I have no idea what went wrong with my site yesterday. And I could have complained, I could have stepped right up, armed with angry fingers. I could have written a nasty letter or two to my service provider. But I’m done with unwarranted anger especially towards strangers who aren’t actually god nor do they know god.
On Monday evening at the movie I witnessed an act which very nearly ruined the entire movie-going experience for me. It sat with me all night. I even took it to bed with me. Today, I have to admit, I feel better about it. I guess it’s like with any recent nightmare or disturbing dream, after a while that strange uneasy feeling begins to fade.
Toby and I entered the theater and assumed our usual position. The theater, to some, seemed hot. Usually I am freezing, my 10 digits take on the form of winter roots, seizing up into a shattering ice-like state. This time I was perfectly comfortable. Actually, I rather enjoyed the warmth. Contrary to popular movie-house temperatures, the warmth of our particular theater house it made me feel as if I were within the comforts of my own home. But this did not sit well with some of the restless natives. No way, not for their spoiled asses. One large woman began to audibly bitch and moan to no one in-particular. But she was fairly ignorable. Another woman began to fan herself, also easily ignored. But there was one person, one uppity homosexual man, leader of all the petty movie-going mortals, leader of all those who lacked couth or care or respect or love, he was not easily ignored. In fact, he is that burning sensation someone with gonorrhea might feel while they pee. He is that nose-whistling asshole on the night train heading somewhere dreadful. He is that fly, gnat, or bee buzzing around your head while your trying to kiss your girlfriend (or, in his case, boyfriend) for the very fist time. And I hated him. I hated him for actually thinking we wanted him to represent us.
This guy decided to go talk to the manager. Fine. Only “talk to the manager” for him apparently means bringing in this rather sweet looking older man in from the movie theater’s office and verbally berating him while everyone else watches. Some of us watched in speechless horror. Some folks actually agreed with this hot-headed (pun intended) wacknut. He kept on screaming, Ignatius J. Reily style.
“Everyone THIS is the mANaGER who SOLD us these TICKETS!” He yelled as he looked around the joint, waiting for us to speak.
The manager looked around and his arms went up, he began to use the arm-flap, a universal gesture in sign language which stands for “Ladies and Gentleman, please relax. Everything will be alright.”
Another guy spoke up to the uppity gay man, “What’s the problem?”
“WHAT’S The PROBlem?! It’s HOT IN HERE!”
The guy shrugged, “Oh.”
The horrified manager began to flap again “Ladies and Gentleman, I realize it’s hot in here, we have people working on the problem right now. It should be fixed shortly. I am so sorry. If you would like to have a full refund, or trade your tickets in for another show-time, I will do so without a problem. Please, feel free to come to the office up front, I will take care of it for you there.”
Now you might think that for a normal person this would have been enough. You might think that Ignatius J. Hothead would have walked over to his party of idiots, collected them from their seats and led them out of the theater heading for their 10 buck refund surely spinning their angry lives into something blissful and heavenly. But no, that did not happen.
“TELL ME! did you SELL us these TICKETS knowing! it was THIS HOT IN HERE?! DID you willingly DO THIS to all of these PEOPLE?!”
I began to wonder if “HOT!” stood for toxic gas or air-born anthrax. Is he a snowman? Are these people human? Where am I?
The manager stood there speechless. Then he managed to say, “Sir, I assure you, we are working on the problem. I sold the tickets, thinking by the time we seated you the problem would be fixed. I assure you, it will be fixed soon. However, I am more than happy to give you your money back.”
He’s a better human than I will ever be.
Apparently God aka the movie theater manager in Georgetown, could not fix the situation for uppity gay man. And eventually uppity gay man sat down again among the morons and huffed down into his seat. And the worst part is he seemed proud. He did not advance to a nicer place. He did not collect his 10 dollars for passing go. He just made my tummy upset. The manager eventually left. He answered a few more questions, “Are you still going to show the movie? We just want to see the movie.” Now this woman is a better spokesperson for the likes of me.
I was flabbergasted. And sad. The entire episode made me feel horrible for the manager guy. He is only human. He’s human with a job where he must deal with the pleasure or displeasure of humans, yes his job comes with free movies, but it’s probably a horribly difficult job. “I’ll be right back.” I said to Toby. “I have to go talk to the manager. It will make me feel better.”
I ran down two halls towards the entrance where I found the manager sitting on a stool staring at the monitor. “Excuse me, sir? You were just in my theater.” He looked up at me, worried. I saw “Not again” written within his forehead wrinkles.
“Yes.” he stood up.
Out of breath from running through the halls of the ten-screen movie theater in Georgetown, I began. “I just had to say this to you. That guy was a jerk. Many of us didn’t agree with him and we’re sorry for his behavior. I don’t wish to be lumped into what he said. We’re just here to see the movie. We know it’s not your fault. Thank you for coming in and offering us all a refund, but that guy was just a mean jerk. And I’m sorry and I didn’t want it to ruin your night. No one really cares about a hotter movie theater.” The man grabbed my hand.
“Thank you. Thank you very much. Some people are just high-maintenance.” he laughed and he shook my hand and I felt so much better.
So what’s my point? I’m not sure. But it pains me that folks can be so mean to one another. It pains me even more when the folks being treated poorly are older. I have no idea as to why. Respect should be a given, and while a manager at a movie theater might not be someone you think necessarily deserves it, there is a certain bit of empathy I wish people would practice. Reverse the rolls, change shoes, whatever. But don’t be mean. If I had the courage, I might write an “I saw you” to my uppity gay friend
It might read: “I saw you Monday night at the 7:10 viewing of Mystic River in Georgetown. I saw you nominate yourself as spokesperson for nearly 100 people in a theater many, in which, wished to have nothing to do with your bitteness. I saw you make many people cringe beneath your angry words. I saw you act entirely too rude to an older man who was manager there. I saw you put on one of the rudest public displays of human err. Shame on you, uppity gay man. Shame on you.”