As soon as I was old enough to drive, I started going to the movies whenever I could. I still have all of the ticket stubs from the movies I watched my senior year in high school and my freshman year in college. I don’t know why. I just do.
When I got older, married, and had kids, the frequency of movie attendance dropped off dramatically. Well, unless you count all of the cartoon movies that we take the kids to see, but I don’t count those. Typically, if I want to see a movie that doesn’t have any animation, I stream it at home on my Chromebook. I’m not against cartoons by any means, but sometimes you just need a break.
Our son is old enough now that he’s been willingly watching many of the Marvel movies with me at home. I haven’t taken him to see Endgame yet, but I will soon.
This past week my wife and kids were camping with my in-laws, so I jumped at the opportunity to go see a movie at the theater with no animated characters and lots of explosions, shooting, and curse words.
I went to see John Wick 3.
Really great movie by the way, but that’s not where I’m going with this.
When I first got to the theater, I was the only person there. Seeing how it was 4:00 on a Tuesday afternoon, I wouldn’t have been surprised if no one else showed up. But they did, and that’s when the entertainment began. I wish I’d bought some popcorn.
The screen where the movie was showing only had five rows of stadium style seating with about 12-14 seats per row. So it was smallish. I was on row D (the fourth row, of course), right about the middle. You would think that finding your seat would be fairly simple, especially with the three foot tall letters threaded into the carpet to designate each row. And the seat numbers are brightly lit so there shouldn’t be any confusion there either. Or so you would think.
The first group to walk in after me was a mom and two boys who might have been twelve or thirteen. I wondered if the mom realized (or cared) that the movie was rated R, but I did not dwell on it as the mom seemed confused about where their seats were at first. They eventually settled in to the row directly behind me.
Next was an older couple. Age is relative I suppose. I’m 41. They were older than me by more than a decade. They didn’t seem to have any issues with their seats as they sat to my right leaving a two seat space between us. Good job!
The next couple…well…they had some issues. When they first walked in, they went to the handicap seats (the row directly in front of me) before coming up to my row and sitting between me and the older couple. But they kept looking around and glancing at their tickets as if they were very confused by the whole experience. Finally, the man asked the older couple what row we were on.
Once they found out they were on row D, they got up and moved down two rows to row B and sat right in the middle. The equivalent of where I was sitting on row D. I figure that’s why they didn’t ask me for help. They thought I was in the wrong seat. I guess I looked like I might bite.
I understand that people can get confused and have a hard time with stuff. I’m a teacher. I deal with that kind of thing all school year. And I make my own share of mistakes even if I don’t always like to admit it.
I’m just curious how they thought the fourth row from the front would be row B. Maybe they really didn’t notice the letters on the floor and they thought the rows started in the back. In that case, I would have been on row B. But that wasn’t the case, and I actually kinda felt bad that they got so confused by the whole ordeal.
If there had been something more serious than confusion about where to sit in an almost empty theater, I would have offered assistance. As it was, sometimes it’s just better to let people mess up if it’s not going to hurt anything but their pride. Mistakes are a great learning tool.
People watching is a past time that I enjoy almost as much as reading or watching movies. Sometimes real life is even more entertaining than movies. But not in this case. John Wick was way more entertaining.
Be seeing you.