Movie Theatre Etiquette 101

This is a cautionary tale; a tale of bravery, a tale of respect, a tale of WTF moments that may or may not rock you to your very core.

A tale with a moral.

I’m kinda like a modern day Hans Christian Andersen.

It begins like most great stories, with a character (ahem, that’s me!) and a setting (the movie theatre). And like all epics, this character is about to embark on a journey that will take him to new worlds where he’ll meet new people and have new experiences. That is, after all, why he goes to the movies in the first place, to lose himself completely. (Ok, I’ll stop talking about myself in the third person because it’s totes not a cute look.)

ANYWHO, I went to the movies last night with my boyfriend to see Muppets Most Wanted (because why not?) and I should have known that this would have ended up being a totally terrible idea because we decided to go to the movie theatre closest to our apartment, which is in a less-than-desirable town where less-than-desirable people frequent. Steve and I have a word for these types of people: junks.

So of course, this movie-going experience was chock-full of junks.

Still, I was determined not to let the junks get the best of me. I was too excited (I love The Muppets. Suck on it.)

Since I have extreme anxiety issues (seriously, you should read about them by clicking on this wonderful hyperlink), I make sure to arrive at the theater no later than 30 minutes prior to showtime to ensure optimal seating. Steve and I were the first in the theatre and thus were able toĀ secure our desiredĀ seats.

As I watchedĀ the previews, anticipating the feature film, this is how I feltĀ inside:

But of course, outwardly, I’m all…

Because you’re NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK DURING THE MOVIE. I mean, they even tell you with elaborate advertisements before andĀ after the previews. If you ever end up going to the movies with me and you talk to me, you can be pretty sure that I hate you.

And then I saw her. AND HER THREE MORBIDLY OBESE TODDLERS.

I prayed that she wouldn’t sit around me. After all, the movie had been out for weeks so the theatre was far from filled to capacity.

No such luck. Her parade of cream puffs trampled up the stairs and stopped next to Steve and I, wanting desperately to squeeze by us. Inside, they opted for the row above us. Their fat little stumps kicked our seats as they waddled down the row, and Big Mamma (that’s what I lovingly named her) squatted directly behind me.

In her hand she held a bucket of fried chicken and the air around us was engulfed in clouds of grease and nacho cheese.

Did I mention that the movie had started by this point?

And then I heard it: the loud whispering.

All during the opening number, Big Mamma felt the need to talk — rather loudly — to her chicken greased children atĀ a normal volume, like they were at a restaurant. As the music soared, so did their voices, like they were competing with the movie.

I tried not to let it get to me. After all, Big Mamma had kids with her, and kids these days are too simpleĀ to understand the complexities of The Muppets, what with their iPhones and Flappy Bird and the general lack of brain-stimulating activities judging by their insane girths. Maybe they just had questions.

As it continued, I did the universal signal for “that’s fucking annoying”:

When that didn’t work, I tried the old, “Let me whisper to my seat partner about how annoying they are, but it’s loud enough so that the junks behind me can hear and hopefully SHUT THE FUCK UP!” trick:

We played it cool.

Meanwhile, Big Mamma was NOT getting the hint. In fact, she was getting rowdier.

At this point, I wasn’t even aware of what was happening in the movie. I letting the angerĀ build up to the point where I was on the verge of blacking out.

So I asked her nicely to please be quiet.

This did not go over very well.

Big Mamma said, and I quote: “Excuse me. Excuse me. EXCUSE ME. EXCUUUUUUUSE ME? Who are you talking to? You talking to me?”

“Please be quiet,” I said.

“I’m having a conversation with my daughter, Ok?” she exclaimed, her voice crumbingĀ with attitude and chicken grease.

“That’s fine, then go outside,” I asked. “I didn’t pay to hear your conversation.”

Then, she pulled a Bon Qui Qui:

… which, if you know me, is soooooooooo not the right move. Because I can do Bon Qui Qui better than Ms. Angela Johnson herself. I can out-junk ALL the junks, if given the right platform.

But I remained calm, cool, and somewhat collected. Inside, I was all:

tumblr_ms46k9KYjK1sc6amqo1_500

But outwardly, I simply repeated, “Go outside, go outside, go outside.”

That’s when she became all:

At this point, I was blind with rage, and, when I turned around to face her, she was wagging a chicken finger at me from betwixt her elephantine thighs, the bitchy gay came out:

Which of course made Big Mamma Junks literally do this:

Steve, on the other hand, was sitting in his seat seething, waiting for the right moment to jump in.

But I knew I had to let it go, especially when other movie-goers were noticing our raised voices and chiming in with valiant “Ssshhhhhh”‘s.

So, I folded.

But she continued, muttering under her breathe indiscernible slurs and pieces of attitude-laced hatred about me to whoever was sitting next to her.

As I sat there, I wasn’t able to pay attention to the movie because I was so angry.

“Let’s move,” Steve suggested, pointing to a row of empty seats.

As we got up, I heard her mutter something, though I can’t be certain what it was, it sounded something like:

It took every fiber of my being, all of my strength, not to go all Season 1 of Real Housewives of New Jersey on her ass:

Luckily, Miss Piggy, Kermit, and the rest of the Muppets were there to calm my nerves.

The Moral of the Story: DON’T FUCKING TALK DURING THE MOVIES. Listen, I’m all for having wonderful conversations with the people you’re with. In fact, I encourage it. BUT NOT WHEN YOU’RE AT THE MOVIES. I’m paying a pretty penny to pay attention to the screen, not to you and your conversation about how fucking fabulous the fried chicken feels against your gums. If you want to talk, whisper. If you want to have a full-on conversation, go outside. It’s rude to do otherwise.

Am I asking too much?

Is it not common knowledge that you’re not supposed to talk during the movie? Isn’t there such a thing as movie theatre etiquette? No talking, no cell phones (which is another pet peeve — I mean, can you REALLY not go a few hours without checking your damn phone? You do realize the light from the screen is a fucking BEACON in the darkness of a theatre, right?) … it’s not THAT difficult?

Maybe I’m just expecting too much from the human race.

We seem to live in a world where selfish actions reign supreme, where the “I” comes before the anyone or anything else, regardless of circumstance or setting. What happened to common courtesy? What happened to being cognizant of the fact that other people exist within our world, that it’s not the “ME! ME! ME! SHOW”? What happened to teaching our children respect for other people?

I remember growing up and, if I were misbehaving in public, and that included talking during a movie, my father would raise his backhand in the air, signaling to me to “STOP.” If that didn’t work, I was removed from the setting. My parents valued other peoples personal space; they taught me respect for others. And it’s that respect that stopped from going full Teresa Guidice on Big Mamma’s junk ass.

8 Comments

  1. Oh. My. God. You have spoken straight to my soul!!!!! I also go to the movies to completely lose myself and get a break from life. It’s seriously some of the few times I have by myself (I go by myself a lot lol don’t judge it’s so amazing). The friends I do go with, if they talk at all I get so Irritated and never ever ever go with them again. Anyway I would have backed you up like NO other. That shit is SO FREAKING RUDE!!!! And don’t even get me started on the cellphone crap. I actually had one of my awesome local junks (totally using that works from now on lol) not only stare at the phone call coming in for about 3 minutes but them he ANSWERED THE PHONE. And talked in regular voice. The man in front of me like flipped out and said something. I may have clapped in support. I have rarely said anything in a theater bc me saying soemthing causes more noise but I wouldn’t have been able to tolerate that either. It also would have been EXTREMELY hard for me to let it go. Rudeness is one of the few things I would slap a hoe because of. So props for you!! Way to represent respect!!!

    1. Hahahaha! Thanks darlin’!

      Yeah, movies are meant to escape…not to be trapped by basic bitches. I could just IMAGINE you going buck wild on Big Mamma. I would have DIED. I think that’s why we bonded so deeply Freshman year. I HATE when people answer their phones. I have one friend who is CONSTANTLY texting during the whole movie every time we go. I’m like, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” GAH. So annoying.

      I try to respect other people as much as humanly possible. But there’s always a line.

  2. This piece really raised my blood pressure. I want to kick Big Mama’s junk ass! (Mind you, I’ve never fought anyone and I’m sure Big Mama would mop up the chicken grease on the floor with me, but the sentiment is there!) I love the Muppets, too, but I tend to avoid the movie theater–like the plague– when any kid-centric movie is playing. Some people are horrible parents and horrible examples to their children.

    We have a wonderful Alamo Drafthouse in our area that is super strict about talking or phone use during the movie. All it takes is one complaint to get a warning and with the next complaint, the rude person is thrown out. Plus, they have great food and drinks. Big Mama Junk and her brood of finger licken’ Junklets wouldn’t do well there!

    My very favorite is when you go to a 10 PM rated R movie and people bring their noisy, young kids. My husband loves to whisper any naughty words just loud enough for the mouthy kids nearby, and their parents, to hear–just to reinforce the adult nature of being there. He might say, “Did Will Ferrell’s character just say cock?” and I would reply “Cock? Why, yes, I think he did say cock!” We’re bad like that!!

    1. YOU HAVE BECOME MY MOST FAVORITE PERSON EVER, BTW. I’m DYING at your comment! Too effin’ funny! “Cock? Why, yes!” Bahahahahahaha! Dying. Dead. I won’t lie…I’ve totally done that before.

      I REALLy thought about complaining, but everyone that works at this theater is SO junky and customer service is not a priority. Last time I go there…

      I once went to see one of the Paranormal Activity movies and there was a FAMILY with a baby in a stroller. Obviously once the movie started, the baby started wailing. And the kids were screaming. It was absolutely ridiculous. Got my money back for that one and walked out. Some people just don’t care about anyone but themselves.

      1. Only junks (I’m stealing your word) take their little kids to scary movies. When I taught third grade, I’d have 8 year-olds telling me full plot sequences to the “Saw” movies that their parents let them watch. These are movies that I don’t allow myself to see, let alone allow an eight year-old! The crazy thing is, these little junklets aren’t scared at all. There are people in their immediate family a whole lot scarier than any horror movie!

        Oh, well, at least the Muppets will eventually be on Blu-ray! šŸ™‚ Have a great night!

  3. OMG, this FLOORED me. The GIFs, the gayness, the sass… and this:

    “At this point, I was blind with rage, and, when I turned around to face her, she was wagging a chicken finger at me from betwixt her elephantine thighs, the bitchy gay came out:”

    Brilliant!

    However, we probably shouldn’t go to the movies together, because I’m so that bitch sometimes. KIDDING! (Mostly.)

    1. Yeah, that’s totally my favorite part of my own writing. I’m so damn witty.

      OMG, I’m becoming you.

      Also, yeah, no, we can’t go to the movies together. With your ADD and my need to concentrate, I’d slay you. And not in the good way.

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