Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Those Darn Kids: a Rant

This is hugely rant-y, but what can I say? I rant sometimes.

I am secretly an 80 year-old woman. Not chronologically, but internally. I have fun. I really do. But my patience for the things happening in the world around me has fallen drastically in the last 10 years, to the point that I firmly believe that the whole world IS going to heck, just like my grandpa always said, and that we are all screwed.

On Sunday, I sat down on the floor, drew my knees up to my chest, and leaned my upper arm on my knee for approximately five seconds. I have a massive bruise on my arm from where it gently rested on my knee. I moved my arm, felt a twinge, looked down, and watched the bruise form within a few seconds. So I bruise like an old person already.

I spent about 14 hours, at the end of last week and through the beginning of this one, painting a backdrop to use in our summer reading program photobooth. My spine is ruined forever.

But never was my old age more obvious to me than during my first viewing of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. *

I went with The Brother, Jennifer, Brandon, and Andy. We went to the AMC theater, which is freaking expensive for this area. If I go to the movies in Huntington, it's $7.50 for a ticket. In Wabash, it's $5.00. At AMC, it's almost $10.00, which is just crazy for this part of the country. ** That is not counting popcorn, which should come with the ticket, because you cannot have a movie without popcorn, or the gas you have to use to DRIVE to the theater, which is a lot. I would not mind so much if AMC was not also the theater that advertises the most prior to a movie. I do not want to pay to be advertised to.

So I thought, I will do what my friend Abby told me to do, which is to get the loyalty card. They were half off. She said that it made it almost comparable to going to a normal theater, and you can get $10.00 off every once and a while. So I did it.
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Then we went in and got seats. As we were buying tickets, getting drinks, and sitting down, I watched what looked like two 11-12 year old boys and two girls around that age buying tickets, then heading in to the same theater. They sat in the front row.

I am childless and unwed, but I spend all day with kids, and I like them. Some parents think people with kids don't get it, but I see what life with kids is like. I see it all day. I know it's next to impossible to corral children, take them from place to place, work a full time job, and still manage to keep them (and yourself) clean, fed, and out of oncoming traffic. It is not the same as being a parent myself, but it is enough to teach me that I'm not interested in that sort of thing. I think you have to love your kids more than you hate what being a parent puts you through, and I don't think that's who I am. I'm selfish, and that's okay, because I'm single and unwed. If I weren't, I'd have to change, but I am, so I won't.

I have pulled kids off shelving units, brought them in from where they were playing unaccompanied in the parking lot under the tires of an idling SUV, bandaged knees, and read story after story out loud. I have been the sole caregiver to a group of five kids ranging in age from ten to two years old when their parents decided the library was cheaper than daycare. Being a librarian is about books, but it also contains a mixture of the job responsibilities of a preschool teacher and a social worker. When I'm finished with work for the day, I'm emotionally and physically exhausted and all I want is to leave work and spend time around adults who know to sit quietly at the table, to not launch the stub of their ice cream cone across the table like a cannon, and to refrain from smearing food on the ground even though no one knows where the food came from in the first place. I like my peace and quiet. I like it so much, I avoid going to kid places, like Red Robin, Walmart, and...the movies.

Through the entire movie, these kids talked. They didn't just whisper, they shouted, because they couldn't hear each other over the sound of the movie. It never occurred to them that their conversation was less important to those around them than the movie. They also couldn't yell loudly enough, so they would shuffle seats every few minutes in order to shout directly into the ear of the person they wanted to speak with.

They also had their phones out the whole time.

After the first 20 minutes, I got up and talked to one of the ushers. The manager came in and told them to be quiet. Nothing happened. I went back out and talked to the same manager. Nothing happened.

At that point, I figured what the heck. The manager wasn't DOING anything. I half expected her to come back and check, but no.

So I lost my temper a bit. I fumed through the second half of the movie, and by the time it was over, had resolved to Do Something.

I went out to the lobby and complained about the whole experience. I asked the manager (the same woman) what people had to do to get kicked out of an AMC theater. Apparently, one more complaint from me would have ousted them.

But let's think about that. I spent about 20 minutes of that movie walking to and from the theater and discussing the problem first with ushers, then with the manager when they fetched her from the office. I spent the remainder of the movie dealing with the kids. Should I have had to go back out and complain some more? Should my entire movie-going experience be dedicated to ensuring that my fellow viewers actually get to enjoy the movie I paid to miss?

(All of those questions where rhetorical.)

