Is This a New Parenting Trend?

July 13, 2015 — 13 Comments

July 13, 2015

Dear Journal,

When seeing a children’s movie during matinee hours, I am asking for trouble. A sagacious adult will anticipate a stockpile of obstreperous, sugar-packed dependents crawling over the seats and walls of the auditorium like chattering, hyperactive insects. Complaining to an usher about boisterous youngsters, however, is like complaining to a farmer about his bleating goat. It’s just what kids do, and you’ll look like an idiot for protesting it. My only options are to either deal with it, see it late at night, or go see Insidious 3.

But here’s the deal; Partner wanted to see Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out. Partner also prefers to only view matinees. So with a convincing-ish, smile and a tone as enthusiastic as I could muster given the circumstances, I said,

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I assume I sounded authentic because he didn’t follow up with, “Are you sure?”

Because I will do anything for Partner (I say “anything” because he’s never made an outrageous request like bedazzling my butthole or tattooing Chris Pratt’s face over mine), I meditated; after all, one of the few injustices that enrages me like a redneck at a gay wedding is distracting behavior during a movie that I paid $10 to see. I understand that becoming outraged over something so trivial is immature and possibly indicative of an anger management issue, but understanding it doesn’t deter the actuality of it, now does it?

Fifteen minutes prior to the movie starting, Partner and I sat near the middle of the dimly lit auditorium. Among the pre-show ads was a commercial for Bud Light (because if I owned a beer company, I’d want to target ’em young, too) and a lovely PSA to traumatize the young audience about how the government steals kids if their parents cook meth. Meanwhile, I’m struggling to maintain my zen-like state of mind as Betty Brat-Face* and Punk-Ass Payton* (*not their real names) whined for more soda and thoughtfully suggest that the movie start “NOW! RIGHT NOOOOWWWW!!!”

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‘Stay at peace. Stay at peace. Stay at peace.’ I thought over and over.

Just as I began to feel the effects of my rote mantra, light flashed to my right, two rows down, like a flickering bolt of silent lightening. After my eyes adjusted from the startling invasion of illumination, I made the mistake of turning to face the source of this intrusion only to be directly blinded by another blinding flash of light.

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Covering my face and turning away, I hissed and squealed like a vampire gremlin. The phrase “What the fuck?” may or may not have slipped out of my mouth. Upon regaining my vision, I cautiously turned back towards the source of the flashing light, peering through my fingers in case a quick cover was necessary, and noticed that a parent was capturing pictures of his children…sitting in the movie theater.

I found this peculiar, but didn’t give the isolated incident much thought until it happened again, this time five rows directly down from us, and then again soon after that by the parent just over my left shoulder. Parents were snapping pictures of their tax exemptions like they were standing in front of Cinderella’s fucking castle at Disney World instead of the Malco Paradiso cinema (one of the most uninteresting landmarks in Memphis right up there next to the Boomerang car wash on Poplar).

I leaned towards Partner and muttered, “What the ever-loving Hell?” But he only chuckled. Is flash photography in a low-lit setting a thing now? Did parents discover this new trend on Scary Mommy or Huffington Parents? Does parenting rob them of the concept of flash blindness and other inconsiderate behaviors? If I ever brave another children’s movie matinee crowd, I intend to monitor this activity further and report my findings. Until then, I will never again judge someone for wearing shades in a movie theater auditorium.

From the heart,

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13 responses to Is This a New Parenting Trend?

  1. 

