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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but rude people kill me

Over winter break, I decided I wanted to see a movie at home in Toledo. Rather than being frugal and waiting until it moved to the second-run, $2 theater in the city like I always do, I decided to cough up $10 to see Juno on its first run. I was anticipating its release for nearly a year, so I was excited to see if my high expectations were met.

It’s a wonderful movie, and if the Oscars happen, I would be thrilled to see it win in the categories it’s nominated. While the movie was worth the price of admission, the experience at the movie theater was not worth paying the price of the ticket.

As I walked in, I grabbed a seat in the second row from the back, exactly where I normally go. The theatre was not very crowded, which was a welcome relief to me. A college-aged guy and girl sat behind me and chatted before the movie starts, and I thought nothing of it. “Oh, they’ll be quiet when the movie starts,” I thought to myself. I couldn’t have been more incorrect.

These people talked the entire length of the movie – very loudly I might add. Whether it was about life plans after college, the frequent question, “What? What did she say? I missed that line,” “Let’s go to Starbucks!” or other non-sequiturs, I had to listen to their entire loud, pointless and often repetitive conversation.

When the movie mentioned Kurt Cobain, she asked in her loud, ditzy voice, “Oh, who’s that?” and I nearly lost my mind. “Oh, wow, it’s over?” she blurted out at the end, possibly because she forgot that she was indeed supposed to be watching a movie.

I heard nearly the entire dialogue of the movie twice because the guy repeated nearly every line that she missed while babbling about nothing. Clearly he wasn’t paying attention to her, and actually tried to pay attention to the movie, but he was just as annoying as her rambling.

These two people completely ruined my movie-going experience, and no matter how many times I turned around and gave them glaring looks and attempted to get them to shut up, nothing worked. I knew that if I were to yell at them, I would be just as loud and annoying as they were to the people in front of me. No theater employees came in, so I could not tell them about their rude patrons, and I was not about to miss part of the movie to go and complain.

I was really annoyed with this experience, and it was frustrating to see such rude behavior from people who aren’t ornery 5-year-olds lacking an attention span. Why would you pay $20 or more to sit in a movie theatre and talk, when you could go to Starbucks and be in an atmosphere more suitable for conversation for free? I know I wouldn’t, but their decision affected my experience at the movies.

It was frustrating to have to try to ignore one conversation in order to pay attention to what was going on in the movie. I didn’t have my iPod on while I was in the movies in an effort to ignore the movie, so what makes you think I will ignore the movie because I care about and want to hear what you have to say?

Of course, talking loudly isn’t the only annoyance you find in a movie. Cell phones that ring loudly, or people answering them, are just as frustrating and loud as the people who were sitting behind me. Also, just because you have your phone on silent doesn’t mean other people aren’t going to be blinded by the glare of the light on your phone while you’re texting in a dark theater. Loud crunching and the rustling of food packaging can be just as distracting as well.

I remember the days when the movie companies would play a short clip before the previews reminding people of the “rules” of the movie theatre, which were probably omitted because they assumed people have a general grasp on such common sense concepts (and also to gain more ad revenue). Clearly some people haven’t grasped this.

So, the next time you go to the movies, please try to be courteous to those around you and to those you are with. I’ve been with large groups of my friends at the movies without problems, so I know it’s not too much to ask. Detach yourself from conversation for a couple of hours, just enjoy the experience and let others do the same.

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