My husband and I went to the movies last night.
We don't go all that often, but quasi regularly. So, maybe every other month or so. And we chose to go to the theater with the recliners, so two tickets knocked us back close to $25. Not super awful, but, hi, back to school is looming.
I chose the back row - I ALWAYS choose the back row. We sat down, and about five minutes later, in came a group of teens, probably 15-18. They were goofing around, like kids do, and sat in our row. Almost immediately, they started horsing around, throwing popcorn, flicking their straws full of soda on each other - and one girl walked over to the ledge, which was about six feet higher than the back of the chair - and she scaled it.
And proceeded to sit there as her friends called to her, took pictures of her, and badgered her to come down. Even as the lights dimmed and the previews (of which there were ELEVEN, Holy Moses) ran, she stayed there.
In case you were curious, it's not a seat. It's definitely not a place to sit.
They continued to be loud, and I shushed them.
Yes I did.
She finally jumped down and they all applauded, and the movie began - and the girls in the group pulled out their phones, sprawled across the seats, and started gossiping.
And I shushed them again. Honest to Pete, I felt like I was my grandma - but I paid cash money for these tickets AND I wanted to see Mission Impossible #3573874503 and dammit - if you don't want to WATCH the movie and LISTEN to the movie, why are you there?
After about 30 minutes, I left the theater to use the restroom. I thought about it, and then went to find an usher. He agreed to come in a few minutes after I entered the theater - and he did - but when he did, they were quiet. Until he left - and then they took off their shoes and slid them around on the floor and argued with each other as to exactly whose shoes were whose. The usher came back, and they all decided it was time to leave.
And they did. We were able to enjoy the last hour or so of the movie in quiet.
But it started me thinking. Why do people think that their own enjoyment of a situation, or their own desire to be at a situation, trumps the needs/wants/desires of everyone else? I mean, you are asked to turn off your cell phone when you go to church - but how often do you hear a phone ring in the ceremony? I can't remember a Mass that I sat through without at least three different ringtones. And yes, your baby is cute - but letting her walk all around at Mass and up to the altar (!) is not. People who go to the beach and play their music at ear splitting decibels, go to restaurants and let their kids destroy the place, or go to the mall just to have a screaming match.
I know. I sound like a grinch. Trust me, I know. And I KNOW that kids misbehave and goof around and act a fool when they are around their friends - but it seems to me, more and more, that kindness for the sake of being respectful of everyone else in attendance is long gone.
I KNOW that I left grocery stores with carts full of groceries just - abandoned. I left concerts with cranky kids, stood up and bounced cranky baby after baby at what felt to be the LONGEST MASS ever, and have just - stayed home from events that I know weren't going to work for me. I've taken my kids to numerous different events and we have worked HARD on appropriate behavior. After all, NO ONE wants to see a big family coming and I have never wanted to give anyone even the slightest ability to say, "See that? That's why people should only have one child. You just can't control that many!"
I have always taught my children that they have an absolute right to be in any place that they want - but that their right to be somewhere (concert, restaurant, dinner, movie, fancy dress up event) does not supersede anyone else's right to enjoy said event.
Am I alone? Please tell me I'm not alone.