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…

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  1. Mike says:

    The problem is that what the woman was doing wasn’t illegal. What the man did was illegal. You cannot destroy someone elses property no matter how much it irritates you. He deserves to be arrested, fined, and ordered to pay for a new phone. Obviously we all would have liked to do that to her phone, and perhaps assault her on purpose, but most of us have the mindset to let the appropriate authorities take care of it. All that man had to do was talk to theater management.

    Nothing should happen to the woman, no matter how annoying she was being. One thing is for sure though, she’ll think twice before texting during a movie again.

  2. The Constant Complainer says:

    On a side note, the guy’s buddy continued to sit there while his friend was escorted out of the theatre. He also continued to watch the rest of the movie before going to try and find his friend. There’s a supportive best friend for you! LOL…

  3. Judith says:

    Good story. Feel bad you missed portion of movie. LOL. We all have had this happen. But you have to remain cool and get help, not take care of it yourself. He shouldn’t have touched her or her property.

  4. NeoConDon says:

    Cell phones are the biggest reason I don’t go to the movies very often…people are becoming more and more rude in public. And what kind of man would behave this way. It is ridiculous. You can’t be arrested for being rude, but you can for assult.

    Did you get a couple free passes to another movie for your inconvenience?

  5. Tallelf says:

    I have this little demon inside that would love to do that to that womans phone, but my morals get the best of me.

    I would have leaned over to ask her if she had the # to the movie theater. If she asked why I would tell her that I wanted to call the manager and let them know that she was annoying a whole row, and may cost themfuture business.

  6. The Constant Complainer says:

    Yes, Don, you are right. As I was completing the written statement for the police, a theater Manager walked up to me, thanked me for helping out and gave me two free passes. Not too shabby.

  7. kat says:

    I’m glad to read that you got some free passes out of all of that, cuz it sucks that you missed almost all of the movie because of those 2 people.

    I agree that the guy shouldn’t have grabbed her phone and destroyed it, arrestable offense though? I don’t know.

    Personally, I would have asked her politely once, if she continued, I would have walked out, gotten a manager, explained, and asked the manager to either make her shut it off or leave the theater.

    Texting or talking on cell phones during a movie ruins the entire movie for every single person there to see it.
    The light may seem bright to those closest to her, but believe me, everybody in the theater knows a cell phone is on when it happens.
    I was in a theater once when someone was texting 7 rows back, and I immediately saw the flicker of light out of my peripheral vision. It totally distracted me the whole time.
    Some guy sitting right behind the texter, asked twice for them to stop, when they didn’t, he dumped a whole extra large bucket of popcorn on them.
    The whole theater applauded. hahahaha

  8. Zig says:

    Isn’t Revolutionary Road the movie with that androgonous he-she, Leonado Decaprio? Why would you go see that…movie…unless you have a crush on that…

    Ok here it is. The man was wrong for destroying the woman’s personal property. Now, going back to Utter Negligence. The whole story should be used as a humorous learning experience for CC that the last thing he needs is a GUN!

    Can you imagine if CC had a conceal-carry permit and was toteing a gun when this woman pulled out her texter?

    Tallelf, you speak like you always encounter texters in movies…I didn’t think they had texting phones down on the farm…

    CC, so when are we going to the movie, with those two free passes? I want to see Slumdog Millionaire!

  9. Neelloc says:

    Speaking of justice on taking matters into your own hands…you two should go to see Gran Turino (spelling?) instead. It was an awesome movie! While I was watching it though, some idiot was texting behind me and it surely was annoying and distracting. It really did make me reflect on how rude and thoughtless people can be and made me decide not to go to movies anymore!

  10. Hal says:

    Zig, from what I can see, you did’t even read the post, because you are commenting on stuff that people didn’t even say. I feel a “Guest Post” coming on. LOL. Just kidding, Zig, we love you, but I would suggest slower reading. Slumdog Millionaire was awesome!

  11. NeoConDon says:

    I am still very proud that I have NEVER sent a text…


    After I get my conceal and carry permit, and you and I happen to be somewhere when a nut job pulls a gun and starts shooting people, I’ll make sure that I don’t use my weapon to defend your life since you clearly don’t support self defense from nut jobs and/or gov’t tyranny.

  12. Zig says:

    NCD, I won’t need your help defending myself. I will just use my cellphone to call the POLICE! I know the nut job will shoot you first. He will have a bigger target, fatass!

  13. Mike says:

    Slumdog Millionaire was a good movie. I wasn’t a big fan of Revolutionary Road though.

    Don, why would you be proud of having never sent a text message? Do you think that makes you a better person to ignore technology? I’m not saying you have to go out and start texting, but why be proud of having never done it? What difference does it make?

    And I still believe that you wouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun into a movie theater even with a conceal and carry permit. I think you guys are giving too much imaginary power to the permit. Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m almost certain I’m not. Have none of you seen the signs on business windows that say no firearms allowed?

  14. NeoConDon says:

    You’re correct Mike, it is illegal to carry a firearm into a movie theater, schools, most office buildings, etc. That’s my point…it’s a stupid law and it is a law that has prevented lives from being saved.

  15. Mike says:

    Weren’t you arguing for the conceal and carry law because then those students at VT would have been able to defend themselves? That’s how I read it.


    After I get my conceal and carry permit, and you and I happen to be somewhere when a nut job pulls a gun and starts shooting people, I’ll make sure that I don’t use my weapon to defend your life since you clearly don’t support self defense from nut jobs and/or gov’t tyranny.”

    So no, that wasn’t your point. It sounds to me like you support the conceal and carry law…but then call it stupid because it has prevented lives from being saved. As usual, you contradict yourself.

  16. NeoConDon says:

    You are clearly stupid, Libby. I support the C&C law and support the removal of the law not allowing guns in public places…they are two seperate laws. How hard is this. If the C&C permit holders were permitted to carry their gun in VT classrooms, it is more likely than not that they would have been able to defend themselves and kill the shooter before he killed more people. I’m glad you’re too broke to own a gun. You should know what you’re talking about before you get into a debate.

  17. Mike says:

    It’s funny you should offer up such advice Don, considering you know very little about every debate you get into. I do know what I am talking about, and it has nothing to do with whether or not I own a gun. You were very unclear with what you were talking about. You were talking about the conceal and carry permit, and then somehow jumped to the fact that businesses and public places are given the right to ban guns on their property. It’s not a law, it’s a freakin’ clause within the conceal and carry permit. GET A CLUE.

    Oh, and where do you draw the line? Are little kids allowed to now bring guns to elementary school just in case an attacker should come there? I don’t want guns on any campus, including college. Better to have one crazy gunman than 40,000 come finals time.

  18. I agree the man should be punished as necessary. Though I would have wanted to do the same thing, we can’t go around ripping things out of peoples hands acting like wild animals. The man should have first asked her to stop and when he received the response that he received he should have immediately went and said something to someone that could do something about the situation. Imagine the time it could have saved. The woman, wow, it’s obvious her parents never taught her any manners or respect. Sad. She should have NEVER been on her phone texting, this isn’t something that someone should have to tell you. I tend to believe it’s common knowledge.

  19. Hal says:

    Christina, you’re right on girl!

  20. […] you read my “Date Night Disaster” post, you’ll recall what happened the last time I went to the movies.  I went back on […]

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  22. […] of the most popular posts I’ve ever published was “Date Night Disaster.”  It was from February 2, 2009.  And it was one that I immediately knew was going to be […]

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