Sunday, July 30, 2006

Alone at the Movies

Here are two things I wanted to share with you.

1. My favorite thing is to go to a morning movie. (Don’t be saying things like, “you like a movie better than sex?” Or “You like a movie better than your kids?”) Obviously not— well not most of the time but give me some literary leeway.
2. Advance People are nuts. For the political novices in cyberspace, Advance people are the people who set up events for candidates and Presidents and corporate execs – anyone who can pay to have a person travel in ‘advance’ of them and make all the arrangements for a successful event.

What does one have to do with the other? Well, I think I love going to morning movies because fewer people attend them. If the truth be told, (and Advance people generally never tell the truth) I don’t like to go any place where there are lots of people. In other words, I can build a crowd of 100,000, but I would never be caught alive or dead, in the middle of it. For me, a movie theater more than a 10th filled, is like being in a crowd of 100,000. “That’s silly” you say. “Maybe”, I reply but as my mother would say “What is, is”.

When I go to the movies I want to be unencumbered by other folks. Don’t misunderstand, I love going to the movies with Marthena and Jordan. David has theater narcolepsy so I am always worried that he’ll start to snore. But Marthena and Jordan are really fun. First of all Marthena, although she came late to it, is a terrific Advance person. Jordan is just always fun. Anyway, Marthena knows that I am going to change our seats at least three times dependent on the people in the theater. When it’s an early movie (sometimes there are no shows in the a.m.) we know there will be elderly people. Those are people older than we and probably older than dirt. Older people are often a little hard of hearing and they like participating in an activity. The movie is their activity and so they speak right up whenever a thought strikes them. If you sit in front of them it’s less disruptive than behind. I don’t know why but the sound seems to carry back like heat rises.



When we arrive we find seats we like. Usually in the middle front of the theater. And then we wait for the disrupters to arrive. If someone sits in back of us with food in cellophane, we move. If it’s two friends who are catching up on their lives over the last 5 years, we move. If an elderly duo with extraordinarily loud voices or a couple who keep saying “What? What?” We move. Our expectations of their decorum is limited, so unless we are in the middle of the movie and forced to admonish them for behaving badly, we will usually just move again. I must admit that part of my pleasure is in watching Marthena trying to be patient with me – but that’s been going on for thirty years.



What does this have to do with Advance people? I guess I was trying to figure out why I don’t like to be in crowds. I also don’t like clients because they ask for your advice, they don’t take it, and when what they wanted to do doesn’t work, they blame it on you. But that’s another blob. Advance people want every event to be perfect and they drive people crazy in order to come as close to perfection as possible. For example, it drives my kids crazy when I ask them the same question over and over in order to find out if they’ve completed a task I didn’t even assign them. In addition to asking the same questions repeatedly, we also move things around, figure out the logistics of every trip and expect people to do what they say they will do. So when I ask a movie goer (albeit a stranger) if they are going to talk through the film, and they say no, it is a betrayal when they start to chat Willy Nilly. (I don’t know who Willy Nilly is but I’m crazy about the way he sounds.)

Last week we had the perfect Advance persons movie experience. Jordan, David and I went to see “Lady in the Lake.” Jordan went to camp with Bryce Howard so it’s always inspirational to see a friend’s success. When we arrived there was a sign which said “No air conditioning.” I don’t like air conditioning so I suggested we see just how hot it was. David checked and with an empty theater it was just fine. We were alone for most of the movie and then two stupid people came and sat close enough so that we could hear their conversation. You understand there was no one else in the theater and these dim wits (must be related to Willy) sat right in back of us. Needless to say, we did shush them until they got the point and kept quiet. It was great. David stayed awake and we had a wonderful time. We loved the movie but I don’t know why, since we have no idea what it was about, but the best part was just being alone in the movies. We’re just sayin... Iris

3 comments:

Yasser said...

yes, alone in the movies is a great experience.....

Dickiedo said...

those old people who keep saying, huh? and whispering to each other belong to my crowd...

if we can't get there early enough to both catnap (she calls it "chicken sleep") through the commercials, we trade off being the "designated snorer".

ps: we saw lady in the lake and also wondered what it was about...but i'm a sucker for M. Night Shyamalan and Paul Giamatti...Cindy Cheung and Bob Balaban are bonuses...

Anonymous said...

You are definitely Seth's mother - he is the same way. In fact, we have stopped going to the movies at night. We are only allowed to go to movies during the daylight. Good thing we are not vampires! Love, JJ