Bad time at the movies

Published January 15, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Not that the movie was bad, mind you.  I quite enjoyed it.  It was just the experience of going to see it that was bad.

It started out bad in the embarrassing way, in that a woman of my years should not be attending the cinema in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday accompanied by her parents and brother.  It’s just pathetic.  But I’m used to that, unfortunately.

So setting that aside, there are my special health considerations in going to a movie.  They’re not the usual kind a person might have.  The easier to deal with (and to explain) is that I have problem knees.  They don’t like being motionless for any length of time, and they dislike even more the idea of being bent for long periods of time.  This makes sitting in a movie theater for a whole movie potentially disastrous, especially for a movie as long as that one.  Fortunately, the theaters around here all have the special areas for wheelchairs, which have nice bars behind them, so I can sit behind the wheelchair area and put my feet up.  Probably impolite, possibly even against some kind of regulation and/or etiquette, but at least I’ve never done that when someone actually had their wheelchair in front of those bars.  (In fact, I’ve rarely seen anyone in a wheelchair at the movies around here.  Possibly because I rarely go at peak hours, preferring weekday afternoons, when there aren’t many people.)

Okay, so that’s the easy one.  The hard one has to do with my left arm.  It has a strange condition, leading it to feel hot almost all the time.  If there’s a name for that condition, I don’t know what it is.  (I’ve spoken to a couple of doctors about it, and neither has had any clue what it is or what’s causing it, and one of them quite clearly thought I was making it up “for the attention.”  (He was one of those “old-school” doctors, in the sense that he probably should have retired twenty years ago.))  I’ve had this condition for years now, so apart from the fact that it makes it very hard to sleep, and driving can be unspeakable (given that the sun beating through the window on my arm can cause extreme anguish in the summer, and even through my heavy winter coat it still causes discomfort), I’ve mostly learned to live with it.  But one of the most annoying things about it is that the proximity of another human body to my left arm can exacerbate the condition badly.

Meaning that at movies, I have to sit with either an empty seat by my left arm, or with my left arm on the aisle.  My family knows about this condition, and so we always sit with me on the end, so my left arm isn’t discomfited further.

Today’s big mistake was letting my parents go in first to get seats while my brother and I dealt with the concession stand.  Because I get into the theater, and they’re sitting there, with an empty seat to my father’s left…and a man sitting in the seat beyond that.

Because that other man was sitting directly in the center of the row, he had to have been there before my parents got there.  So they purposefully picked seats where I absolutely could not sit in the seat they had left open for me.

After spending about thirty seconds trying to hold my arm across my body and thus keep it away from outside body heat, I had to get up and move to the other side of the theater, sitting alone next to the aisle.  They did not follow me over.

And my father acted like I was being unreasonable.

Trying to sit in any of the seats available where they were was literally causing me physical pain.  And I was the one being unreasonable?

Keep in mind, this was not a crowded theater.  Apart from that one man sitting in the middle of the freakin’ row, there were two, maybe three other people in the whole room.  There was no reason for my family to be clumped up right next to that guy.

To top all that off, the theater was so cold that I had to use my coat as a blanket to keep warm (though I carefully didn’t drape it over that arm, which helped a bit), the staff forgot to close the door that led back out to the lobby, so I had to go out and do it myself, because the excessively loud dialog from the neighboring film was drowning out the movie we were seeing, and I had had a very light lunch in expectation of popcorn, meaning I was excessively hungry by the time the movie let out, since the popcorn had stayed with my parents.

My arm is now acting up so badly that when I put my coat back on again after the film, I had to take it right back off again, because it felt so hot that it was like sticking my arm into a fire.  It settled down briefly during my bath, but now it’s screaming at me again.  I don’t think I’ll be getting much sleep tonight.

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