Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Buffer zone, please!

Blogging away while eating microwaved Chef Boyardee spaghetti & meatballs for my supper at 11:30 at night. This, my friends, is the life...

Saw Walk The Line tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed it. While Joaquin was Johnny almost from the start, I just kept seeing Reese Witherspoon rather than June up there. Make sense? But I think maybe that has more to do with the fact that I am so much more familiar with Johnny Cash and how he's supposed to look and sound, and know little about June. Anyway, it completely kept my interest. Never found myself wondering how much longer until it's over, which to me, is the simplest way to judge if I think a movie is good or not.

So went my second trip into a theater in 2005. I really like the filmstrip roller coaster they show before the movie. Do you have that where you are? And as far as the previews, Munich looks enticing.

Well, that wasn't the entire story. You may remember the proper restroom etiquette post I did just a few weeks ago. Well, it has come to my attention that a related post needs to be done on proper theater etiquette. That's right friends, the complex interworkings of homophobic male relationships don't end once we zip up and exit the friendly confines of the men's room.

So I'll just get right into it. I met a friend at the theater tonight. I walked in and sat down in the third seat from the aisle. This was carefully pre-planned so that he would be able to skip one seat between us and sit on the end. But did he? No. He crowded under me like a newborn puppy does to its mother. He sat right next to me! This is wrong! Two guys should never sit side-by-side in a less-than-full theater. It's just abnormal. Not to mention less than 100% hetero. I thought about moving, but for some reason didn't. I don't want to be the one who has to tell him about proper theater etiquette. He's in his 30's. He should know this by now. What are we teaching our kids in school?

So what do you do? You skip a seat. It's called a buffer zone. It's really quite simple when you think about it. For example, if we had been at my place, sitting on the couch watching TV, would we sit right next to each other? Of course not. We'd sit on opposite ends. Maybe even with a pillow in between. Why? Because there is little, if anything, more awkward in the life of heterosexual man than for his hand to accidentally come in contact with the hand of another man. If and when that ever happens, both parties feel extremely awkward and uncomfortable. Not a word is said. It must never be spoken of by either of you in any context ever again. And it may take several minutes, even an hour or more, to put it behind you. To prove my point on all of this, two guys came into the theater and sat two rows in front of us, leaving a seat between them. And you thought it was just me.

On a similar note, if you're double-dating at the movies, you don't sit girl-guy-guy-girl. You sit guy-girl-girl-guy. This is so that the girls can chat, giggle, and plan when to go to the bathroom together. And also... there's a 0.001% chance they might... kiss.

After the movie, I stopped at the restroom. Two urinals. Both open. I take the one on the left. Midstream, some guy comes in and, you guessed it, sets up shop right next to me, with at least five perfectly good enclosed stalls available.

In the name of all things hetero, has the whole world gone mad?!

"Why are you so far away, she said. Why won't you ever know that I'm in love with you? I'm in love with you..."


  1. I love the psuedo-rollercoaster ride pre-movies... I haven't seen one in a while, but they always made my stomach drop... just a little.

    I am so glad I am not a guy... you all have WAY too many rules... being a girl I can kiss the girl next to me and everyone applauds... and if I were a guy it would be weird that I hit on you so often... but I suppose that’s neither here nor there...

    "I kissed her face and kissed her head… And dreamed of all the different ways I had…
    To make her glow"

  2. You really should get your friend up to speed on the movie theatre etiquette because that buffer seat is vital. I'm shocked that more people don't know the rule. I grew up with that rule (maybe it had something to do with all the GIs employing it). I sometimes even employ it when I go to the movies with a friend, regardless of his or her gender.

  3. "show me how you do that trick. the one that makes me scream she said. the one that makes me laugh she said. and threw her arms around my neck"

    i agree on the movie seat buffer zone. my friends always do that. i used to wonder why they would just spread out randomly across the rows. i thought they were staking their territory or claiming new land. but no. they just couldn't sit next to each other. yes, us girls buddy up, only so we can whisper about why you guys are sitting so far apart.

    that roller coaster preview is fun. i love the dolby surround sound sounds though. they don't seem to do that everywhere though.

    what we do need to talk about though, is why you're listening to the cure at 11:30 while eating chef boyardee. :) a man that i can finally relate to!

