Monday, May 4, 2009

And Stay Out

I just returned from watching Wolverine with Paul and Dusty. You have no idea how accurate that statement is. I watched Wolverine. I would love to say I watched and listened to Wolverine, but that would be an overstatement of enormous proportions.


Because two idiots decided it would be a fine idea to take their toddler with them to the movies. To a PG-13 movie. With nary an animated character in sight.

To make matters worse, these two idiots decided to manage their poor decision by sitting on opposite ends of the aisle that bisects the lower portion of the theater and allowing their delightful little spawn free rein over the entire theater.

She ran. She climbed. She giggled. She screamed. She yelled repeatedly for her Daddy.

No one responded to her. No. One. We were sitting at the very top, scanning the sparse afternoon crowd (of maybe 15 people) for any adult to make a move toward this child and none did. We became worried the child was lost and had somehow wandered out of Monsters vs. Aliens and into Wolverine and somewhere her very concerned parents were frantically searching for her.

Then, I noticed that she launched herself onto a woman's lap and it all became clear. The idiots were used to tuning out their daughter's sound-barrier-defying shrieks. The idiots didn't care that the rest of us were not.

You will, of course, not be at all surprised to know that I am not the kind of person who sits and seethes in silence. Neither is Paul.

When the people sitting behind Idiot Number One got up and moved to the opposite end of the theater (not that it made a bit of difference since the child's voice carried over every single sound effect...perhaps DTS should use her for their annoying little pre-movie commercial?), we took action.

Paul called out "Seriously?" and "Shh."

The guy who moved called out "Shh" repeatedly.

Being older than both of them, I've had more practice dealing with idiots and I know subtlety is not their strong suit. I yelled "Get your child to be quiet or leave the theater."


The idiots came to life. They realized their spawn's noise-level was disrupting others. They took their precious child out of the theater amid much apologizing...

Oh, wait. I'm sorry. For a moment there, I forgot myself. That's what should have happened. Instead, they told their little girl to "shh" and then ignored her antics for another five minutes. When more yelling from us commenced, the mother picked up her child and walked around with her. This did absolutely nothing to quiet the child in the least. The solution? Put her down and ignore her antics again. Or, even better from a "how-fast-can-I-warp-my-daughter?" parental strategy, point to the screen as if to say "Be a good girl, now, and quietly watch that nasty man get blown to bits inside that helicopter. Isn't that interesting?"

Paul left to complain to the management. The guy who moved complained twice, for all the good it did us. The manager was all of seventeen years old and terrified of confrontations.

I don't share that fear.

When nothing was done, either from the management or the idiots, and the movie ended, I expected the parents to rush out before any of the irate crowd could confront them. They didn't. Paul took one look at my face, pointed to the stairs closest to the couple and asked, "Are we going out that way?"

Oh, yeah. We were.

We headed down the stairs to the idiots, who were totally oblivious of the death glares being dealt to them from every single patron around them. I told you--subtlety is lost on idiots.

I walked up to them, leaned close to the mother, and said in a polite but firm tone "I was unable to enjoy the movie because of all the noise your daughter made."

The woman responded with "Well, I'm sorry but at least you didn't hear her screaming."

Huh? What planet were you visiting for the last two hours? Please.

I leaned closer. "Yes, I did. We all did. It was distracting and it ruined the movie for all of us. Next time, take her out and stay out. It's what I would have done because it's the respectful thing to do."

She opened her mouth to respond but I walked away. There was nothing I wanted to hear from her. And the key to managing a confrontation without it escalating into ugliness is to say your piece politely and know when to leave.

I didn't ask for a refund because Paul got us in for free anyway. But I hope I opened that woman's eyes, just a little, so that next time she either takes her child out or, better yet, doesn't bring her to such an inappropriate movie in the first place.


  1. You are made of awesome, C.J. :D

  2. I love to have girlfriends with balls. Apparently yours are platinum.

  3. Angelic DaughterMay 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    I can't stand public movie theaters because A) the floors are sticky. Guh. B) I went to a movie once, like I could ever remember what it was, not that the fact would rivet you anyway, and some woman decided it would be jolly to stand so close to the row I was sitting in with her three year old in her arms and let the thing wail for the first thirty minutes. The sad thing is I know adults like this, teachers like this, and ninety-nine percent of the student body will become this.Only they'll be ten to twenty years younger, since relationships in middle school have revolutionized into meaningful things that will last forever, when in reality they last for two weeks to two months, yet noone realizes that I'M RIGHT YOU INSOLENT FOOLS.

