A few years ago, after a couple of needlessly tedious airline passenger interactions, I wrote The Bitchy Traveler. Thankfully, it’s been a few years since I’ve felt the need to rant about poor behavior, but this afternoon at The Fox to see The Bodyguard (which was wonderful, by the way), has warranted a post.
It’s really simple, folks. And these things should go without saying, but clearly, many people have missed the memo, so here goes.
First, BE ON TIME. I know a bridge collapsed but that was four days ago and has been on the news pretty much 24-7 since then, so it really isn’t an excuse today. When you buy your tickets, you are choosing a date and time to attend. This is even conveniently printed on your tickets, so you can double or even triple check. You live in Atlanta. You know to plan for the unexpected. You can google ways to get to the Fox and where to park. There really isn’t an excuse for being thirty or more minutes late to a show. When all the rest of us have managed to make it on time, it’s really distracting to us to have to accommodate you finding your seat in the dark after we’ve become engrossed in what is happening on stage. It’s rude.
Second, TURN OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE. This is not a new thing, people. TURN IT OFF. I heard at least six mobiles trill during the show. You know how many I should have heard? One. The one on stage that was part of the plot. You know this. Put it on silent, vibrate mode, airplane mode, or just plain off. And this includes texting. I don’t care how discreet you think you are being, it is distracting to people around you, takes away from their experience, and is, again, just plain rude. If you absolutely MUST check texts because you are on call or afraid it is the babysitter, then find a way to do it unobtrusively (I suggest an inexpensive smart watch if that is in your budget). I did not pay for my tickets to be distracted by the light of your phone, and I respect you too much to distract you with mine. Also? Don’t take pictures and video of the shows. Note to the guy directly in front of me and the guy three rows ahead of me. You were more obvious than you thought, and I cheered to myself when the green laser got you to put away your phone.
Third, DON’T GET UP TO LEAVE AT THE CRITICAL MOMENT OF THE SHOW. The show today closed with an emotional, wonderful song. And the lady four seats down (and a few people from a few rows ahead of us) just HAD to get a jump start on the exit procedures and get up during this part of the show. It was an inconvenience and distraction to all of us trying to enjoy these last few minutes of the show and be in this emotional moment. And, it is RUDE. Stay to the end. Respect the performers enough to do that.
Look, we’ve all paid good money for these seats. And things happen- I get it, there are one-off cases. But a lot of this is self-centered behavior where you are thinking only of yourself and not of anyone around you. It’s a case of bad manners and it can be avoided. Be more respectful to your fellow audience members and the performers. If you can’t do that, find a video and watch it at home.