Those of you that know me personally know about my ill fate when it comes to watching movies at the theater. Let’s do a little recap for those who don’t or may have forgotten.
(1) A few years ago Clay and I went to see a movie at the Branson IMAX theater, notice I said a few years ago, not like 10 years ago when constant cell phone usage was still emerging onto the scene. So we take our seats in a very crowded theater and I take my phone out to silence it and read a text message. Generally we don’t sit right beside other people in a theater as to follow the “unsaid theater rule” unless we have to. Well this particular showing was packed so I was right beside an older gentleman and his either daughter or much younger girlfriend/wife. The previews had just started and I had all intentions of putting my phone in my pocket as soon as I responded to the text. Seconds into typing the gentleman, which at this point we will now refer to as grumpy guy slapped the back of my hand. Not accidentally, I know this because he muttered something like “not this” or “here we go”. It was the kind of scenario that is so bizarre you don’t know how to react. Clay was on my other side and with it being dark could not well see what was going on. I turned and looked at grumpy guy and said excuse me, not excuse me like when you bump someone’s arm in a crowded space, more like excuse me who do you think you are. Grumpy guy just turned his face back towards the screen like what had just happened was totally normal. Not knowing what else to do I finished typing my text, I could see his face out of the corner of my eye, he was squinting like the light from my phone mimicked that of a lighthouse.
(2) Alright now fast forward to March of this year, we saw a movie on a week night and the theater was not busy at all, I think there were only 2 or 3 other people who watched the same movie that we did. When the movie was over I went to the restroom and Clay went on to start the car. As I exited to restroom I noticed that it was very quiet, but I assumed that was just because not very many people had been there to begin with and some had probably left immediately after their movie. The restrooms in this particular theater are at the very back of the building and you walk down a long hallway to get to the exit at the front. As I got farther down the hall I noticed two people standing outside the glass exit doors and they were pointing at me and making weird faces. What these two knew that I did not was that the two young employees working at the theater were apparently in a big hurry to leave work as soon as possible and they had locked me in and left. As soon as I realized what had happened I called Clay in the car to tell him what I thought was happening. Luckily the people standing outside the doors noticed that the last employee was still pulling out of the parking lot and they were able to flag her down to come let me out. Y’all she was not happy about this whole thing. She got out of her car and stomped up to the door, she slammed her keys in the lock and opened the door like I had just required her to risk her life or something. Once I was outside and she was re-locking the door I said “I was in the restroom, you might want to check that before you lock the door” as she rolled her eyes out of her head she said “I did check and there were no feet”. Not really knowing what else there was to say I said “well I have feet and they were in there, thanks for letting me out”. This was one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. If it ever happens again I am lobbying for free tickets and popcorn.
(3) After mentally reliving those experiences, last night’s story pales in comparison. Last night we went to see The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. Being a Tuesday night there was hardly anyone at the theater, we were a little early so we were the first ones into the theater. Six other people joined us before the movie started. We were sitting on the next to back row which has 5 seats in it. All of the people that came in after us sat in sporadic places as to not violate the aforementioned “unsaid theater rule”. Except the last couple, they decided to get on the same row as us (the row with 5 seats), thankfully there was 1 seat between me and them, but in a basically empty theater it felt like they were in my lap. They were an older couple who seemed to enjoy the fact that we were all hanging out, watching a movie together, while I felt like every breath that I exhaled was hitting the ladies arm. On the bright side she did not seem to mind the few times I took my phone out to check for messages about the baby.
*Disclaimer, we took this before anyone else came into the theater