Monday, November 23, 2009

Sacred Space

(To make this a more well rounded reading experience, play this video while reading. I find this music to be some of the most joyous, sacred, beautiful traditional music I have ever encountered. Give the Balkan women a chance, they are really amazing (and look at their outfits. FABULOUS!))

There are few things in this world that truly annoy me. I am tempted to make some snarky remark about my little sister being one of those things, but alas, that is not true. Is Rose annoying? Hell Yes. Do I love her and therefore ignore this fact? Abso-freaking-lutely. Aside from my sister (ok, and if I'm mentioning her, I should also give an honorable mention to my "little" brother (at 6'2" he's not that little) and also my dog, who likes to kick all the pillows off of my bed and ruin my blinds), there are just a few things on God's green earth that really drive me crazy(if you have been around me at all in the last few days you have already heard this rant and I apologize for repeating myself) but I'd say about 90% if them tend to occur in a movie theater. Yes, that's right, IN THE MOVIES.

I love going to the movies. If I could go to a movie a day, I would be ecstatic. I get the same feeling of reverence when I go into a movie theater as I do when I walk into a live theatre space. I breathe easier in a theater (movie or otherwise). To me, it is a sacred space where stories are shared across time, education, social class, race, gender; all the things that divide us cease to exist for the 2 or so hours you spend in the darkened theater. It is beautiful and magical, which is why the following list of offenses bothers me so much.

You know when something annoys you so much you can feel it rising inside of you from your toes up through the ends of your hair? That is how I feel any time I encounter one one these nearly unforgivable movie disruptions:

1. People who talk during the movie.
Now, I should clarify this one a little bit, especially since my dear friend Jenny can be chatty during a movie (No, Jen, I don't want to punch you during the movie. You are the exception to the rule). I'm not talking about a 2 second whisper comment or even a 2 second whisper question because you've gotten confused about something. These I can allow. But what just burns my toast is the talking, the full volume talking. If you are very old and therefore cannot hear whispers, I'll tend to let this slide, but if you are an aurally capable human being, talking full out at the movie makes me want to bury your head in a bucket of popcorn or beat you with a soft pretzel. Here's what I'm saying--if you want to talk during a movie, wait until it comes out on DVD and watch it at home where you can have full-on running commentary (having a running commentary on a movie may be one of the most entertaining things ever, am I right, Rose? Here on Earth was saved by our running commentary). Just like being naked, some things are better left to be done in the confines of your own home, and talking during the movie is one of those things.

2. People from the middle of the row who get up 16,000 times during the movie.
This one is a toughie, because we've all been in that situation where we didn't go before the movie and then ordered the super-bladder-buster sized soda (What? We were thirsty. Don't judge) and downed the whole thing in the first 7 minutes of the movie. By minute 8 you are ready to self-catheterize right there in public because you are worried that if you move too much you are going to have a problem. To compound the entire uncomfortable situation, you are in the exact center of the row in the exact center of the theater (an excellent strategic point and the Holy Grail of movie watching seats), and standing between you and sweet release are 20 long legged people (did I mention it was winter and they all have giant coats on their laps?). What to do? What to do? You should, if the situation is dire, get up. We don't want an accident do we? (That would just be awkward) But you should also do this, long before minute 8 even arises--don't sit in the middle. Use your brain, if not to engage in the movie, then to help everyone else around you from having their shins kicked, and sit on the damn aisle. Antici---pation, people. That's all I'm asking.

3. People who generally cause drama in the movie (and subsequently make me miss the previews).
This weekend I went to the movies with my parents on Saturday night thinking that we'd have a nice viewing experience because most of the other ticket holders were waiting in line to see New Moon. Sadly, we were mistaken as our showing of The Blind Side quickly sold out. Now, I am as flexible as anyone when it comes to things that are sold out. I get it, you know? It's a complicated situation. And so I hustled my ass to get seats as throngs of people poured into the theater, and was able to land 3 pretty decent seats. Unfortunately, others in the theater weren't so lucky. Some Sandra-Bullock-obsessed group bought 50 seats and then was determined to hold them for various unseen parties (read: jackasses) , despite the fact that several greying people were still looking for seats (and stubbornly refused to sit in the front, not that I blame them. The front two rows suck.). Suddenly, it was like the Old West in the row in front of us, and the two parties were at a stand still. Old Greying Man was complaining so loudly and Sandra Bullock Fan(s) were so unwaveringly rude that I almost threw up my hands and said "FINE! Take my seat. I'll sit in the front. WHATEVER." Then, Sandra Bullock Fans kept standing up and walking (pacing) up and down the row and throwing jackets to try and save seats, all during the previews (which everyone knows is the best part of the movie) and all of this was so distracting that they probably could have been showing the greatest trailer ever made or some sort of horrible trashy semi-pornographic trailer and I wouldn't have known the difference. UGH. What is that about? And what about respect for elders, Sandra Bullock Fans? You all were clearly more capable than Old Greying Man. Do what your Mama taught you and give up 2 seats.

4. People who text the entire movie (a newly added grievance).
I should preface this by saying that I too am guilty of looking at my phone occasionally in a darkened movie theater when I feel the need is extreme, but I really try not to make it a habit (and I try to keep it discreet). However, there are certain people (read: teenagers) who feel the need to text the entire movie. And, undoubtedly, if they are going to do it, they're going to be in the row right in front of you in a way that makes the light from their phone shine right in your eyes like a laser. Now, I'm all for a quick text to check in with Mom and let her know you made it to the movie and aren't dead, but what is up with texting the entire time? What is so important in your 14 year old life that you can't wait 2 hours to respond? Unless you are some sort of wunderkind spy, you needn't be in constant contact with anyone. Enjoy the movie, you just payed $20 to do so. (I'd also like to point out that this counts double when you are in a live performance, especially one that features your friends. Do the right thing and turn of your damn phone).

These 4 offenses may seem petty to some, but I'm sure each and every one of us has a list of things that really muss our hair. We each have our own set of rules, these are mine.


  1. Adding two pet peeves:
    Crinkling of snack wrappings, continuously
    The person behind me bouncing my seat

    Loved the music!

  2. i have a few comments.
    1.)yes previews are the best part.
    2.)i once had a guy {who was actually rather gross} comment to himself throughout the entire thing about how much he would like to tap that - referring to katherine heigl in the ugly truth. nasty.
    3.)i almost choked i was laughing so hard when i read "self-catheterize". you are brilliant with words my dear.

    that is all - great post!

  3. I am ashamed. I have recently texted during a live performance, in which one of my friends was starring.

    Though to justify, it was the musical "City of Angels," and we were all texting to each other about how the story-line was making our brains melt/reaching out to prevent "self-catheterization."

    (p.s. to post this comment, I had to type bamizzl - it made me chuckle).