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AlmiraGulch

Creepy Guy at the Movie Theater

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Every Earth Day I pick up DD11 early from school and we go see whatever movie Disney has put out that year in honor of the day.  It's a fun little tradition we have.

 

Anyway, I picked her up today and we went to the 1:00 showing of Bears.  We were the only two people in the theater until this older guy comes in and takes his seat directly next to DD11.  Ok, not directly, because there was one seat between them, but still...the theater was completely empty except for us.

 

DD thought it was weird enough that she immediately got up and moved to the other side of me.  I decided it was weird enough that we actually got up and left the theater.  I didn't even want to think about what the guy may have been doing after the lights went down.

 

We went to the mall and came back for the 3:00 showing.

 

One of my sisters says yeah, it was bizarre and odd.  Another one said that maybe we were just in the seats he usually sits in, and maybe he was perfectly innocent and we made him feel uncomfortable by leaving.  I say I couldn't care less about that, and  if nothing else he is guilty of poor judgement and weirdness.

 

I think it was a total creepster move.

 

What would you have done?

 

 

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It is a little odd.  I doubt I would have abandoned the whole theater in anticipation of him doing something unsavory though.  Some people are just not very good at the implied social agreements.

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Umm ... nothing.  I think your daughter moving a seat was fine.  Moving to another row would have been fine too.  It is nice to have a little space when there's room for gear, etc.  I might think, hmmm, maybe an Aspie?  My mind wouldn't jump to pervert right off the bat.

 

We saw a 12:50 showing of Bears today.  There was an adult male alone in the row directly behind us.  I didn't think anything of it.

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I like your Earth Day tradition, and I want to see Bears (but I'm afraid it'll make me cry!)    Was it good?

 

That would have made me really, really uncomfortable.  I definitely would have changed rows.  It would have bothered me throughout the movie had I stayed in the theater, so I think you made a good move in leaving.  Yes, he could have been clueless and completely innocent, but you weren't under any obligation to protect him from feeling uncomfortable, considering his odd behavior.

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I probably would not have left the theatre, but I don't blame you for moving to a spot where he was right on top of you.  It sounds weird.  I'm sure you chose the best seats in the theatre, but across the aisle should have been good enough for him.

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I think it's bizarre behavior.  I would not be thrilled with someone choosing one seat away from me, one row behind, or one row in front of me unless the theater was remotely beginning to fill.  Normally, I can move or deal with it.  I just don't understand why someone would *want* to sit directly in front of me, kwim?

 

In your situation, It probably would have disturbed me to the point that we would leave also. It would be on a totally different level than annoying.

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I probably would not have left the theatre, but I don't blame you for moving to a spot where he wasn't right on top of you.  It sounds weird.  I'm sure you chose the best seats in the theatre, but across the aisle should have been good enough for him.

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It would have made me uneasy as well because several years ago I had that happen to me. I wasn't with my child but I was with a friend. It wasn't crowded and there were plenty of seats but this man chose to sit right beside me. Lets just say before the previews were over he pulled out his "friend" to watch the movie. I could not get out of my seat fast enough!!!  I agree with pp...listen to your gut!

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Why not just move to another row?  If he followed you there, I would leave and let staff know about him following you on your way out.

 

I thought about moving to another row, but:

 

1. I need to be in the back of the theater or I can't stay at all (I get headaches); and

2. I had weird vibes from the guy.  I honestly had visions of him doing unsavory things once the lights went down, and I think I would have been distracted enough not to have enjoyed the movie.

 

BTW...we went back to the next showing.  We liked it!

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Years ago I went to a movie alone. A guy sat 2 seats from me. It was a half full movie so I didn't think much of it.

 

Except half way through the light in the movie got bright and I could see the man's hand reaching out to me, almost touching me!! I freaked out. I moved several seats down but he moved as well. I walked out scared to death.

 

Yeah, leaving was your best option IMO

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I like your Earth Day tradition, and I want to see Bears (but I'm afraid it'll make me cry!)    Was it good?

