Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is not your living room

A has a story: he was driving in NYC, trying to find the ?Empire State Building?. The details escape me but this part does not: at one point he had become tangled & rerouted & lost track of the building. So he opened the door to step out & see if he could see & a bicyclist slammed into the door. & then the man said these immortal words: "Where do you think you are man, your living room?" & he was right. It is not OKay to get out of a car in the middle of traffic & start looking at the skyline.

You know what else is not your living room: the doctor's waiting area. I was at the dermatologist a couple weeks ago & a woman went in for her exam leaving her elementary-school-age children playing in the waiting room. The crowded, high traffic waiting room. One of the children decided to go look for her mother. No one had actually been paying them much attention, but we all know this because mom came out & had a near nervous breakdown when she could not find her daughter. She screamed at the receptionist & the other child alternately for not having "kept an eye on her". The daughter was escorted back around the same time having barged in on someone else's exam.

This past Saturday, I was in a large chain bookstore, the kind with the chairs sprinkled around for customers to...use the products without purchasing? I am not clear on that one actually. & while it is true they have tried to make it seem like your living room it is not; it is a public space. At this warehouse-of-a-bookstore was a group of kids having a ?Pokemon? card trade negotiation thing (a twice-a-month event posted on the store bulletin board) & they were not loud but not whispering. The old guy a few rows over trying to read his book got up every few minutes to shush them. & then argue with them. & then bring an employee over to throw them out. The employee 1) asked the kids to keep it down & 2) suggested old guy maybe move to another part of the store where it was quieter. The kids kept it down for maybe five minutes but it did not matter because old guy had already left in a huff. Empty handed. That's right, old guy was not reading a book he had bought or even was going to buy. He was treating the bookstore like his living room & got pissed at anyone else doing the exact same thing.

But the big not-your-living-room offender has got to be cell phone addicts. It is not OKay to take phone calls, no matter how important, in the movie theatre. What amazes me is that there are still enough people who do not accept this that I have not been to a movie in which at least one phone did not ring in I do not know how long. In Julie & Julia one person actually took TWO calls. Then the little old lady behind her rose up & started squawking so loud same woman had to leave the theatre...in order to hear what was being said....on the phone! We all know this because she explained it, loudly, to the person on the line as she left.

While I am on the subject of how the movie theatre is not your living room, let me point out it is also not your nursery. I am SICK & TIRED of people bringing infants to the movies: infants start screaming & so person with infant takes baby to the aisle. Really? To walk up & down, trying to calm baby while still in the theatre? I always want to ask: can we have your home address because the rest of the theatre has a lot of noisy, smelly, unpleasant sh*t we need to do somewhere & well, you volunteered.

The grocery store is also not your living room (or bedroom). I got so fed up with a woman having soft-core phone sex while in the grocery store that I started to participate. I got out about two sentences of commentary before she put down her basket & left. I find this actually works quite well in other rude-phone situations & I have taken to lying about it, as in "see that woman with the blue dress on the phone by the Cap'n Crunch/paint roller/oak leaf hydrangea, I think she must be talking to someone she really hates because she keeps rolling her eyes & giving the phone the finger". I did once have one person tell me I was interrupting a 'private conversation'. My answer : "Hey I am just talking loud to my imaginary friend, too, what makes you think it is about you?".

& then there is the last place that is not your living room. That would be MY living room. I think that is actually the root of the problem. Between the computer & the television everyone is so accustomed to traffic thru their own private space that they are having trouble telling the difference between private & public. I guess the only thing for me to do now is stop typing.

1 comment:

  1. I have finally had to stop going to movies. People chatting in normal tones and the sound turned up loud to drown them out. Too many decibels for me to take.