My heart sank Sunday morning after reading the subject line of an email from the ticket site Fandango: "How did you like 'The LEGO Movie'?"
Nothing against the block-building blockbuster, mind you, but it was Fandango's use of the past tense that had me agitated. On Saturday, I had intended to - and believed I had - bought tickets for a Sunday showing, so the question from Fandango could mean only one thing: I had screwed up and ordered $41.50 worth of now worthless tickets.
Worse yet, this revelation dawned a mere two hours before a 12:20 p.m. matinee that the kids couldn't possibly have been more excited to see ... and there was no guarantee at all that this opening-weekend showing wasn't already sold out.
Once I stopped yelling at myself, I went to Fandango's site and engaged a customer service rep in a text chat. (The minute-and-a-half estimated wait for help turned out to be an excruciating seven or eight, but I won't quibble.) The fellow told me there was nothing he could do - either in terms of a refund for the unused tickets or to issue me new ones - but he did suggest that the theater itself might be more accommodating if approached in person.
So I thanked him and then set about ordering a second set of tickets, which thankfully had not sold out.
Long story short: My wife took the kids to the matinee as planned (they loved it), and the theater - Regal Cinemas - came across with four free passes for a future show to erase my mistake.
Yes, I'll be more careful next time.