The Little Woman and I decided to venture out tonight–big Saturday night, dinner and a movie at the new megaplex in town. As is always the case, we left plenty of time to dine and get to the theater to secure decent seats. In the megaplex foyer, we ran into our friend Leslie and stopped by the gumball machines for a handful of M&Ms and some Mike & Ikes. Nancy only got five Mikes & Ikes for her fifty cents, so as she went to complain to the manager (hey, money is tight for the grad student), I mosied on in to find us some seats.
I snagged a couple of new comfy seats close to the aisle and not far from the door. Not great seats, but good enough ones, where we got to enjoy the befuddled faces of the latecomers as they discovered a rather crowded, but by no means sold out, venue.
The woman next to me had her purse in the seat between us, and TLW had a single seat next to her. As more and more Hamsters dawdled in late (Bellingham Time, five minutes after it starts), we could feel their beady little eyes staring at us and the empty seats next to us. There were PLENTY of seats down in front, but somehow even the latecomers felt entitled to the good seats, the UP seats as opposed to the DOWN seats. Our seats, rather than the empty seats.
A sense of relief flooded over me as the previews started and no one had asked us to move. Bellingham is the sort of town where people kind of expect to be rewarded for tardiness, but I’d decided I wasn’t going to move even if someone did ask. We always get to where ever we are going early. Always. Both of us, even separately, are perpetually early. Sometimes it’s awkward sitting alone in an empty theater 45 minutes before the movie begins, but sometimes–like tonight–early arrival pays off.
So, smugness settled over me (and probably TLW as well) as we watched latecomers try to figure out how they could possibly rearrange us early arrivers to accommodate their late asses.
“I’m not moving,” I said to TLW. She nodded her assent. And so, when the first brazen late couple asked if anyone was sitting in the seat next to me I said “Nope.”
“Will you move over so we can sit here?” she asked.
“Nope,” I shook my head. “There are plenty of seats down there.” I jutted my chin toward the front. “I planned ahead,” I announced. “I’m not moving.”
TLW nodded in agreement. “Should have got here earlier,” she added.
The late couple kind of stared at us and turned in confused circles before settling into the “Reserved for Handicapped” seats right in front of us. Good move, I thought. See, that wasn’t so bad, I wanted to say.
More previews rolled and more people trickled in, most of whom sighed and settled in to the seats closer to the front. One entitled couple, however, espied our empty seats and headed for us. I braced myself and gathered my resolve. 2013 just became the Year of No.
When the guy asked if anyone was sitting next to me, I told him he’d have to ask the woman who belonged to the purse. He did. She grimaced and moved her purse grudgingly.
He asked me to move over. I shook my head no.
“Then we will sit on either side of you,” he said.
“Fine, go ahead,” we said.
“Fuck you,” he said and stomped away.
Meanwhile, the first annoying couple had turned in their seats to watch, as if this confrontation would turn out any better than theirs had. I think they were disappointed.
These people certainly had some cajones, asking us to move. They weren’t elderly or differently abled. They were just freaking late. They should have said no to dessert or maybe driven their Subarus a little faster to get there on time.
I made a choice to leave early. They can make the same choice Or not. But their failure to plan does not confer any responsibility on me.
Like Alan Arkin said many times in the film: “Argo Fuck Yourself.”
p.s. Good movie. Two thumbs up, Suspenseful, edge of your seat. Great 70s outfits, great 70s technology. Highly recommend you get there early.