Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha (11April06)

It never fails -- the more time we have to get to The Cheap Theater on Tuesday, the later we end up being. This week, we had all afternoon. Paul left work at noon, and I picked him up to go downtown for an appointment with the INS -- to get Paul one step closer to his permanent Green Card (which, incidentally, isn't even green).

You meet a lot of interesting people at the INS offices. List people who apparently visit at least once a week, hoping that they can annoy the INS into getting their paperwork done sooner. Or illegal aliens who think they should get preferential treatment because they at least took the time to learn the language. But all that is a different story for a different blog... didn't take long for us to show proof, once again, that we are, in fact, married (though it probably wouldn't have hurt if I'd started nagging him about something mid-interview). So, after a quick smoothie break downtown, we were home by about 2:30. Since it was a gorgeous spring day, we decided to go to our favorite trail and go for a four-mile walk. Then we'd grab dinner next to the theater (wings -- not the pizza buffet this time) and make it in time for the 6:50 show.

For the most part, everything went well. We had a great walk, and we even had time to stop home to freshen up a bit before heading out for dinner. We stuffed ourselves with wings and cheap beer, and we watched nuns and monks face off on a Family Feud rerun. The problem arose when we finished dinner early. So we could either go to the theater and wait for a half hour or we could do a little shopping first. We wandered down the mall to the bargain bookstore, where I promptly lost Paul. I swear he dematerialized. And by the time I found him, it was 6:40. We waited for someone to check us out (and got a free tote bag for having to wait), and then we still needed to drop off our purchases at the car and buy our tickets -- and I had to stop at the bathroom. We rushed off in separate directions. Then we met back up, got our tickets, rushed past the ticket-ripper (who was so friendly that he said hello when we were still 15 feet away from his ticket-ripper stand), and hurried toward our theater. We got stuck in the hallway behind a particularly pokey pair, who walked as though their movie wasn't starting for another couple of days -- when, in actuality, they were just as late as we were because they were headed for the same theater.

Thank goodness for endless previews -- there were still two more left when we entered the theater. And, somehow, there were still back row seats available. It was a Cheap Theater Miracle.

Of course, we weren't the last ones to show up for the movie. Because people at The Cheap Theater figure that, since it's only costing them 50 cents, they can show up an hour late, and it's no big deal. Personally, I think these people must be on crack, since those first few minutes are often critical to the movie. But whatever. It's their problem.

It becomes my problem, however, when they show up 15 minutes into the movie and are furious that the seats that they want are already occupied.

Yes, I realize that the seats in the back of our local cheap theater are designed to accommodate handicapped moviegoers and their guests. And if a handicapped moviegoer arrived and there was no other room left, I would gladly give up my seat (though, admittedly, I'd still be a bit miffed if I had to do so after the movie had already started -- because that's still just a tad bit rude). But these Cranky Latecomers who arrive late and get ticked off that we're in their seats are never handicapped. Usually, they're middle-aged or older. In groups of at least three. And the person who gets the huffiest (and the loudest) is almost always female and shaped much like a pepper pot. She and her cohorts will stand at the back of the theater and converse loudly, trying to make us feel guilty for taking their seats. They will occasionally take a few steps toward us, so as to give us the opportunity to call them over and say, "Please take these seats. We're so sorry for taking them, when they're obviously reserved for you. Shame on us."

But, just for the record, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty. To the Cranky Latecomers, I say: if you want specific seats, show up early. Don't come crying to me when you show up 15 minutes into the movie and you can't get the seat you want. And, just for your information, talking loudly won't make me give you my seat. It will not wear me down. It will just piss me off, since I'll be forced to focus even harder on ignoring you so I can watch the movie. Call me rude and disrespectful if you will, but I have long legs, thank you very much, and I'm not going to get up during the movie and willingly switch to a more cramped seat just because you want me to. If you want my seat, you're just going to have to sit on my lap. Sorry.

Eventually, the Cranky Latecomers found seats -- or, perhaps, a movie where their fellow moviegoers were more obliging -- and a good time was had by all. For a review of the movie, check out


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