  4. hehehehe... The urinal space made me laugh.
    I've heard my husband say this before...
    "why did he insist on using the one right next to me when there were 4 others"...
    You guys crack me up!

  5. well, your first mistake was that you should have sat directly in the middle seat of the row. that's the best seat in the house.

    i am a girl, so maybe i just don't understand, but if you two are both on the same straight page, then why does it make a difference? girls wouldn't sit right next to one another at home on a couch either. so weird :)

  6. There are, of course, circumstances that do allow for two completely hetero males to sit next to each other in a theater. Well, one, anyway, and only in some theaters.

    Here the theaters have open spaces for wheel chairs about halfway down the main aisle. Behind those spaces are two chairs with taller backs, thicker cushions, more footspace, wider seats, and are just more comfortable. I assume they are for the people with those in wheelchairs. However, if my friend and I go to the movies, and they are open, we take them. We just never touch the shared armrest, and lean away from each other. Or stack coats between us.

  7. OCG: I should have verified, the 0.001% chance increases greatly if one of the girls is you, OCG :-)

    I'm glad you're not a guy, as well. Your comments would really freak me out if you were ;-)

    Xinh: I think, or hope anyway, that most guys know this rule. Sometimes you just have to wonder how people have even made it this far in life without such basic knowledge.

    MappyB: Well it was either that or Dinty Moore beef stew. I love that Cure song. It's cool when people recognize it. Glad someone can relate to my lifestyle.

    Sherry: It's inexplicable really. Why would any guy want to go to the restroom right next to another guy? Why install five toilets if you're not gonna use them?

    Crys: Why does it make a difference? It. Just. Does. Similar reason that you'll never hear this exchange between two guys at dinner:
    "I gotta go to the bathroom."
    "Oh, I'll go with you."

    Coyote: I was doing the "lean-away" last night. I'm like at a 30 degree angle. The entire movie, I just knew people were staring at us.

  8. Again with the hetero-rules. Oy. I mean, I'm fully aware of the 'leave-a-seat' rule, but I actually laugh at guys that do that. Not secure enough in their masculinity I guess. ;)

  9. You crack me up! Your comment on my blog fit in perfectly here!! I have no doubts as to your masculinity! ;)

  10. Yep... I'm well versed in the seating arrangements in pretty much any kind of environment. Sometimes ya gotta bend the rules but IT BETTER BE OBVIOUS WHY! Simple example, only 2 seats available in the the theater and they're right next to each other. No problem plopping down in them next to your buddy. Empty row? Keep on steppin' bro.

    On the urinal thing... 2 urinals and 4 stalls can be kinda dicey. If I walk in and see one urinal being used and stalls being available there's a couple of things that run through my mind:

    A. Use a stall. But now, you run the risk of viewing an unflushed "prize" or something along those lines. It's like playing Let's Make a Deal with Monty Hall... "Do you want the prize behind door #1, #2,... etc.". Plus, you may have to touch and lift the seat lid. Touching things in a mens room is something you want to limit as much as possible.

    B. Use the remaining urinal. Again, in this 2 urinal/4 stall combination, this would be the easier choice. No chance of a "prize" and no need to touch anything not attached to you. Just walk up and do your business as if you're the only one in there. Don't look around, don't make conversation... just "git 'er done".

  11. THAT WAS YOU? I read the headlines in Blade Magazine today that two hetero appearing guys showed up to a movie theater together and didn't sit a seat apart from one another. They said they were hoping to recruit two more for "the dark side." It's amazing how guys can keep all these rules straight but don't remember anniversarys or birthdays. Of course Bone, that doesn't apply to you because I'm sure you would never forget an anniversary or birthday. "You're just like a dream!"

    Must go see Joaquin do Johnny!!

