What to do?

On Saturday night, Jeff and I went to see a play at the Chemainus Theatre. The performance was very well done and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves… except for a chatty woman sitting behind us. She was quiet during the first act but apparently felt compelled to offer running commentary of the second act to her friends.

cover of a book from the Mr. Men children’s series

This sort of thing drives me absolutely nuts.  I tried to concentrate on the play but when her chatter made that impossible, I turned around and looked at her with my best “please be quiet and watch the performance” face. That did not do the trick so five minutes later, I turned around a second time and put my index fingers to my lips (in a silent SSSSHHH!). She huffed at me, said something about young people not admonishing their elders and gave me a nasty stink eye. While I clearly ticked her off, I gladly accepted the stink eye because she finally stopped talking. 

I left the theatre wondering if the conflict could have been resolved without this lady and I both getting angry (as underneath my pleasant smile, I was seething).  Jeff suggested that next time, it might be more effective to skip staring and silence a pesky talker behind me at the theatre by simply putting on a large hat. My fear is that such an action would simply give the chatterbox more to discuss.

I once went to a movie with a friend where a group of teenage girls talked animatedly through the first five minutes.  In one of the bolder moves of my life, I calmly got up, walked over to them and announced that, as I saw it, they had two options- to either continue their conversation outside the theatre or to be quiet. I then asked what option they were going to choose and stood waiting for what seemed like an eternity, until one of them gave me an answer. It worked like a charm… although it took my friend a few minutes to calm the horrified giggles she suffered in shock of what I had done.

That probably wasn’t my finest moment… and makes me return to the original question. In these types of situations, what is the best thing to be done?   


3 thoughts on “What to do?

  1. OMG, SUCH a pain in the butt when people talk during a movie or play or concert. Or even when they're yapping on the phone in the store or walking down the sidewalk. Do they really think everyone wants to listen to their conversations!? I tend to do the stink-eye thing, because I'm usually too shy to say something. Or I'll mutter under my breath about how annoying the talking is and hope it's just loud enough for them to hear and get the hint to shut up!

  2. Lol! As soon as I started reading this post I thought of that night at the movies. If I remember correctly, Colin Firth was in it.
    Frankly, I thought it was one of your finest moments. You were quiet and polite, but firm. What bravery, my friend!

  3. Yes- it was a Colin Firth movie. That partially explains why I was so insistent on silence in the theatre! I too remember that night with great amusement and wish I was so brave when it comes to other areas of life!

    Kelly- I so agree on public phone conversations. When I worked as a counsellor, I once had a client ask if I could leave my own office so that he could carry on a conversation in private!

    I wonder- what would happen if a bunch of us found the courage to speak up in these situations?!

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