Good Manners 101

By the time my son was two years old, he had learned some basic etiquette. Don’t pick your nose in front of Grandma. Don’t show us the chewed food in your mouth. Don’t take someone else’s toy without asking first. And don’t talk during a movie unless your hair is on fire.

It was easy enough to teach him this. We looked down at that little face, smiled nicely, and said “Don’t talk once the movie starts. If you need to, whisper, and we’ll take you to the lobby.” It was that easy. If he’d talked, we would have left the theater. Once or twice would have drilled the lesson in.

The Spouse Thingy and I went to see a movie today. Santa Clause 2. Fun movie, a good sequel… that would have been better if not for the chatter behind us.

Now, we knew going in there would be a lot of kids there. It started at 3:30, a perfect time to bring kids. Right after school and before dinner. Kids whispering and giggling and laughing out loud doesn’t really bother either one of us, especially when it’s an appropriate movie for kids and it’s just downright funny. And kids sometimes have questions, and don’t stop to think… they just ask.

Behind us sat two adults and two kids. The kids were pretty good. Laughed a lot, whispered a few times. Tolerable.

Their mother, however, would not shut up. She spoke loudly, commented on stupid little things in the movie – “oh, no, he’s going to run out of magic!” – and laughed far too loud than was appropriate – a “oh, kids, this is funny and I think you’re too stupid to figure that out on your own, so let me show you!” kind of laugh. She was verbal enough that I was starting to get pissed off, truly pissed off, and the Spouse Thingy was visibly annoyed. At one point he finally turned around and asked her to turn the volume down.

It worked for about 10 minutes.

This was not a child, this was a grown woman who had kids of her own. Kiddie matinee or not, there was no excuse for it, and the only thing she’s teaching her kids is that it’s perfectly all right to disrupt someone else’s good time, even when they ask you, fairly nicely, to stop.

In any case, the movie was good. I coulda bitch-slapped the lady, but… The holidays are coming, I don’t want to spend them in jail.

No comments: