Friday, July 07, 2006

Indoor voices

I haven’t been to the movies for awhile. I’ve watched movies – on TV and DVD. But to actually go to the theater and get popcorn and watch a real live new movie, it’s been months. The last movie I saw in the theater was “Silent Hill” – no classic by any stretch of the imagination, but fun and really creepy. And, while I enjoyed the movie and the popcorn was perfect, the experience was tainted by the kids talking throughout and the guy answering his cell phone and talking on it just a few feet from our seats. He got up out of his seat to stand near us and talk. After the movie, I left feeling like a crotchety old person because I wanted a quiet movie-going experience.

Am I crotchety for expecting common courtesy? I still expect people to talk quietly in the library. Hell, I expect people to use “indoor voices” at the office. It seems people have forgotten what those are. When I was a kid, my mom used to say to me, “I’m right here” when I would get excited and start talking loudly. I often want to say that to certain co-workers who are speaking to someone sitting right beside them or on the phone. I think most phones nowadays don’t require shouting to make yourself heard. I enjoy a rousing conversation but there’s a place and a time. The bar: right place. The library: wrong place. A friend’s house: right place. Three feet from me at the movie theatre: really wrong place.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A truly American holiday

Ah, the Fourth of July – Independence Day in this great land of ours – a day to barbecue, drink beer, shoot off fireworks, annoy the neighbors … wait, what? So, we have Memorial Day – which, I thought, was to honor those who have died in the service of the country. We have Veteran’s Day – to honor those who have served. I respect that. We have Independence Day to remember … what? How this country’s independence was won? The hardships overcome? Or, has the day really just become a day to drink beer, lose fingers with firecrackers and make as much noise as possible so that anyone not from this country will be convinced that we’re all a bunch of red neck, ugly, obnoxious Americans?

I’m all for cooking out, enjoying some truly American food and beer, and hanging out with friends and family. But why (oh why) does that have to involve motorcycles without pipes revving and roaring around the neighborhood and firecrackers until midnight? Thankfully, this year’s late night fireworks were rained out. Eh, maybe I’ve become a crotchety old lady can’t we all just enjoy our burgers and beer quietly from now on? Please?