 

That would have made me really, really uncomfortable.  I definitely would have changed rows.  It would have bothered me throughout the movie had I stayed in the theater, so I think you made a good move in leaving.  Yes, he could have been clueless and completely innocent, but you weren't under any obligation to protect him from feeling uncomfortable, considering his odd behavior.

 

It was good, and it won't make you cry.

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It would have made me uneasy as well because several years ago I had that happen to me. I wasn't with my child but I was with a friend. It wasn't crowded and there were plenty of seats but this man chose to sit right beside me. Lets just say before the previews were over he pulled out his "friend" to watch the movie. I could not get out of my seat fast enough!!!  I agree with pp...listen to your gut!

 

Gross!  And this, by the way, is what I was nervous about.  

 

I just could not get past the fact the entire theater was empty and the man could have chosen any seat, but chose the one next to the child.   Ummm.....no.

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Umm ... nothing.  I think your daughter moving a seat was fine.  Moving to another row would have been fine too.  It is nice to have a little space when there's room for gear, etc.  I might think, hmmm, maybe an Aspie?  My mind wouldn't jump to pervert right off the bat.

 

We saw a 12:50 showing of Bears today.  There was an adult male alone in the row directly behind us.  I didn't think anything of it.

 

My own Aspie wouldn't even do that, though.  

 

Directly behind me may not have bugged me, especially if we were in middle seats.  Directly next to us, in an empty theater?  Yeah....no.

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Years ago I went to a movie alone. A guy sat 2 seats from me. It was a half full movie so I didn't think much of it.

 

Except half way through the light in the movie got bright and I could see the man's hand reaching out to me, almost touching me!! I freaked out. I moved several seats down but he moved as well. I walked out scared to death.

 

Yeah, leaving was your best option IMO

 

 

Gah!  That's too much.  I go to movies alone all the time and I've never had anything weird, and certainly never considered leaving.  This guy gave me the heebie jeebies.

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Empty theater and he sits one seat away from your dd?  Creepy and weird.  I would have moved to another seat.  If I was feeling really uncomfortable, I would have left.  I mean, movies cost to much money to be uncomfortable.  It would interfere with my enjoyment.

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I would have left too. Did they exchange your tickets for free?

 

 

Yeah, they did.  No issue there.

 

Oh!  I forgot this part.  I of course had to tell the Manager why I was changing the tickets.  I told him about Creepy Dude, and he said "Yeah, unfortunately it's pretty common."

 

Ewwwww!!!!

 

ETA:  And then I though what if I'd just dropped off my daughter and her friend to see the show?  I never have, and wouldn't at 11, but I would a couple of years from now.  We had a talk about what would be the right thing for her to do in that situation.

 

 

 

 

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I thought about moving to another row, but:

 

1. I need to be in the back of the theater or I can't stay at all (I get headaches); and

2. I had weird vibes from the guy.  I honestly had visions of him doing unsavory things once the lights went down, and I think I would have been distracted enough not to have enjoyed the movie.

 

BTW...we went back to the next showing.  We liked it!

He may very well have been harmless, but you seem like a sensible person, so if you say he creeped you out enough to make you leave the theater, I'm sure I would have done exactly the same thing in your situation.

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Creepy.  I'd have left, too.

 

There's no point wasting your time feeling creeped out, and exchanging the ticket times wasn't a big deal.  Let the creepy guy watch the movie alone.  Ick.

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If something creeps you out, you should react accordingly.

 

I went to the theater when I was young with friends sometimes. I remember once we were in a group of boys aged 9-14. There was only us in the theater and we sat kind of spaced out so we could goof around/throw stuff. There was one older guy in the theater and we didn't think anything of him. The 9yo was playing on the chairs mostly and going up and down the rows because we 'big boys' were playing and mostly ignoring him.

 

My friends little brother (about 9 or 10yo at the time) and came over and told his brother he needed to pee. His brother told him to go do so. Every few minutes, the little guy just insisted that someone take him to the bathroom please and finally, when my friend took his brother, the police came in several minutes later and the grown man got up and bolted out of the emergency exit. Turns out old uncle Perv had fondled the little guy in the dark theater in exchange for candy + $1. He left some condoms behind. He was a total and utter pervert.

