Date Night Disaster
February 2, 2009 by The Constant Complainer
For anyone that’s read this blog more than a few times, you’ve probably seen me make this comment before – as The Constant Complainer, I don’t go around looking for trouble. Yes, I’m extremely detail oriented and I don’t miss much – but I don’t parade around as some famous blogging personality trying to find topics to write about. Often, I’m just in the wrong place at the right time! Here’s a good example…
My wife and I had a date night this past Saturday. We went to see “Revolutionary Road” and were both looking forward to it. About five minutes before the movie started, most of the seats in the theatre were taken, but I had an open seat to my left, my wife was next to me on my right and she had an open seat on her right. Just as the movie started, two ladies (that I would say were about 35 years old) came into our row. They asked us to move down one seat, so they could sit together. I always get annoyed when that happens at the beginning of a movie, but we graciously complied. So to set the story up, here is the seating arrangement: me, my wife is to my right, the two ladies are to my wife’s right and there are two guys next to the two ladies.
So anyway, the two ladies next to my wife start chatting immediately and continued doing so through the previews. I figured they would be a distraction, but little did I know what would happen later. About an hour into the movie, the lady sitting exactly two seats down from my wife pulled out her cell phone and started texting someone. She had her phone out for a good five minutes before I started to wonder what was going on. The light was very bright, to the point that even the couple sitting to my left seemed distracted. My wife looked at me and said, “Just ignore it.” So I did. However, this lady kept texting for approximately eight to ten minutes. Finally the guy sitting next to her said, “Can you please turn that off? It is distracting me.” She looks at him and said, “Would you rather I be on the phone?” And she kept texting. About two to three more minutes go by and the guy stands up, goes to grab the phone, struggles briefly with her, gets the phone away from her, throws it on the ground, stomps on it and yells, “I told you to turn that off.” Everyone in the theatre turned around and looked. The lady said something like, “You can’t do that.” They bickered back and forth and my wife leaned over and said, “Do we need security here?”
The lady said she wanted security, so my wife asked me to leave the theatre and get them. I flagged down a Manager and he went to find the police officer on duty. As the policed arrived, our texting lady friend was outside of the theatre with me, and was saying she had been assaulted by the man – he grabbed her as he grabbed the phone.
I won’t bore you with every last detail, but this was a mess. I ended up having to give a verbal witness statement twice – once to the responding police officer and then I was asked to come back out of the movie to tell the same story to a higher ranking officer who arrived on the scene. By the time all was said and done, I had missed almost 40 minutes of the movie. I returned close to the end of the movie, only to have to again see the police on my way out – when they had me complete a written witness statement.
I asked the police if they were going to arrest the man. They said they weren’t sure. My statements to them basically said: the lady was texting for way too long, she did try to shield her phone’s light – only after the guy said something to her about it, her phone was bright and annoying to all of us in the row – and the guy did what all of us wanted to do – throw her phone (even though I don’t agree with his actions).
By the way, as with any theatre, I’ll mention that they had three separate reminders appear on the screen asking people to be courteous and to shut off their cell phones…
So the questions left to be answered are these: Should the lady have been texting during the movie? Should she have been texting for that long? Should someone have said something to her sooner? Should the guy have grabbed her phone (and her in the process) and destroyed it? Should the guy have been arrested for his behavior?
The bottom line to me is that the lady shouldn’t have been texting; she wasn’t really assaulted on purpose (or as severe as she made it out to be) and the guy absolutely should have sought out a Manager instead of taking actions into his own hands. So I believe they are both at fault. And I guess that once again proves that I can’t have a peaceful night out…