

“Mom, you haven’t seen any of them. You won’t understand it, and you are going to hate it.”

All true, but none of this puts a dent in my FOMO.

“It doesn’t matter—it’s gotten so much hype. I want to go. I heard I will really like it—girl power, the whole thing.”

Teen shakes his head, mutters to my husband, “She’s going to hate it,” and leaves the room.

“He’s probably right, Honey,” my husband says. “You aren’t going to like it.”

“But you, and all the reviews, have been raving about it. Why do you say that?”

“Because I know you.”

Gauntlet thrown.

“What time are we leaving?”

With that, one of the kids thoughtfully pulls up an 11-minute YouTube summary of all 21 movies for me to watch on the way to the theater. It’s showtime. Popcorn in hand, legs stretched out on the new recliners, and I am in the zone. I mutter one last question to my husband (“Who’s Thanos again?”), and I am ready to be wowed. I am already thinking about buying some Endgame “merch,” as the kids say.

I am very confused the entire three (long) hours of the film. So many characters and story lines. I realize I am, in fact, missing the backstory. For. Every. Character.

I glance at the kids (includes husband). They are entranced—they know the characters, their back stories, the subtle references. And that’s when I realize: None of it matters.

Looking for more on watching movies?

They are willing to be together in public (a dark theater counts, right?). I have my legs outstretched for three hours (read: no laundry), and serious popcorn inhalation (read: no dinner). Why have I been opting out of this activity?

Sure, I have no idea what’s going on—but what else is new?

Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman is publisher of Your Teen Magazine.

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