  12. I had no idea being a guy was so complicated.

    My husband doesn't like scary movies, so I go see them with a friend of mine who likes them as well as I do. We judge how good they are by how much time was spend holding hands and hugging in horror. I guess guys don't do that? How do you decide if it was a good movie?

  13. Lass: I'd rather be laughed at for leaving a seat than for not.

    Jennifer: Yes, I didn't even think about that. Fits in well. Thanks for stopping by :-)

    J-Mo: Yes, only if the theater is full. Then it's fine. I have to disagree with you and the 2 & 4 sitch though. While it does seem a large percentage of men choose not to flush public toilets, I always instinctively head to a stall if there are two urinals and one is occupado.

    Carney (almost called you Carnealian): Great. I was hoping to keep it quiet. I've been outed! I wasn't even in.

    Can't imagine anyone doing a better job than Joaquin did.

    And is this some sort of hint that I missed your birthday? ;-)

    Hipmama: Not sure. But one thing is for certain, it's definitely not the way you judge it :-)

  14. Homo for the Holidays?

    I think your blog is having a bad affect on my psyche. As if I didn't think about things too much already - I read about Close Encounters of the Bone Kind. Then, I find myself thinking back to missed opportunities at the park or mall or grocery or wherever...and the next thing you know, I'm exchanging smiles with the guy across the pump from me at the gas station, wondering if one of us shouldn't say something. Because, DON'T YOU KNOW MAN! WE could be made for each other...

    I don't need that kind of pressure. ;)

  15. Oh, you guys are so silly! I know someone who used to play "gay chicken" with a friend of his, when they would see who would squirm first when breaking these rules - like sitting uncomfortably close on the couch without nary a pillow between them.

    And you guys ALWAYS think there's a 0.001% chance that 2 girls will kiss - no matter what the circumstances.

    Finally, is that film roller coaster thing the same one where the guy's head creepily raises out of the giant popcorn bucket? I hate that!

  16. Ahem (clear's throat)

    "We're not gay"
    "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
    "Of course not! If that's the life you have, then it's fine for you."

    and, for no apparent reason . . .

    "My father's gay!"

    Great, now you have me quoting George everyday. I think I might be George. Except I'm 6'2 and not bald.

    "Why does your lawyer wear a cape?"
    "He doesn't bend to the winds of fashion."

    "Don't worry, miss."
    "Who are you?"
    "I'm Frank Costanza's lawyer."

    I know, different shows. I just can't help myself.

  17. Tenacious: "I think your blog is having a bad affect on my psyche."

    Well, that may very well be. But... well, I guee there really isn't a but.

    Never smile at a guy unless you're interested. That's my rule. That way, we know :-)

    Lizzie: "And you guys ALWAYS think there's a 0.001% chance that 2 girls will kiss - no matter what the circumstances."

    Well... yeah. I realize it's not much of a chance. But it's something. It's hope.

    Yes, we are silly. And by silly, I mean manly.

    And no, I don't remember a head popping out on ours. I think I may have gone on a ride at the fair like that though :-)

    Coyote: I was actually thinking just last night about possibly wearing a cape to my Festivus party. Wonder if anyone else would get that.

    Some of my favorite's from "The Outing" episode:
    "Although they maintain separate residences, the comedian and his long-time companion seem to be inseparable."

    "Within the confines of his fastidious bachelor pad, Seinfeld and Costanza bicker over the cleanliness of a piece of fruit like an old married couple."

  18. I think the other nice thing about being a girl, is that there is a wall between me and the person peeing next to me.

  19. Used to review movies not for a living but for very skimpy checks. Wanted to begin a "watch rating system" but I don't wear a watch--look at my cell--that's my baromater also

    My vibrator rating system (patent pending) only works for girls and DVD's

  20. Interesting though, that men's rooms are designed by men and have 2 urinals on the same wall next to each other. The design itself vioates the rules. They should have included 3 urinals to give each "Urinator" his own space. So much for being "Number 1". Women generally do not experience bufferzone angst, so I guess public peeing is less stressful for the female, provided there are seat covers.

