A Poem to Begin
for the rows of seats to be filled,
for the lights to dim,
for the endless food commercials to be over,
for all the future movie clips to come to an end,
for silence to fill the theater,
for people to stop texting and turn off their phones,
for the credits to roll and music to play that tells us
the feature movie we came to see
is finally about to start!
My husband and I love to go to the movies. We often go with Gwen and Leigh, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and our dear friend Tom Wittkamp. I like the quiet time when I can be totally absorbed in a film. At home, I am too tempted to answer the phone, look at my twitter feed, read text messages, or get up to throw in a load of laundry. Movies at home just don’t have the same effect on me. I go to the movies because I love a good story. I also can relax and just become absorbed in the film instead of thinking of the forty million things I have to do!
There is, however, one drawback to the movies: if we don’t get there early enough, we can’t get a seat in the last row. Now, I would be happy with seats in other rows unless they are the first few rows right in front of the big screen. I went with my goddaughters and their dad Kevin to see a wonderful film, My Dog Skip, based on the book by Willie Morris. We arrived a little late and had to sit in the very front row in order to be together. We all laughed and cried (I think I actually sobbed), but following the movie outing, I had an incredible stiff and achy neck for days and days!
The reason for seeking the last row is simple. If I sit down where there is another row behind me, someone will inevitably sit in the chair behind me and kick my chair. Really, this happens to me every time! I know I embarrass my husband when I turn around and say in a hiss, “Please stop kicking my chair.” To which the person always replies, “I wasn’t!” Then, sometimes, that person will get in one or two more kicks for good measure. This never happens to Ralph – only to me. I think he may actually believe that I am imagining it.
This started a long time ago when I was in high school. I rode the S bus to Broad and Olney for four years to get to Philadelphia High School for Girls. If I wasn’t standing because the bus was already packed, my seat always had a kicker behind me. In high school I was a mouse and just put up with it, even though it made me crazy. It seems that throughout my life, I have been plagued with this annoyance.
This takes me to the Common Ground Conference in Ocean City, Maryland last week. Mary, Rita, and I were late coming from our session to a session on everyday blogging. The room was packed, and people had brought in chairs from other rooms or were sitting on the floor. I went to get a chair and found one spot against a wall at the spot where the entranceway broke into the larger meeting space. Mary found a chair someone had abandoned, and Rita snuggled into a spot on the counter.
To my disbelief, a young teacher who was sitting on the floor across from my chair had extended her legs and was tapping her one foot on my chair leg in a steady rhythm. I tried to ignore it, but all I could concentrate on was her tap-tap-tapping. “Will you please stop kicking my chair leg?” I whispered. She just looked at me, but the kicking stopped. I think I am forever cursed!