Monday, July 4, 2011

To Confront or Not To Confront

To confront or not to confront:  that is the question.  I'm quite sure all of you have been in this position  You aren't sure whether to confront inappropriate behavior or to ignore it.

Usually, I take the high road and ignore it.  Now, I know a lot of you may have trouble believing this, since some people describe me as spunky, a spitfire, or someone who doesn't take crap from others.  All of these are true, but I am also a person who detests confrontation.  I would rather smooth things over than make waves.  But in some situations, is that the correct thing to do?

Take this situation.  I want to stress that this is a totally fictional situation that never actually happened while I was at the movies watching Cars 2.  This is just a hypothetical situation . . . wink, wink.

Pretend you are at a rated G movie.  You know there will be tons of kids there.  That's okay--you like kids.  You expect there will be some little kids that might talk or kick the back of your chair or get up and down to go to the restroom . . . but you realize you are going to a G-rated movie, so you are prepared to accept all of this normal kid behavior.

Unfortunately, there is a little kid sitting RIGHT NEXT TO YOU who gets very upset at the various plot twists during the movie--the explosions, the parts where he thinks Tow Mater might not make it, etc.  He screams and yells and such.  The parent comforts the little boy as best he can.

However, the parent also engages in "teaching points" throughout the whole movie.  "Looook, there's the EIFFEL TOWER!"   "Oh, now they are in ITALY!"  "Do you know where they are now?  Yes, that's Big Ben!"  And it went on, and on, and on, ad nauseam, throughout the whole movie. 

My problem with this behavior is that 1:  the parent isn't teaching the child the acceptable social mores of being quiet during a movie;  2:  the parent is not whispering to the child but speaking in a LOUDER THAN NORMAL voice;  3:  the parent MADE A CHOICE to sit right next to me instead of sitting in an unoccupied area of the theater;  4:  this isn't the appropriate time and place for teaching your child but is supposed to be an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

So I fumed about this man's behavior during the whole movie.  Several scenarios occurred to me.  We could move (but why should WE move--we were there first!); I could say "Would you shut your piehole?" to the man (but that might cause an unfortunate confrontation); I could glare at him and give him my mean teacher look (which might not work since he is not a child); I could walk past him and "accidentally" spill my large Diet Coke on him so that he would have to leave (too aggressive for my taste but a good fantasy nonetheless).

All of this brings me to the point of this entry.  What is wrong with people nowadays?  Are they so self-centered that they just don't care about the people around them?  Are they oblivious to how their actions affect the people around them?  Or maybe they just don't know what appropriate behavior is and need to be taught it?  I'm not sure.  What do you think?

Now, I know what I did, and it's not any of the above solutions that my mind gave me.  I am not going to tell you what I did--I will leave that to your imaginations . . . but I do want to know what you would have done.  Please leave a comment and let me know, will you?

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