  4. Ugh! I know I would have been nonconfrontational but seething -- I admire your teabags!

  5. CJ~
    Nice, mature way to deal with it. Very impressed.

    Too bad you don't have super powers, tho. Just sayin'...

  6. Kelly - lol I think the same of you. :)

    Myra - *grins* When I called and told my hubby I'd had a confrontation in the movie theater, the first thing out of his mouth was "You didn't get kicked out, did you?" LOL

    AngDot - Sadly, there are many inconsiderate types. However, I've met just as many considerate types so perhaps it evens out.

    Jody - I used to silently seethe but it's better for my digestive system if I just speak my piece and move on.

    Katy - lol I did nothing you wouldn't have done yourself.

  7. Kris - *ahem* It's not that I don't have superpowers. It's that pesky contract I signed which limits my usage during daylight hours...

  8. CJ~
    Damn. I didn't realize. She'd better watch out, then.

    We'd ALL better watch out.

    :slinking away as darkness falls:

  9. That was a very amusing afternoon. =) I am also glad to have friends like me, that aren't afraid to speak out to ignorant people. The only reason I didn't today is because I had a gun on my side, badge in my pocket, and a very quick temper for people with no brains...

    But you handled it very nicely! =)

  10. Paul - I still think you should have let me borrow your gun...

  11. BlueDragoon25~
    So YOU'RE the superhero. Or at least the one with weapons.

  12. *snorts* Kris, you have no idea...

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Whats that supposed to mean missy??

    And yes Kris, you are accurate in both statements. =D (As long as there are no negative connotations attached=) )

  15. What's that supposed to mean? Remember when your online id was Malystryx? And we took a certain Super Hero quiz?

    Here's a refresher for you:

  16. :-) I don't even know you, Blue, and I'm enjoying this.

    Not to step in the middle of a sibling-like argument here, but seriously, CJ, you have just demonstrated that you are SO a super-hero, and have the best weapon of all: documentation.


    Important to remember, tho: a lasso can knock even the strongest villain right off his feet. Srsl'y.

  17. We do argue like siblings. =D People around us are used to it.

    As for Paul's lasso...I honestly think the star-spangled bustier is much more lethal. Power of distraction and all that.

    Oh, yeah. I went there.

  18. Ok...So you do have a way with words, and memory, and tactfulness, and...well, that's enough. You will see what I am best at soon (Fighting, weaponry, and many other things I won't say as to keep my plans secret) if I hear you utter that name, woman!

    (That was quite harsh! =D )

  19. Harsh?


    Hardly. =D You called me "missy." You asked for it. ;)

  20. You go girl!

    I must say, it has to be parents like that who are responsible for the many people who compliment me and Bill on how well our children behave in public. It is a regular occurrence, one that always leaves me a little bit surprised because I usually can't tell that they are being anything other than their normal selves.

    I'm pretty much convinced that I am SuperMom because of it. rofl

  21. Wow. Jerks.
    I always seem to sit behind the teenagers who text and talk loudly through the whole movie.
    Go you!

  22. See, I would have just grabbed the kid and took her to see Monsters and Aliens... And then when it escalated- demanded a refund despite the fact I didn't pay. Guess that makes me a super villain?

  23. Ha, I forgot I have a Blogger account. :p

    Good on ya, CJ. You've got a lot more restraint than I do. I'd have been giving the woman tips on how to go do incredibly invasive and wrong things to herself.

  24. I recently had a confrontation with two idiots at a baseball game. They seemed to think screaming profanities (at both players and other fans) and purposely spilling beer on people added some sort of unique and completely acceptable ambiance to the live baseball-viewing experience.

    Cheers to you for standing up to the ignorant!

  25. Yowch. I practically grew up in a theater--my dad worked in one from the time I was 6 until I was in my 30's. I've seen it all, including your scenario exactly, more times than I can even count.

    I have a problem with companies that put such young people in positions of authority when those youngsters have not had a chance to develop an authoritative demeanor. Some have it; I've seen some effective teenage managers, but it's rare.

    Good for you for confronting Moron Mom and keeping your cool about it. I'm not sure I couldhave refrained from calling her...well, Moron Mom. :-D

  26. Way to stand up for the rest of us chickens! I'm a sit & seethe type myself.

  27. Good for you! I have had similar situations occur and haven't had the nerve to do what you did, next time I'll channel you, CJ! :-)

  28. You are quite possibly one of the top 5 coolest people I know.


  29. We saw the movie last night (and heard it too) and I have to admit that after talking with you on the phone about this, I was sorely disappointed to have zero opportunity for confrontation. Of course, maybe that's not such a bad thing considering I usually skip the verbal dress-down and go straight for physical violence.


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