    To encourage buffer zones with the manner-challenged friend, place your drink in the buffer cupholder and your jacket or popcorn on the folded up seat, or get 2 small drinks and place one on either side. $15 isn't too much to pay for comfort. This reminded me of that old Schoolhouse Rock favorite "Elbow Room". Good times.

  21. I wonder if these girls would be so nonchalant about peeing if they had to use the Turkish style of the open hole in the floor squatting thingie. When I was in high school, our spanish teacher was organizing a trip to Spain and warned all the girls to wear skirts or suffer the dripping consequences. No stalls, no seating, just a hole in the floor and a drawing of where to put your feet.

  22. Heather: Absolutely! Never take that blessing for granted.

    Pia: Well, my knowledge of personal happiness devices is somewhat limited, but I am intrigued by your rating system.

    Sallwood: A jacket would have been perfect, but I wasn't wearing one. Then what if he had picked it up and put it on the other side of him, like he was "watching our coats."

    I wonder if women would have more angst if they just had all the toilets along the wall with no dividers...

    Coyote: Not sure about Spain. But if I went to India, I wouldn't use the restroom the entire time I was there. Just sweat it out!

  23. out of curiousity, what how do you sit if there are 3 guys?

  24. you got anything on proper phone etiquette while using the facilities?

    i've just noticed recently that some girls are talking on the phone while they are in the stalls. can we say awkward???? i hope these were just isolated incidences, but really, i think i need your expert advice bone :)

  25. Xinh: Good question. This situation actually crossed my mind as I was writing this post. I have sat guy-guy-guy in a movie. I think this is OK. The main difference is with 3, it doesn't look like you're "coupling." That being said, I will probably try and sit guy-space-guy-space-guy in the future. Better safe than sorry.

    Crys: I am not able to expound upon women's restroom etiquette, as I have spent very little experience in them. However, for me, I have to be pretty comfortable with someone before I'll carry them into the bathroom with me and let them hear my natural processes over the phone.

  26. Maybe the girls were on horrific dates and had to go the bathroom to call ANYONE to vent??

  27. Do they have something to disinfect the phones after exposing them to their, and other's, pee?

  28. Discontent: Something that's happened to you? :-)

    Coyote: Yeah, next thing you know, people will be carrying food into the restroom. Blech.

  29. larsonbuckeyefans12/15/2005 06:33:00 PM

    Sorry Bone,but you're about to be busted..everytime Jerry and friends went to the movies the guys did sit next to each other,am I right?Something to think about,hmmmm?Even the crazy guy brandishing a firearm and videotaping the movie to bootleg it.And you're right,there's ALWAYS a tiny chance we gals will smooch.

  30. Hmm, the only times I can remember are when there are three guys in a row, and as I stated earlier, that is not as bad. It's Jerry, Kramer, and Brody in "The Little Kicks" when they are bootlegging movies.

    There's also this exchange from Episode #118, "The Pool Guy."

    Jerry (pointing to the next seat over): "Over there."
    Kramer: "Why?"
    Jerry: "A little buffer zone."
    Kramer (moving over a seat): "Buffer zone?"
    Jerry: "Thank you. If we were in my apartment and we were watching a movie on the couch, would we sit right next to each other?"
    Kramer: "No. You got a point."

    Of course, then Ramon comes in and sits down between them. But then you've still got three, rather than two.

    The only other inside-the-theater scene that comes to mind is "The Movie" episode, and I think they all four end up sitting by themselves in that one, because it's packed.

  31. LOL
    Yes, uh huh, that has MOST definitely happened to me.
    More than once.
    More than 5 times.
    Wow, I'm the queen of bad dates.
    Good to be queen of something.

  32. one was at a restaurant and another was at the library. quite disturbing.

    bone, did you plagiarize? :)

  33. Meghan: Well, until you're last line, my comment was going to be "At least you're the queen of something." Hmm. Now I got nothing.

    Crys: If dropping Seinfeld references into my entries is plagiarizing, then I'm the king of plagiarism.

    All hail the king and queen :-)