It’s July 4, 2017. I have lots to be thankful for. Some of my thankfulness is centered around the past two years that I’ve lived through in the hands of treatment professionals, doctors, and nurses. But most of it is more relative to the life we’re privileged to lead in this world, this country, this state, this city and even this neighborhood.
Because I don’t have to worry that bombs will go off around us, that government spies are lurking to capture us for living as we prefer, that gangs roam our neighborhood and make it unsafe to even take a walk. We don’t have those worries. At least I don’t believe that we do.
I looked at the Stars and Stripes hanging from our flag pole and gave thanks for all of this. We aren’t perfect. We’re a work in progress. But we DO believe in freedoms and opportunities.
That’s done. I’ll say no more.
But I will get back to the we aren’t perfect statement.
If there is anything that I’ve learned over the past two years, it’s this.
Those imperfections have nothing to do with my treatment path but more to do with those peers of mine that I have met along the way: my waiting room companions, others receiving treatment at the same time as me – which I have previously written about. I include now those I’ve simply experienced in malls, stores, restaurants and the latest – in a movie theater.
This experience took place just a few days ago. We excitedly purchased tickets on opening day for Despicable Me 3. We even bought tickets for 6pm on Friday evening with plans to eat dinner out after. Sort of a date, I suppose.
We snuck a couple of waters in and bought a box of movie candy to share. (which was the big splurge of the day, really) Found our seats (which are marked and match up to your ticket now that online purchases are so common). We had the two end seats – as we often try to get.
We began watcheing the previews. Several teens came in followed by a couple who were probably in their early forties. As luck would have it, their seats were right next to ours but their teens sat 2 rows up.
The theater was no where close to full so having these two in the seats right next to us was a little awkward, I suppose you could say. When the theater didn’t fill up, they didn’t move down a seat or two to give us or themselves a little privacy. We didn’t think much of it. They looked pretty “normal”…
Before the feature began, we noticed the purchase of 2 giant tubs of popcorn. The teens had one and mom and dad, the other.
They were obviously regular movie goers. They had their routine down pat and quickly settled into their seats. We thought they would be a good group to watch a movie with. Ha!
The previews progressed with a My Little Pony trailer that would have been quite to the liking of our 5-year-old granddaughter, Hannah. The sighs and ahs that were released by the mom were also sounds like Hannah would emit. That was the first but definitely not the last time I rolled my eyes.
Soon after Gru began his adventure, we began ours too. The first time the Minions appeared on the screen, mom laughed. Not a quiet chuckle but a loud haha-haha-haha-haha-ha. There wasn’t really anything funny happening except the “funny” sound of her loud laughter in the almost silent theater.
The mom half of the couple made her first in-feature move. She crouched and then slowly stood in front of her seat but as close to the back of the next row of recliners as possible and then she leaned over that row to reach one of their teens in the next row. She gripped a tub of popcorn in her other hand from which she poured into the tub the teens were sharing.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t practice the art if quiet whispering. She loud-whispered something to them and then sat down with her partially empty tub.
The movie was funny so there was lots of loud laughing from her.
A few – perhaps 20 minutes – of grazing on popcorn passed and then she was ready to share again.
This emptied the tub and we thought the popcorn-sharing parade was over.
But mom quickly slipped out and returned with another large tub.
After being seated, mom pulled out plastic plates, portioned out popcorn on several of them and passed them to the teens – again leaning over the 2 rows. Not sure why she didn’t pull out the plates earlier but apparently this is reserved perhaps so that she portions out the third tub of corn to make it last longer into the feature? Who knows.
Plates were filled. And the tub was depleted by mom and dad.
Finally, mom sort of sat down to actually watch the movie.
On to dad. You may think that he was the normal one of the pair. Wrong. Dad had made himself quite comfortable – as I’m sure they intend or they wouldn’t provide recliners. However, this dude took it a little too far.
Soon after mom had stopped the popcorn share, dad opted to forego the normal position of sitting in a recliner with the leg lift raised for what made him more comfortable. he scrunched his knees up and turned to the side – muhc as a child would take a nap. Wiggled around and ended up in a modified scrunch with one knee sticking up into the air.
I wasn’t quite to the eye-rolling stage – although I do find it rude to have any part of your body protruding up so that it could obscure the view of anyone on the row behind (and there were people sitting behind us).
Eye-rolling was inspired when dad chose to kick off his sandals and prop his bare feet up on the leg lift that was extended to the max.
Brief explanation: I feel that putting your feet – much less bare feet – near anyone’s head/face or in their line of sight is simply disgusting. I just don’t want to see that. It’s similar to the way I feel about men who jog shirtless. I only want to see nipples at the beach or pool – not on a body of any level of fitness – trotting along any one of our area streets.
Next was the real kicker. He fell asleep. Yes – asleep. Not just for a second or two with a head bob or two but out cold in full snore, mouth hanging open and – eventually – drooling.
I really wanted to take aim and sink a piece of our candy into his gaping mouth like a Steph Curry 3-pointer but who wants to become as disgusting as he?
So amidst mom’s loud haha-haha-haha-haha-has (which didn’t awaken dad) and dad’s snoring, we watched the final part of Despicable Me 3.
We exited the theater, leaving mom, dad and their group of teens behind and ventured on to Duckworth’s to have flatbread and a glass of wine (or in Dennis’ case a beer) to complete our date night.
We enjoyed our evening – even the antics of our movie companions. We’re big people-watchers so these two simply added to bevvy of people-watch conversation fodader.
So what’s the final thought?
Well, besides wondering who in the heck raised these two and wondering how their kids can become adults with any social graces whatsoever, my final thought is that the evening’s experience surely proves that we are all far from perfect. I also know that I’m a work in progress. Unfortunately for movie-goers everywhere, these two don’t seem to be a work in progress at all!