Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Don't you hate people like this?

Paul's parents and a family friend invited us to see Banana Shpeel by Cirque du Soleil.

From the opening number until the intermission, three women sitting behind me would not stop talking. They would pepper every act with their nuanced observations, like, "She's petite!" "That's a sexy dress she has on," "Ouch, that must hurt!" "They used a trap door," "It's funny because he was about to walk that way. Wait, no, he's changed his mind."

On and on it went. Their "conversation" (in name, not content) was as tedious as it was agitating. Medically-speaking, I should have no molars by now.

During the break, Paul's mom gently requested that they refrain from speaking during the second half. She was met with indignation and mild racism. Paul's mom has, albeit, a strong Russian accent, but bitch please, she did not need a lecture on proper word usage when addressing strangers. A self-satisfied smirk was glued on the woman's face when Paul's mom left to spend the rest of the break in the lobby.

Once she was out of sight, I turned around and reaffirmed what had been previously said, explaining that her actions and those of her companions' were distracting to me and Paul as well.

This really riled them up and all three of them got in my face, their Jamaican Patois slipping ever more casually into the conversation. They said the show was a "circus" (even though we were all sitting on velvet seats near crystal chandeliers) and part of the "circus" atmosphere involved talking with no restrictions.

"There's no plot," one said, "so you don't need to concentrate that hard."

"We're theatre people," another added. "Do your research: It's how people behave everywhere else!"

"Anyway," she said, grimacing, "if you were paying attention to the show, you wouldn't even hear us talking."

WTF?! I told her she had every right to enjoy herself but she didn't have to narrate everything she saw as "we're all watching it at the same time."

This back and forth lasted another minute or two until Paul told me to cool off before I lose my point. He gave me a gentle squeeze on the shoulder and whispered that he'd talk to them instead. In a calm, clear voice, he explained why having conversations would be distracting to audience members sitting near them (many of whom agreed with us). Yet they yelled over him and told him it was he who was mistaken.

The Queen Bee of the bunch repeatedly interrupted him by rolling her eyes and telling him she didn't have to listen to a word he said because he wasn't her father!

These were grown ass women in their 40s and 50s! They were incredibly defensive and immature. I was absolutely fuming!

The theatre usher eventually came over to explain to them that talking during the show is unacceptable as it is a nuisance and a distraction, but their passive/aggressive cattiness continued for another 15-minutes. One of them loudly proclaimed that complaining behind someone's back is a "Canadian thing" (as she and her cohorts were from the States). She implied that we were all uncultured or we would've known better than to challenge her since live commentary is positively encouraged by the rest of the world. Alas, if only we would travel outside our national borders for once.

Jaw clenched, I barely enjoyed the second portion of the show. The chattering ceased, but I reeled from the confrontation until the overhead lights came up and Paul escorted me to the sidewalk. Rainy and wet, I drove home telling myself Paul had been right all along: ill-mannered people suck and that's why we cuddle at home :)

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