    I have to admit, the picture taking is puzzling me too. In particular since I wonder what their kids’ kindergarden mates will say if they see them crawling across several seats with their faces smeared with chocolate ice cream… *chuckle*
    It seems some parents really love to embarrass their own children…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 

    The photos were totally for their Instagram. What I don’t understand, and this coming from a woman with 3 kids under 6, is why can’t people manage their kids. I can take all three of my kids anywhere and not have a meltdown or a problem. It’s not that hard people. We go to the movies all the time, at any time and I see non-breeders roll their eyes when we walk in and then when the movie is over they will wait for me after and commend me for having gotten 3 kids through (insert non kid movie) with no issues. Some people really don’t care about other people and unfortunately they are raising their children with that same anything goes, who cares if you ruin someone else’s day attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 

      I had to stop two parents at my local library, pull them aside, and thank them. Their kids (around seven and nine) were leaning in to one another and actually WHISPERING whenever they wanted to communicate. It was the first time I’d seen that in twenty years. I told the parents how amazing those boys were and I made sure to do it right in front of the boys. The whole family left the place beaming.

      Now, for the other ten thousand that stampede through there like the wildebeest scene in “The Lion King”….

      Liked by 2 people

    • 

      Good on you! And the sweet cycle will continue because your kids will remember it when they have kids of their own. It’s like the opposite of the movie Idiocracy. 🙂

      There’s a sanctimonious home-schooled clan of 7 (lucky number, my ass) that regularly lays waste to my local library because the mom claims, and I quote, “Jesus will take the wheel.” Sweetheart, Jesus may have the wheel but you’ve got control of the freakin’ brakes! I’ll bet those lil’ darlings don’t pull that crap in church, now, do they?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 

    I haven’t been to a movie for a long time. But thank you for the warning, just in case Sven gets all romantic and wants to take me our for dinner and then to the Eye Max. Somebody should really take a picture of ME, if that happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 

    1. Duh, the photos are for their mommy blogs. Once they get home, they’ve got to bitch for two hours straight online about all the non-breeders in the theater who didn’t fall to their knees and worship them for squeezing out a few puppies and not training them. Because miracles.

    2. Ritalin in a dart gun. That’s all I’m sayin’. We patent that, we make a cool mil by Christmas.

    3. What the hell happened to your nice, soothing blog home page? It’s like you’ve regressed to junior high school and dragged us all there with you. Wait a minute, maybe I’m missing the point….Well, at least I can soothe myself with liquor now, in the open, not like junior high.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 

    If you MUST document your children’s first movie theater event, then you do it outside the theater. Or get there early and do it before the lights go down. I’ve had rage issues directed at some guy who wouldn’t stop texting during the movie and his stupid phone kept shining in my eyes. It is completely possible to sit still, disconnect from your phone and shut the hell up for the 2 hours it takes to watch a movie. My huge, GIANT pet peeve is people who take small children to adult movies. I came to the 10PM showing of (insert sexy, violent, scary movie here) to avoid kids. And yet you, with your 5 year old screaming about being scared are sitting there like a lump while everyone else shoots you dirty looks

    Liked by 3 people

  6. 

    I have rage issues with noisemakers in a movie theater. Hell-to-the-FUCK-NO – I once demanded parents keep their tyke still & quiet (he was kicking the back of my chair & yammering the entire time and I may have actually said “please shut him up”). To which they replied “But he’s only 5!” Then I told kid’s parents that maybe he shouldn’t be in a PG13 film. Mind you, I stayed quiet for the first 40 minutes so I don’t think I was too cray-cray
    Or maybe I was but IDGAF 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 

    It’s not just parents. People of all kinds are taking photos every which way whenever Nutty Hubby and I are at the theater. Recently one bunch even took group selfies waiting in line to get their tickets scanned; I’m guessing that was so that in the unlikely event their tickets were rejected, they could still prove to Instagram that they were there?

    There was also a girl outside in a tight dress and red platform heels having her friend photograph her repeatedly walking up and down the stairs to the theater complex. I’m sure the ancient gum wads on the steps, and backdrop of overweight sweaty men staring and scratching their beer bellies made for a great high-fashion shot for Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 

    I’m not a fan of the current trend of constant picture taking. And there’s a time and place for picture taking and it sure ain’t a dark movie theater. I’d have been annoyed as well!

    Liked by 3 people

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