Movie theaters bring out worst in people

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers

I learned from an early age that every story worth telling needs a beginning, a conflict and an end.

Now, the story of my summers. There’s the beginning, when I’m talking with my dad about all of the movies I want to see. There’s the end, where I’m instead making a list of must-rent DVDs and their release dates.

We’re left with the conflict, and it plays out every time I go to a movie theater to knock a must-see off of my list.

With a weekend of nothing to do, I got around to watching the big two blockbusters so far, “Spiderman 3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean:

At World’s End.” I figured I needed to get these out of the way to have any chance at also catching “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer” this week, “The Simpsons Movie” later this month, “Live Free or Die Hard” next month and “The Bourne Ultimatum” in August.

At this point, you’re probably saying, “But you left out ‘Transformers,’ the new film from Michael Bay.” To this I would say, “Moving on…”
Back to the theaters. They’re expensive, and there are other people there.

I see four separate reminders to turn off cell phones, but make a mental note of who’s going to ignore the warnings. I see previews for movies like “Underdog” and think, “It’s about time they gave Howard the Duck some company.”

Unfortunately, I was in front of the family that laughs at everything. This actually happened as the “Underdog” trailer played:

Underdog: “Why do humans always try to kill each other? You never see dogs do that.”

Human: “Well, you don’t see humans trying to sniff other humans’ butts.”

Underdog: “Touche.”

(Uproarious laughter from family)

Family member: (still laughing) “What’s touche?”

Now imagine a theater full of these families, laughing for two hours at jokes they halfway understand, and tell me you’d enjoy any movie.

After this happened to me with successive movies, I had an epiphany. Every time I take a date to a movie, the relationship ends badly.

They see my discomfort at the theater, and conflate it to other areas. They don’t see the person who remembers friends’ birthdays and still has a teddy bear a college friend gave him nearly a decade ago (the bear’s name is Bailey). They just see the guy who’s petty and intolerant on movies and apply it to everything else.

Following my epiphany, I decided movies are no longer acceptable for early dates and shared my feelings with a coworker.

Me: “So, I figured women never get a chance to know the real me, and they make false assumptions based on my movie mood.”

Her: “I think you’ve got a point. After all, you’re only that way with movies.”

Me: “Right.”

Her: “And politics. And sports. And television shows. And the news. And people who don’t agree with you. And some music. And restaurants you don’t like, you can’t forget that one.”

Maybe this conversation is the conflict to a future story. For now, though, it’s just the reason I’m not taking her on a movie date.