Recently I went to the movies with my daughter. We went on a weekday when there was no school. The movie had been out for a few weeks already so I didn't think it would be too busy. Plus, only a few local towns had no school this day. But as it was approaching an hour before start time I started to feel it. That uncomfortable, itchiness, I gotta get there feeling (very similar to the one I get when I have to be at the airport on time.)
I SUFFER FROM MOVIES ANXIETY!!!
I can't help it. I get anxious about getting there and finding a seat. It's not too often that I will go to a movie when it's first released. I rarely go to the movies anymore but when I do go, I usually have to wait until it's been out for two weeks anyway, because I buy discounted tickets and that's the stipulation. So, even though most of the world has seen the movie, I get nervous that the theater will be so crowded that I will get stuck in the first row. I once sat in the front row and it was awful. I had a headache from the blurred vision and my neck was sore from tilting it upward. I don't even know why they even have the front two rows. They should just eliminate them and have less seats. I'm not stupid, I understand it's revenue. But if the customers are going to be unhappy, why bother?
So, I make sure I am at the theater at least a half an hour before the start time. I understand that I will sit through all the commercials, plus all the previews add another 20 minutes. I don't care, I have my seat. I like to sit next to the wall. I honestly have no problem sitting next to a stranger, but being next to wall means that no one will do the tuck in the ass squeeze past me during the film. While I'm on the topic, why do people always leave a seat between them and the unknown person in their row. It should be a rule that you have to sit in the first available seat in that row. That way you don't have a group of movie goers looking for seats together. Have you ever gone to the movies and within one row there are two empty seats but they are not next to each other? Then it turns out that if two people just slide over by one chair and (gasp) sit next to a stranger, then you and your movie partner could actually sit together! It drives me bananas!
When I last went to the movies, there was a mother, father and daughter looking for seats together. In one row, there were two available seats. At the very end seat was a pile of coats. Really? The coats need a seat? Did the coats pay friggin $11.00 for the two hour movie? Then, when the mother asked the coat owner to move the coats so that her family could sit together, the coat owner got annoyed! If I didn't value my teeth, I would have butted in and said something, like she was being a jack ass.
Just a bit of trivia here: remember I mentioned the tuck in your ass move while passing the row of occupied seats? Well, it is actually proper etiquette to FACE the person when squeezing past. That way your ass isn't in their face. I know what your thinking, then your "junk" is in face-level with someone. That's what I thought, but don't blame the messenger. Blame Emily Post. Actually, I kind of get it. If you are facing the person sitting, then you can give eye contact, say excuse me and you can gauge how much room you have between you and them. If your back is to them, you have no idea how far your butt is sticking out and exactly how close it is to their face.
My anxiety does does not stop at the urge to get a good seat. I very rarely buy from the concession stand. Popcorn is $6.00!! As that's for a small!!! It's fucking insane and almost like robbery except there is no weapon used to make you fork over your money. I usually don't eat in the theater but when I take my kids, I'll bring some Cheeze-Its or Goldfish and bottles of water and juice boxes. Of course I go with my big hobo bag but I am so paranoid that I will get caught! In order to avoid getting caught, I will stick my passes / tickets and money in my pocket. That way, I don't need to open my purse and the potential of the cashier accidentally seeing my stash is eliminated! Pretty savvy, huh?
Between the drive there (I get anxious just going because I am anticipating getting caught in a line, thus missing the opportunity for premier seating), waiting on line, being paranoid about getting caught with my snacks and then walking that loong hallway from the ticket taker to the actual theater....I'm a mess! An enjoyable outing becomes a panic attic.
I went to discuss this with a psychiatrist. She signed me up for Netflix. With the money I saved on my co-pay, I think I'll buy a large popcorn if I ever make it to another movie.