Monday, 23 March 2015

I am angry! Poor 'mothers' of the world ...

This poor mother was so worried about her children that she had to switch on her phone at the climax of the play in the theatre tonight to see if there were any messages. I don't know why she felt the need to do it, maybe they were all in hospital dying of cancer or something, but she had to because she was a mother. Luckily there weren't any messages.  So why didn't she turn her fucking phone off straight away?

No, she left it on until I tapped her on her shoulder and whispered 'could you turn it off please' at which point she took her time switching it off.  No sense of urgency or sign of 'oh dear I shouldn't have done that'. At the climax of the play too, with the stage covered in blood and the last lines being said. One minute is all we needed to get to the end of one of the most intense plays I've seen in a long time.  No wonder we were intense at the end as well!

This is the poor mother - maybe she feels guilty for leaving her poor children at home (or in hospital) since she certainly showed no guilt for ruining the end of the play. Not a hint of an apology but the brass of 'I'm a mother and I'm allowed to check up on my children whenever I want'. 

After the clapping the couple of old grannies next to me (probably on a rare night out) tapped her shoulder and told her she'd ruined the play for them and that's where the passive-aggressive sob story came out about needing to check on her children.  If she'd said 'sorry, but …' then that would've been something and probably would've been the end of it but no, she went straight into justifications for her behaviour. One of her other excuses was that the people in front of her had switched on their phone too - I didn't notice that but where are we? The playground? One of the girls with her said it would've been more distracting if she'd stood up to walk out for messages.  You really felt the need to say that? Um, no it wouldn't actually, since she would've moved out of the way rather than sitting with the phone lit up like a Christmas Tree in her lap until I tapped her on the shoulder. Stupid people.

Take responsibility for your actions and don't be surprised when other people don't agree with you! 

Other people said well done for challenging this appalling behaviour and one couple waited at the end of the row to say that they'd had a woman eating from a box of maltesers behind them.  Why do theatres sell sweets that make a noise? Why don't ushers do their jobs anymore? This is clearly not acceptable but theatres do nothing. Why? Maybe theatres need a new announcement at the start of a play 'Please remember that you're not in your own living room - this is a shared experience and please treat your fellow audience members with the courtesy you'd expect for yourself.'

Why didn't Mr Delfont Mackintosh Theatres have a 'turn off your phone' message at the start of the play? Is it ok to get your phone out in their theatres? There were spaces in that play when you couldn't just hear a pin drop, you could hear people breathing. That's how tense it was. And then this selfish 'mother' turns on her phone….

When I got down to the front desk I really wanted to complain but I looked around and all I could see were young girls, all looking very junior and probably on their second jobs. That's a sweeping sexist and agist statement but I wanted to see an older authority figure (male or female, I'm not fussed) but there was no-one. What's the point of trying to explain my anger to a young woman who's just trying to earn her daily bread? So I didn't. 

And the really annoying thing is that the 'mother' probably thinks she's done nothing wrong and has been hard done by since other people weren't fully behind her role as a caring 'mother'.

1 comment:

Simon said...

I've come across this 'argument' before, that the phone-user MUST check up on their children. But if they're so terrified that in the few hours they're out their kids might fall down a mineshaft, spontaneously combust or be abducted by aliens, then they shouldn't go to the theatre at all, or indeed any place where using a phone is going to be disruptive.