The death giggles of courtesy

***Ever wanted to observe a pitchfork-and-torches mob at it’s inception?***

Let’s face it, the best blog entries are the ones that are entertaining, fun and don’t openly judge you. We love to read and live vicariously through each other and share in fun and often exciting adventures. Sometimes we just love seeing the delicious foods others concoct or purchase. Rarely do we enjoy having something shoved in our eyeholes that makes us think we’re being observed and found lacking. Welcome to this week’s deviation from the norm.

Achebeyo and I went to see a relatively new movie in the theater this past weekend, something that has become fairly rare for us for many reasons. The main reason? How do I put this gently…self-entitled people. Beginning ranting phase in 3…2…1…

Listen, I get it. I get that I can’t possibly know how difficult it is to raise a child. I get that parents need to break free from the monotony and misery that they chose to bring into their lives and enact even fleeting change. What I don’t get is why I pay to see the same movie you do, but you get to ruin it for me by bringing your noisy, fidgety, often sticky progeny to impede my ability to fully appreciate the experience.

There’s this wonderful new technology that will let you enjoy the movie over and over and over again for one low price in the privacy and security of your own home: DVD/Blu-ray. And you can do this for much cheaper than if you took all of your chattering minions to a theater and pumped them full of sugar, salt and soda.

Hey there Mr. Bossy-pants, what gives you the right to tell us what we can and can’t do with our often unruly minions?

The right of a paying customer who didn’t sign up to hear your kids ask you a million questions throughout the course of the 2.5-hour movie, or have my seat kicked 2700 times, or endure the loud, incessant crying of a CHILD TOO YOUNG TO APPRECIATE THE FILM! Oh, and if you have to spend the majority of a film reassuring your children that nobody REALLY died, sweetie, perhaps that movie wasn’t the one you should have dragged them to at that age.

Let me put this into perspective: your child will eventually get involved in some school or community-based stage production. We’re all forced to explore that avenue at least once, whether it’s as a talking item of food, a miniature president, an ambulatory tree or even a prince or princess. Me, I was Charlie Brown. Now, imagine that your wellspring of pride while watching this illustrious performance by the fruit of your overactive loins is suddenly muddied by me. Maybe I’m drunk, maybe I have to pee and want everyone around me to know it, or maybe I’m just more interested in explaining to people around me what’s really going on within the larger context of the story so everyone gets it. Imagine your frustration.

Now imagine I do that for every event you hold dear in your child’s development. I crash their first religious indoctrination to talk about my beliefs and feelings; I show up to their dance recitals and loudly comment on how professional dancers would have made this way more entertaining; maybe I even ring your doorbell 2700 times while you celebrate their single-digit birthdays, or just stand on your porch throwing a loud tantrum when they’re about to go humbly to sleep for the first time in 4 years. The point is, I ruin what was supposed to be good times for you.

And I do it with an attitude of it’s my right as a human.

I didn’t make you squirt out 2-3 snot-machines in the hopes that society would validate your existence for it. I didn’t plant the seed in your brain that your life would only be complete if you assist in the over-population of this planet. I just wanted to enjoy a movie in relative peace and quiet. I’m guessing that was too much to ask.

Laughter and other reactions at appropriate times enhance the experience for everyone in the theater, so I’m not suggesting isolation tubes for each seat. Although…

It’s understandable that you’d want to provide a wide range of experiences for your children, that you’d want to ensure they have wonderful memories of their youth and spending time with their parents. Just make sure you aren’t teaching them that it’s okay to ignore basic common courtesies when it comes to human interaction. Also, you never know what’s going to make someone teetering on the edge of civility snap.

Oh, and if you aren’t a doctor, a scientist working on the cure for stupidity and self-entitlement or the President, nobody needs to get in touch with you that badly while you watch a movie. Again, DVDs and Blu-ray were meant for you.

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6 Comments on “The death giggles of courtesy”

  1. Katie Says:

    a-MEN. Kids movies are for kids. Adult movies are for adults. If toy want to show your kid adult movies, that’s your prerogative. Just do it at home. It’s not only courteous to the childless adults in the theater, but also to the parents who wanted to enjoy a quiet, grown-up night out and actually sprang for a sitter.

    • renpiti Says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately, the common attitude is that they have the right to ruin it for everyone else and you must be the spawn of evil if you confront them with it.

  2. Meg Says:

    Yup – people with kids somehow think the world owes them for reproducing. And dont you dare object. Makes me glad I sprang for the big flat screen – I can have friends over for an enjoyable movie evening and children are NOT invited. 🙂

    • renpiti Says:

      Exactly, Meg. I can’t tell you how many nasty glares I’ve gotten for simply glancing over my shoulder when someone’s kid can’t keep their yapper shut during a movie. Yes, I’m the bad guy for wanting to enjoy an adult aged movie in peace. Now if I’m going to see some animated kids movie, that’s another story. Shame on ME.

  3. InaraSerra Says:

    I completely understand! Having raised 2 kids, and been the vicitm of many rugrats in planes, stores and movie theatres, I see your point all too clearly. (I almost strangled the parent of a child who kicked the back of my plane seat from the USA to England! Seriously, ALL THE WAY!)
    I am proud to say that if my kids were disruptive, regardless of the place, we removed them! Anything else is downright rude on the parents’ part! It only took one or two removals for my own rugrats to get the point: that they would miss out on fun outings if they didn’t behave.

    • renpiti Says:

      Now see? I totally respect that, and I ADORE polite, respectful kids! It just seems that, based on my limited field research, fewer and fewer parents care enough about anybody but themselves to hold that course with their children.
      Oh, and I would have mixed some whiskey in with that kid’s OJ on the plane. Nighty-nite, little seat-kicking bastard.


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