How to NOT befriend a grandma... or, A passive-aggressive response to ignorance

frustrated woman

While awaiting a flight recently, I nabbed a spot at the airport charging station and proceeded to catch up on business on my laptop. A burger-carrying baby boomer woman soon secured a stool across from me and commenced consuming her sandwich with unabashed fervor.

Then things turned bad.

The woman began...

Read More

The grandma I will never be

Related Posts with ThumbnailsJim and I went to see the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Inception yesterday. The movie looked intriguing (and proved to be that and more!) but the prospect of sitting in an air-conditioned theater during the hottest point of the day was the true lure for us. We needed to escape the heat of our NOT air-conditioned house.

Ironically, things heated up quite a bit inside the air-conditioned theater as we waited for the show to begin. Especially for one grandma who grew unreasonably hot under the collar when two women -- late arrivals seeking seats in the packed house just before the previews started -- dared to ask Grandma to scoot down a seat.

Let me stop right here and say that Jim and I always arrive pretty early to see a movie, just to be sure we get end seats, on the aisle. Jim likes to sit on the end; we plan accordingly. So any time one of the theater staff come into a packed house and ask everyone to scoot toward the middle to create empty seats for late arrivals, we don't budge. We got there early; they got there late. Next time maybe they'll better manage their time.

So yesterday, Jim and I were situated in our end seats, with an empty seat between myself and Grandma's movie-watching partner. There was one more empty seat in the row, about five people beyond Grandma.

"Would you mind scooting down a seat so it would open up two seats for us to sit together?" one of the late women -- a 50-something, clean, well-spoken woman -- very politely asked our row of folks.

"Sure, sure, no problem," pretty much everyone mumbled as they started gathering their goodies and preparing to scoot down one. Everyone, that is, except Grandma.

"I like to sit here so I can put my feet up," Grandma said.

"Pardon?" the polite seat-scoot requester said as the 20-somethings next to Grandma leaned toward her to see if they, too, heard Grandma correctly.

"I like to put my feet up," Grandma reiterated in clipped tones as she white-knuckled her seat and refused to move.

Incredulous, the woman requesting the musical chairs simply said, "Real nice ...." and motioned to her partner that they would need to proceed to the front-row, neck- and eye-straining seats.

Most everyone else in our row clucked a "tsk, tsk" and shook their heads as they resumed their original positions. All while self-righteous Grandma faced forward, ignoring the head shaking.

The sad thing is, if Grandma had simply taken a moment to assess the situation rather than being hell-bent on staying in the seat she'd chosen, she'd have realized that all she and her friend needed to do was scoot down one seat in the other direction, toward me, and she'd still be able to rest her feet on the bar in front of her -- saving face and her tootsies while providing two seats together at the other end of the row, leaving everyone happy and cool and things right with the world.

But no, she refused the consideration, sat strong and firm. She was going to get off her butt for no one, no time, no way. In her own mind, I'm sure, she figured she sure taught that late-arriving woman and her companion a lesson in getting someplace on time in order to get what you want.

What she really did, though, was teach those of us witnessing the rudeness what a real inconsiderate cuss looks like. A real inconsiderate cuss of a grandma, at that. A grandma I will never be. I will never be that rude, never be that cold, never ruin the experience for others simply because I jump the gun and refuse to consider other arrangements and staunchly, indignantly defend my position.

Of course I can say that because Jim and I always choose the aisle seats at the theater, so scooting in just one wouldn't make a difference for a couple or crowd. If anyone were to make such a request, we'd have to refuse ... politely ... and kindly wonder aloud what good one seat would do for two or more needing a spot.

Now if there were an empty seat next to me and one late arrival asked us ever so politely to scoot in and let him or her sit on the end ... well ... I gotta admit that we'd still have to refuse.

But we'd do it politely and -- unlike the Grandma at Inception -- consider other options, offering the lone movie-goer the seat right beside me. No, not on the aisle, but, yes, here is a seat, no scooting required.

And no snottiness necessary. Unlike yesterday's cuss of a grandma, the grandma I swear I will never, ever be. Unless ...

... unless a fellow movie-goer talks or texts during a movie. If that's your thing, I'm warning you now: You better simply shut 'er off and slink away. I still swear to not act like the non-scooting grandma. I'll be worse. Way worse.

For sometimes a grandma's just gotta teach folks a lesson or two. Politeness be cussed.

Today's question:

Where is your favorite spot to sit in the movie theater?