Yesterday, I got angry.
If you know me, then you know it takes quite a bit to get me mad. As a general rule, I don’t like being angry and I like conflict even less. Most of the time, I’ll let things go and I won’t let them bother me. You really have to work at it or you have to act like an impolite, oblivious fool to really set me off. I do have a ‘bitch switch ‘, but it takes a lot of effort to flip it.
But it got flipped yesterday.
It was supposed to be a good day; I’d take in my eighth and ninth viewings of Bumblebee. Screening number eight was fine; the theatre wasn’t terribly full, no one was loud or obnoxious, everything went well. I enjoyed myself. It was the later showing, the one at 16:15, that became problematic.
During the last fifteen to twenty minutes of the movie, we had a child running up and down the aisles of the auditorium. Jumping, throwing punches, saying “Kiai!” loudly enough to be heard, kicking, and climbing on the banister to the stairwell, this child had zero idea that there were other people in the theatre and that the chairs in the auditorium weren’t there for decoration.
Even worse? He was just slightly under my line of sight. This kid caught my eye every single time he raced about. Distracting? You better believe it.
Worse than that? His mother could see what he was doing and didn’t care. In fact, she was just as bad, wriggling in her chair as if she was dancing to the music, shuffling around in her purse, making exaggerated motions as she pulled her hair back into a ponytail. It was obvious that these two hadn’t paid for a ticket to actually watch the movie. As to why they decided to spend the money on a pair of tickets, I can’t say. But the screening would have been a lot better without them.
Once the final scene flickered across the screen, I decided I’d had more than enough. There was no way in hell I was going to sit through the credits; I was too agitated. I grabbed my bag, walked to the front of the theatre and told the child–who was school aged, no less!–that he wasn’t in a park. This was a theatre and he needed to go back to his seat. I then turned to the exit.
“Is there a problem?” The saccharin laced voice belonged to the child’s mother and I recognized that tone. It was the same tone I had heard from multiple customers at Wal-Mart, just before the words, “I want to speak with a manager” were uttered.
However, I wasn’t at Wal-Mart and there was a problem.
“Yes, there is,” I snapped . “This is a theatre, not a park. Your child needs to sit.” I turned on my heels and marched out.
When I got to the parking lot, Prime was waiting. He could tell something was wrong, as he noted that I walked “with purpose”. I apparently have a particular walk when I’m pissed, it seems. I told him what happened and he commiserated with me. It’s good to have a Prime on my side, I must admit.
Yesterday, I got angry.
However, I think I handed it fairly well, all things considered.
I didn’t rise to the woman’s bait. I didn’t scream or shout. I didn’t swear or use derogatory language. I stated straight out that there was a problem, pointed out the obvious solution and left it at that. I walked away in order to de-escalate the situation. Yes, I was angry but I decided not to let it get the better of me. I said my piece, nothing more and nothing less.
Yesterday, I got angry. But yesterday, I actually did something about it.