 

I have taught my boys that if they are uncomfortable for any reason in a situation to get help. Immediately. It doesn't matter what they did to get there.

If it makes *you* uncomfortable, uneasy, scared or nervous then *you* have the right and the responsibility to remove yourself from that situation.

 

My boys like to wander off and I always tell them to stay with me/where I can see and hear them without yelling.

 

I think that you did the right thing, 110%. If it feels right to you when you are in the situation, then it probably is. Don't overthink it now that it is over. YOU DID THE RIGHT THING, AT THE RIGHT TIME! Know how I know?

1) You got in some mother-daughter shopping/bonding time

2) You enjoyed the film anyway

3) You will never know if the old guy was a pervert. (Trust me, the cost of knowing whether or not someone is a creep is pretty steep!)

 

I call that a win-win-win!

 

 

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I asked my ds's (18 and 22) and both said "What man thinks it is even remotely appropriate to sit next to a woman or child that they aren't there with."  I asked what they would think if someone did that to their 11 yr old sister, and they said they would tell her to move to the other side of them, or they would all get up and move. Both agreed that you did the right thing in trusting your gut.

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I believe in trusting your instinct.  Life is too short to put up with creeps.

 

I was once walking in an unfamiliar area with DH and suddenly got a "get out right now" feeling.  We turned around and passed a guy who'd been walking behind us.  I looked back at him and he had pulled out a long knife (but was still walking forward and we weren't on his mind at all by that point).  Ever since then I trust any weird little feelings I get.

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Perv. I would have left too.

 

He should just KNOW BETTER. If he has some social handicap, that's not for you to sit around feeling uncomfortable, waiting to find out.

 

Like any grown man would know better than to walk up quietly behind a woman and get close enough to touch her in a parking garage. It simply isn't good business.

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Always go with the gut! I think you did the right thing. We have unspoken social rules in place and when someone breaks them, they're often up to no good.

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It's a little creepy. If you felt uncomfortable then leaving was a fine choice. I'm a big advocate of trusting your gut instinct in situations like that. I don't know if I would've left. Some people are just socially clueless. I have a couple of male people in my household that might have sat a row behind someone in an empty theater and not have been trying to be creepy. But there are enough creeps out there, that I would say good for you for trusting your gut.

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It's certainly possible your 2nd sister is right, but it's no big deal if she is. If he's a clueless but good guy, and noticed you leaving, it might clue him in for the next time. 

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Instinct. I have had the same 'creepy' situation happen with two separate people at separate times. One time I felt safe enough to just move, the other time I left altogether and couldn't get out of there fast enough, major 'get out now' vibes. 

 

Don't second guess yourself. If he was perfectly innocent and offended then I am sorry for him but he needs to learn some social etiquette and I don't mind offending him until he does. 

 

Gil, your friend was one smart kid! A lot of kids wouldn't know enough to leave discretely or report immediately. I hope I can teach my kids to behave in the same level-headed manner should they ever find themselves in such an awful situation

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I think you did the right thing. By sitting to close to you in an empty theater, he was probably testing you, to see how you'd react. I don't think for a minute that an innocent man would sit so close in sn otherwise empty theater. But you couldn't report him for just sitting. If you'd moved and stayed, you'd probably have bern worrying about him for the entire movie. I think you set a great example for your dd on how to minimize danger.

 

There are some types who would get pleasure from just knowing that you were scared or uncomfortable. By leaving, you took that away from him.

 

Like pps, I believe in instinct, but I was also trying to find a rational explanation.

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I posed this question to my class today--it was unanimous, the assumption was "pervert. Get the hell out of there."

 

As one of my students put it: "If the old man was so oblivious that he didn't know sitting practically right next to the ONLY other person in the theater was a no-no, then he should not even know to be offended"

 

The male students said they'd never do that, and would want their mom/sister to leave the room entirely.

The girl students were split, roughly 50/50 on whether they would have left the room or moved far, far away from him but remained.

Even the girls who said that they would have moved said they would have left if they had a child with them--having their kid with them would make them extra cautious.

 

I think you did the right thing and used good judgement.

So do the notoriously reckless, not-prone-to-use-their-best-judgement-at-times college kids.

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