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Last week, a fellow ChicagoNow blogger posted a thought provoking and highly read piece regarding children and movie theaters. You can read it HERE. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Did you read it? Ok.
(I am going to get up on my soap box now.)
When I first read this post, a bunch of things ran through my head. I was, as a parent, a little offended that my kids would be lumped in with people who don’t possess manners. I mean after all I have done to make sure my kids behave. Then I thought deeper. I mean what if this toddler had some special needs or sensory problem. Perhaps the crying is a regular thing for this family and they shouldn’t be denied seeing this movie as a family in a theater because of some sort of issue.
Most of you know, I have three kids 5 and under. They are “public place friendly.” I have to say it took/takes more training than you can even imagine to have kids who are able to sit in a restaurant, order their own food with please and thank you’s, wait patiently for their meal to arrive, and eat using table manners.
It also took a lot of coaching and parenting on my part to be able to take them to a movie theater, teach them not to disturb others watching the movie, and discreetly ask to use the bathroom or eat Twizzlers without making a terrible mess.
It took practice, and trips out of the house to various places for them to learn acceptable behavior. And sometimes we would have to make a trip to the lobby to talk about said acceptable behavior.
However, I also know that kids have bad days. Just like all of us. They are people with emotions, feelings, and sometimes a rough day at school or a bad night’s sleep. Kids are people too. The difference, though, between a child and an adult is an adult knows better. An ADULT has had years more practice. An adult should, in theory, have greater control and know how to behave in a public place.
I am going to argue that rude adults do not belong in a movie theater.
This past weekend, we had free tickets to a movie. We decided on Grown Ups 2. Going to this movie (PG-13 rating) and attending in the early evening (we’re lame) on a Saturday night would mean a mixed and large crowd. Different ages, maybe some older kids, definitely teenagers, and some older folks. We knew this going in, so we weren’t surprised when there was a Mom there with a teeny baby in a stroller (who incidentally did not make a peep).
While I know my fellow ChicagoNow blogger had a bad experience with children at a children’s movie (imagine that), I would just like to make the case that in some instances adults are no better at a movie theater. In fact, I think I would rather go to a movie with my three kids than with most of the people in our theater the other night.
First off, I could not believe the texting and phone playing that was happening in the theater. From adults. Is checking your Facebook that important? I doubt it, trust me if you are my age nothing is that important on Facebook. Those baby pictures, engagement announcements, and photos of unappetizing food will still be there when the movie is over. You’re not missing much. In fact if you don't hear about your sister-in-law’s best friend’s neighbor’s status update regarding her how many reps she did in her workout at the gym, you’ll survive. I promise you.
I am one of those people that always has my phone in my pocket at the theater, I don’t turn it off because with three kids at home, I don’t want to miss a possible emergency call. HOWEVER, if my phone happens to vibrate I leave the theater before taking the call. You know what that is called? Common courtesy.
Next up, let’s talk the young ladies who sat in front of us. Not only did they violate the phone rule, but they left and came back three times. All three of them. In a group. Got up. Left. And came back. While I am proud of them for sticking together for safety, I find it hard to believe that they all couldn’t use the bathroom the first time. What was so important that they had to block my view six times (three times there, three times back)? Was it the boy who works the popcorn machine? Gals, you can do better. Oh I know! You had to check your lip gloss, just in case you saw someone, in a dark movie theater.
Oh, and the talking. The couple sitting behind us, I nicknamed Mr. and Mrs. McChatsy. They did not stop talking the entire movie. In fact, I got an entire play by play in addition to the actual movie as Mr. McChatsy repeated exactly what happened after every funny scene in the movie to Mrs. McChatsy (I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe she is blind. I will cut them some slack. However, she was not blind. If that were the case I would not have complained, but she could see just fine.) If I wanted to hear commentary I would have waited for the DVD, bought it and watched it with Adam Sandler giving me every detail of the movie. But I didn’t, so please save the chatting for another time.
So, I would just like to disagree with the statement that babies do not belong in a movie theater. Reason being that the baby that was at my show (in the stroller) was more well behaved than 70% of the adults in this theater.
Maybe we can agree to disagree. Or, we could just say that Rude PEOPLE (children or adults) do NOT belong in movie theaters. Period.
(Steps down from soap box.)
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