Jerks at the Movies

A few nights ago, I went to watch Me Before You by myself. In part, because there was no one else to go with me, but mostly because I hate the idea of people seeing me cry at the movies. People I know anyway–who cares about strangers?

Now I definitely have some complaints about how awful people can be in the movie theater. Usually there are certain genres that attract the jerks. You’re more likely to find people whipping out their cellphones at a big blockbuster like Batman v. Superman as opposed to a smaller scale film like The Nice Guys.

So yes, there were the usual cellphone users who make me want to throw trash at them. But instead of turning into the usual movie-goer complaints, this is about a moral quandary. Actually, not so much a quandary as it is a question of whether I’m an unreasonable stick-in-the-mud.

Here’s the scenario.

I’m the sort of person who likes arriving early to a movie to choose a great seat. The showing started at 7:20 and I was in my seat by 6:50. Then the crowd started trickling in and I was fortunate enough to have two empty seats on either side of me. (It wasn’t B.O., I swear.)

Around 7:35, a group of four girls arrives. One of them points to a row of empty seats at the very front. Another shakes her head, and looks in my general direction. They start stomping up the stairs, chattering about god knows what. They ask people to let them through and they slink into the seats surrounding me.

The girls who sit on my left do so without qualms. But from the corner of my eye, I notice that the one to my immediate right keeps looking over at me.


One of the things that I don’t understand is why you’re made a pariah if you refuse to give up your seat so others can sit together. Notice that my annoyance isn’t at the idea of someone asking. I get it, might as well give it a shot. But why is yes the only acceptable answer?

“Can you switch seats so we can sit together?”

Not even a please huh?

Sure sometimes people can’t arrive any earlier, but at that point, it seems only logical to expect terrible seats. That’s the compromise you make when you don’t get there at the specified time.

My response: “I’m sorry but I came early so I could get a good seat.”

I might be a jerk.


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