A lot of people go around and say things such as, “you never know someone until you move in with them,” or “go on holiday before you make a commitment” as some sort of gauge of personalities, stress and how they rub against each other. For me, it’s cinema trips. There are only a few that I feel entirely comfortable with going to see a film. My friends Jo, Alli, Gloria and Frankie; screening buddies Kat and Joey; my little brother and sister and Graham are just a smaller sample of a very tiny sample to begin with that I’d be happy to mosey along to the cinema with.
People have little nuances and irritations that you cannot really avoid when you are in a dark room locked in close proximity with your clothes off (it’s even worse when your nude with is why Naked Natalie is now banned from our local cinemas). There’s heavy breathers who evolve into coughers, the loud munches, the bum shufflers and the peers. They aren’t the worse. The most abhorrent being the people glued to their phones so the lights dance like a glowing nymph who’s after your attention. Or the talkers – my lord the talkers – people who can’t keep their thoughts to themselves for two hours and have to dissect their social life at crucial elements to the film.
There are people with great habits too – ones you go over in your mind and you can’t help but smile when they do it. If Jo thinks a film is so shite – a strung together plot that is threaded out of someone’s arsehole – you can always tell as she leans against her hand and sighs. Frankie, at high points of emotion be it good or bad, will grab your hand or shoulder in an extremely passionate way. My Dad repeats the jokes straight after they’ve been said – well, after laughing so ecstatically we’re nearly thrown out.
I’m a combination of a few things. As much as I’d like to be the stoic film goer, silent and deadly until the end (deadly as in ready to kill a few hopes and dreams with my super nice reviews, winky face), I’m not a talker but I comment at times such as a phoar when a hottie to trottie comes on screen.
I am definitely not a muncher unless there is free pizza involved or I’m rushing between gigs so have to bring my lunch. But at least I try and get it all down my gob before the film begins. I will not ever take out my phone but I will bum shuffle if I get restless and bored.
The one defining trait is my pee ritual. This may be too much information but as demand for my presence at screenings is increasing (one at a time press, one at a time), I feel I need to pre-warn any suspecting people next to me. And that means the one person next to me because my pee ritual demands an aisle seat for fear of pissing you all off as my big butt rubs against your nose. Me moving past people is disastrous, I even stood on someone recently and I do this roughly three times a week.
What is the pee ritual? The question on your lips before I digress about my casual assault of unsuspecting members of the public. The pee ritual is something I do at every public screening without fail. It goes something like this; find seats, dump stuff, chill till adverts, go pee at adverts, watch trailers and then quickly go wee between the random EE advert and certificate (and never really know if a film contains mild threat.)
It’s a protective mind thing mainly due to the fact that I loathe missing parts of a film or breaking out of that world in order to satisfy my bladder. I’ve actually sat with a couple of glasses of wine ready to gush out because I’ve been so enthralled with the film or didn’t want to miss a moment. I’m that type of person who goes and all of a sudden the killer has been reveal in some sort of a middle of the movie twist. So I stick with it, testing my “endurance of the human bladder.”
And if you are looking at me like some sort of weakling who cannot physically hold her wee-wees for a couple of hours, then you are absolutely right. But it has nothing to do with the feebleness of my bladder. In fact, my brain and bodily functions are in cahoots with one another. Much like my aversion to peeing on coaches, the minute I plonk myself down in a cinema seat like “aahhh yes, three hours of total toilet freedom,” they all awake and go – “well, you’ve had gallons of water and you need to excavate it now,” pressing against my mind and, indeed, my lady parts; the impending worry that I’ll miss out makes my body go into chaos. The pee ritual has been the only thing that balances this all out and has led to the immediate thing my friends do when I launch from my seat the minute Kevin Bacon comes on like I have some aversion. They just nod solemnly and whisper “the pee ritual,” accepting my quirks in cinemas will never be entirely changed.
And that is true love.
What are your weird cinema rituals?