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I realized this weekend that D and I are perhaps the most irritated people at a movie theatre.

We always arrive at the last minute so we can make sure we are not sitting near people.

We hate it when people talk. At all. At any point during the show. Previews. Commercials. What is with the talking? If you want conversation go to the pub!

We hate wrapper-opening, bag scrunching, popcorn loud chomping noises. It's like our ears become uber-sensitive in the dark.

But we love movies. We love the big screen. And I love to eat an entire box of salted popcorn to myself - although quietly, so as not to disturb others.

So, getting to the movies is a bit like a mission impossible.

This weekend, we decided to take advantage of the rainy weather - yes I'm in Belfast but the sun just won't stop shining! - and see a matinee. We don't like to be sitting in a theatre when it's sunny out and since it's light out here until at least 10 pm, the only time we really like to go is when the weather is bad. Saturday afternoon, for about 3 hours, the wind made it unpleasant.

But, this was a bonus because we seized the opportunity. It was either Troy or Harry Potter.

"Well, it's Saturday afternoon. There may be a lot of kids there, " I said.

He nodded in agreement.

After mulling it over, we decided it would be best to wait until we got to the movie house to decide.

"If there are kids all over the place, then we'll see Troy," D said.

Good thinking. He's always looking for ways to accomodate. The plan was coming together.

So, we ventured out of our place for a 5 minute walk to the theatres and proceeded to wait in line.

We scanned the place, like hawks looking for a spot to land.

There were 7 people in front of us - 1 adult with 2 pre-teen looking kids and another mom with 3 younger ones, older then 5 but younger then 10.

"What do you think?" I whispered

He looked unsure. "I don't know, what do you think?"

Past the ticket booth to the lobby on our left, people were waiting for various films. A few couples, a couple families but the children seemed to be quite contained.

We were inching closer to the front of the line. We kept looking at each other, half grinning, half grimacing.

Neither of us wanted to make the decision, perhaps secretly not wanting to be responsible for a bad movie experience.

Then I spotted them. Off in the distance, by the refreshment stand, 4 kids, talking loudly to each other, over excited about their afternoon at the movies.

Now - let me stop the story to point out that I can appreciate that kids get excited for movies. And so they should. I did when I was a kid. Why should they be different? It's not that I don't want kids to go to the movies, I just perhaps don't particularly want to go to the movies with them. And I can sympathise with parents who are have to listen to "When are we going to Harry Potter?" a million times a day that they will go mad if they hear it one....more....time. And it makes sense that they're there on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

So, see the excited children was more just a helpful decision make for us, more then it was a nusiance. On that day, Harry Potter was for the excited kids. Troy would be for the super-sensitive movie goers.

Things seem to look up as well when we entered the theatre - there was only about 4 people in the whole place.

We settled in, dead centre and got comfortable in the quiet theatre. It was like a dream come true.

Oh but wait. What is that explosion behind us?

A pack of 6 people just piled in and sat RIGHT BEHIND US! RIGHT BEHIND!

Not only were they late but they were whispering and laughing, getting settled during the previews.

I suddenly realized, it was the not the kids we had to be worried about, it was the obnoxious people that had been shopping all day and probably were just drinking in the pub and have now come to rain on my movie parade by acting as though they were in their own living room!

We moved. Immediately. Yes, it's not normally done. But you are talking about two noise freaks.

Once they settled down, they were quiet for most of the movie. Until, of course, they decided it was time for snacks.

Too cheap to buy from the concession stand, all I could hear was the "shroooosh shrooosh" of the plastic bag from the grocery store opening. What is it with that noise?!?! It was hard to hear myself think.

We did, however, make it through the movie without an outburst. It wasn't a stellar film anyway and I least I learned a little more about myself.

I need to buy a big house with a movie size screen, my own movie popcorn maker and a license to play new releases in my living room.


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