The manager gave me a free pass to come see another movie, but really. If I come back with that free pass, will my movie be the same? I think it will. I think enough parents think it's okay to drop off their kids to see a PG-13 movie (even though they aren't old enough), that there will be other kids next time. I think the theater doesn't bother to check ages, even if they could, because it would hold up the lines and the kids don't have IDs to check anyway. They can lie. I think even if the parents had been there sitting next to those kids, nothing would have been different.

I think theaters should require you to bring your own headphones, so you can put them on, block out the noisy people around you, and hear only the movie you're watching.

I think that there should be a Vow of Silence movie theater, which will not admit anyone under the age of 21 and involve cones of solitude so that you can watch your movie in peace.

I think that more films should be available for iTunes rental the second they hit theaters, so you don't have to be anywhere near people if you want to watch them.

I think this is why people build movie theaters in their basements.

I also think I'd better be careful on stairs, in case I fall and break a hip.

* Yes, I missed Loki, but I love this movie so much, I have already been again and will go some more for SURE, because Avengers. Basically, it is everything a movie needs in one package. Action, adventure, wordplay, running gags, and Joss Whedon.

** Before you start, yes, I know this is still cheap if you live in a more populated area. I mean, I was shocked when Kelly told me how expensive the movies were in the city! But I do not live in the city, where movie tickets cost lots of money. I live in the country, where you basically have to bribe us to go out in the evening and do anything other than watching high school sports. We do not earn enough to afford entertainment budgets beyond the cost of a tenderloin at the county fair. Know your demographic, AMC.

Monday, May 4, 2015

When Did I Become This Person?


When I was in high school, you could not have paid me to do any sort of exercise. I dressed for gym only because I didn't want to get in any kind of trouble with my gym teachers, because they were physically fit and I was afraid of them.

In college, I put off any kind of gym class until the last possible moment, which was when I needed credits to fill out a semester. Stupid gym. I took yoga, because it involves breathing and being able to touch your toes, and I was good at both of those things at the time. Now I am only good at one of them.* Then I took karate because I wanted to not get murdered by someone who was out to steal my virtue, and I learned many many ways to kill people but no ways to incapacitate someone and flee.**

After college I stopped doing all sort of exercise at all, because not moving and instead watching season after season of TV series was way more fun. Also I started eating for entertainment because for some reason no one was giving me reading or other homework assignments anymore, which was a real drag. I miss homework. Why won't anyone ask me to write them an essay anymore? I miss essays.

I was diagnosed with asthma, which made the majority of my life make more sense, because breathing shouldn't be hard and it always was. This made me take medicine and also sit more. You don't have to overwork your lungs if you sit. Your lungs can take a break when sitting happens.

But then Erin had to peer-pressure me into starting The 30 Day Shred, and after that, I felt like I was cheating if I wasn't exercising. So now I have become the sort of person who does different things.
  • I have two special pairs of shoes and a whole other wardrobe dedicated solely to fitness activities.
  • When I go to Old Navy, it is to see what fun exercise clothes they have on sale. The 40% off sale thing they do is like CHRISTMAS.
  • At T.J. Maxx, I look at the home stuff, the shoes, and the fitness clothes. Sometimes I venture into the other areas. But mostly not.
  • I run three times a week, but I wish I could run every day. That is because I harbor the belief that running will at some point get easier. This is a lie, as illustrated here.
  • Every step I take, every move I make, this happens:
  • That torture was not enough, so I started using all the weight machines at the gym, too.
  • That was also not enough, so I started this 30 Days of Yoga video series.
  • Today I ran two miles, then did 40 minutes of yoga because the one 20 minute video was also not enough.
  • I am looking forward to my allergies getting less hideous, because then I will do all of this fitness stuff outside instead of inside.
  • I am now willing to go outside.
  • Although it is spring now, and so my eyes have no moisture at all, and I am using eye drops just to blink.
  • There are not enough eye drops in the world.
  • I still took a walk outdoors today with Darcy.
  • I am in bed eating apricot-raspberry thumbprint cookies right now. This is a healthy choice.
My aunt called on the phone today and asked how I was enjoying my day. Basically I told her that I ran and then did yoga, and basically she was horrified. Then I realized in shock that when I started exercising a few years ago, it basically changed everything about how I define "fun" and "health" and what amount of sweat I consider socially acceptable while in the presence of others.

I'm going to put in some more eye drops now.

* Asthma. Because asthma.

** My teacher only taught us kill moves. He was a very small, very angry man who thought that if you got into a fight, you had to be willing to END the fight. With terminal intensity.***

*** That is an X-Files reference, and if you don't know it, it means you haven't watched season two of the X-Files, and you need to fix that now. Seriously. Watch the X-Files.
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