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Happy “Bring your dog to the movie theater day” Hunger Games?

I know today is National Puppy Day. Does this mean folks can bring their dogs with them to public places at will? The thing about dogs in public, is this- you either have a service animal or you have a pet. Pets that are small and undetectable, if it’s not bothering me, I don’t really care. Yes, I see ladies at Target with Pomeranians in their cart. Weird. But does it upset me? Not really.

A large lab type dog breed, brought in against it’s will to be forced to sit on the movie theater floor during a 2 hour film is a different story.

I was seated towards the back. I see a couple come in and get seats towards the front. The woman sits down and the guy is dragging this dog on its leash. It’s clearly afraid, doesn’t want to be there or something. It is NOT a service animal. Maybe that’s what they told the folks at the front. I thought there was a no-pet policy at the theater. I guess you tell people it’s a service dog and they give you the ‘all clear’.  As far as I know, service animals don’t cower.

Soon after that, a family comes in with an infant AND a toddler. OH- did I mention I was seeing The Hunger Games? Yeah. Totally stoked for this movie. Read all three books a year ago and was anxious for its release. Am I bringing MY kids? Sure, later this weekend. They are almost 12 and 9, have read the books and can tolerate certain subject matter. Would I take them if they were 2? NO.

This family sits in the row directly behind me. Throughout the film, the baby made noises, not awful ones, just little squawks and sounds now and then. The toddler had to be taken out multiple times for its chatty-ness. Can’t blame the poor thing.

I love movies. My kids love movies. James and I usually go to a movie on date nights. Between the years of 2000 and 2006, I didn’t go to a movie unless it was a children’s film, or with James and we got a sitter. That is what happens when you have children. You make sacrifices. You make choices. It’s the way life works. You don’t drag your babies to whatever film you happen to want to see at the time just because YOU want to see it. It’s not fun for them, you or the fellow movie goers.

Yes, it’s real extravagant of me to be able to go to a movie in the middle of the day. Or is it? Actually, it’s quite thrifty of me. Ticket prices are cheaper. My kids are in school. I have other obligations for them in the evenings with their activities, or if James and I were to go together, we would have to pay for a sitter. So going to a movie in the middle of the day, is really like meeting a friend for lunch. About 15 bucks and a couple hours of free time.

So when I go to a movie. I like to enjoy it. I don’t like it ruined by animals or children. Call me a bitch, it’s just how I feel. I don’t know why people are so insensitive to the etiquette of going to the theater. Lately, I have to shush people, tell them to stop kicking my seat or glare at them for letting their kid play Doodle Jump on their iPad during the film. I’m a rule follower. I silence my cell phone, I don’t talk to my neighbor, I try to chew my popcorn only during the loud scenes and not during the poignant, quiet ones. I don’t rustle around in my purse for Red Vines. WHY can’t other people do the SAME??? Oh, and by the way, the dog chose to bark right when Katniss kissed Peeta in the cave.

If you don’t know the story, don’t go to the movie and ask your neighbor a bunch of questions towards the end during the climactic scene. I don’t want to overhear, “no remember the poison berries….yeah no, that’s in the second one….. oh, what about Gale…. does President Snow come back…..where’s Buttercup?” Geeze people!! SHUT UP!

I make sure my pets are safe at home during the day, and that my children are somewhere appropriate as well. Again- I’ve made the effort, so can THEY!

Consideration folks. It’s free. It’s not hard. Just takes a couple of seconds to think of someone other than yourself. If you use some consideration, your pets and children will thank you.

Oh yeah, Hunger Games was good. Go see it. Just check the theater for pets and babies first.