Sunday, December 18, 2005

A cranky shrew visits the movies

Editor’s note: We have an obligation to let you know that the following is a typical rant by a middle-aged woman bordering on the curmudgeonly. Sisiggy knows that soon she will be calling people “young whipper-snappers” and eating dinner at 4 o’clock to catch the Early Bird Special.

Dirtman knew as soon as we left the theater that going to see The Family Stone would end up on this blog.

The movie itself was mediocre (I feel an obligation to support Diane Keaton in every movie she acts in because she said she was not going to cave into the Hollywood mandate that every woman over 45 have cosmetic surgery in order to work). And we had seen King Kong the night before, which was good, but avoid the Big Gulp because the action comes fast and furious for over three hours.

Dirtman and I love to go to the movies and we go to a lot of them. There are always a few jerks in the audience, but lately I’ve noticed the moron ratio has been increasing at an alarming rate. Far be it from me to tell anyone how to raise their kids, since mine are not done yet and may still turn out to be homicidal maniacs or TV evangelists. But, for the love of God, people, please teach your kids respect for others.

So Dirtman and I are watching the coming attractions and behind us is a couple who thinks this is Starbucks. No problem. It’s the coming attractions. The conversation continues through the opening credits. Then the movie begins and the two settle in: the conversation gets intense and he puts his feet up on the back of the seat next to me, practically in my face. I turn my head, feet. When he is tired of this position, he stretches his leg to under my seat and taps against the leg.

Meanwhile, a guy in front of Dirtman sees a friend of his enter the theater during the movie. The guy had been visiting the snack bar, having sat through 20 minutes of the movie from the front row and noticed his friend on the way back to his seat. While walking down the aisle, Snack Guy had been talking on his cell phone, but considerately ended his conversation to talk to his friend in front of Dirtman. They chatted awhile and then Snack Guy proceeds to dial his cell phone and resume that conversation.

Dirtman, never one to be shy, calls him on it. Snack Guy is indignant. He wants to talk on his cell phone and Dirtman has the nerve to suggest he can’t do anything he wants when he wants. This is a new concept to him, apparently. He stomps his foot and storms out.

He’s back in about 10 minutes. He and his friend chat awhile and out he goes again (I might add, standing up in front of us every time). This continues during the entire movie.

Add to that the usual four or five people for whom ten reminders on the screen during coming attractions to turn off their cell phones were not enough or, perhaps, they thought, “They couldn’t possibly mean me. They just mean the auxiliary people here that I don’t know that merely exist to complete My World.”

When my sons were still amendable to being seen in public with us, they would never let me say anything to these pinheads, mostly because they were usually college age kids and the Heirs didn’t want to be seen with “a screaming, cranky shrew.” So I try to hold myself in check.

And then something so obviously rude happens.

Six people, say 19 or 20 years old, take the seats in front of us. Every one of them has a cell phone with a lit screen, every one of them has their cell phone open. In a darkened theater, one cell phone open is a kind of nuisance. Six cell phones lit is a glare. They begin talking into the cell phones, but not listening to the earpieces. They I realize they are giving a play-by-play description of the movie to someone on the other end, without the discomfort of having to hold their arms up. Someone else beats us to complaining to the usher. They all snap the phones shut when he arrives. This happens twice and finally the usher throws them out. Three return because they know the usher. On go the cell phones and the conversation resumes through the end of the film.

So we stand up to go and I thanked them for letting me know exactly what was going on during the movie because, of course, their description was far superior to any dialogue I could have heard from the screen, what with their pithy insight that could only come from such a fresh, cutting-edge intellect as theirs.

Being a middle-aged woman I had not, of course, even appeared on their radar and now, all of a sudden, here I was speaking and with an opinion expressed satirically, which they thought they had invented, which means there was a few second’s pause before they equated me with Zsa Zsa.

“You couldn’t just say ‘shh’?” Dirtman suggested.

The fact is there is just no way to stand up for yourself with rude people without sounding, to them, as sanctimonious and scolding because the first premise for being rude is that you are justified in your rudeness because you are – well – you.

So the best I can do is drum it into the Heirs that it is the sun, not them, that the world revolves around.

And confiscate their cell phones.


Karjak Thrice said...

We require cell phones for you to confiscate.

Dark Garden said...

Cell phones that are rude people carrying them.

happyandblue2 said...

Rude people should have their own movie theatres..

Spicy McHaggis said...

Yep, a wee bit senile there are we? Your so called 'heirs' do not own these so called 'cellular phones' of which will 'confiscate'.


Spicy McHaggis said...

I commented and DIDN'T tell you! Oh god!

sisiggy said...

They don't? Why I could have sworn I bought two cell phones...Here, let me check....Yup! The Heirs have cell phones. I wonder where could they be?
Oh! That's right. THEY LOST THEM!
How could I forget?
That's right! I filed it under "Their personal problem."