Have a Seat
How much do you think about seats, the seats themselves, when you’re buying tickets to a thing?
Your Daily Lex So some folks have strong preferences when it comes to airplanes, right?
You want the aisle seat or you want the window seat.
Maybe there’s some weirdos out there who prefer the middle seat because they love making friends.
I’m an aisle seat person in most cases so that I can have a little bit of extra legroom as a tall person.
But I’m really asking about if I’m booking movie or theater tickets.
For theater tickets, I again typically want to get to an aisle seat for the same reason, right?
Because many theaters have rows of seats that are way too closely put together.
If even the short people are uncomfortable, you know you’re in a bad spot.
Not too long ago, I attended a play just in the past couple weekends.
This play is at a dedicated theater that used to be a library.
So it’s got a book theme in various areas of the theater.
Great, but it doesn’t have permanent seating.
It has not even folding chairs, but just stackable temporary chairs.
They were permanent chairs.
Well, I don’t know what the word for this is.
Non-folding chairs, stacking chairs.
It’s got just crappy chairs with no cushion or no support or anything.
And given the space they had, the density with which they packed in those chairs was quite a thing.
It maybe did allow them to add one extra row of seats.
But it also made it really uncomfortable.
That was coupled with the fact that this theater did not have air conditioning.
And so in the main theater room, it got pretty hot.
There was air conditioning in the lobby.
And I’m guessing that somebody decided at some point that the air conditioning is too loud in the theater.
It was a ductless wall unit in the lobby.
So they did not have anything in the theater itself, which meant that I was now sitting and getting increasingly uncomfortable or decreasingly comfortable, depending on how you like your two-word phrases.
And the seat itself was bad.
The legroom was atrocious.
I could try to use the aisle, but they had said before the show, be careful that actors would be going up and down the aisles.
And I was like, I have zero interest in tripping an actor today, so I’m going to keep my legs in.
And then the heat was on.
The heat was on, as they say.
And it was getting really hot.
So we hit intermission.
At intermission, I like to avoid the temptation of buying any snacks or whatever at intermission.
You don’t need those things.
So I sometimes don’t even bother getting up.
But in this case, I was definitely getting up because I wanted to stretch out my body and have some circulation return to my legs, whatever.
Going into the lobby also meant experiencing cool air for the first time in 90 minutes.
So that was good, too.
I have attended other plays somewhat recently at theaters with seats that are too close together.
And during the intermission, I noted that there was a very back row at this other theater.
This was a theater where the stage is on the low side, and then the seats go up, like stadium style.
So you’re looking down to the thing.
So I was like, the very back row.
They didn’t sell tickets, too.
You could just sit in the very back row, which had nothing in front of it.
It was a couple steps removed from any other seats.
And I told my kids, I am moving to that back, back, back row for the rest of the show.
It was wonderful.
I could put my legs all the way out and did, and trip to no one.
So of course, as intermission was approaching at this play, where I’m in the compressed seats and the heat and all those things, I’m like, hey, let me check and see if at intermission I can move to the back.
The answer was a resounding no.
There was absolutely no room to do that.
A couple of people were standing against the back, and I was willing to do that, but it appeared to me that all the people standing against the back wall were affiliated with the show in some way, which I was not.
I was merely an audience member.
And so when I buy tickets to shows, I do like to find an aisle seat.
And then if it’s theaters that I’ve been to before, I will.
I can really not care about the seat if I know, for example, I’m going to go to that back row where I have actual room.
But man, it is a thing that I stress about.
I’ve talked before, I’m sure, about this idea where I attend standing room only concerts.
And I think I’ve talked about this podcast, in fact.
And then somebody shorter than you is behind you and asks if they can get in front of you.
And I’m always like, no, not really.
Because what am I going to do?
If I let you in front of me, then I have to let the person behind you in front of me, and then the person behind you in front of me.
And eventually I’m in the very back, even though I got there early.
And that kind of stinks.
The other thing, though, is whenever I go to a movie theater, I always slouch in my seat.
It has taken me years, or I would say it took me years to realize how much I slouch in certain sitting scenarios.
And it’s not a common thing.
I have pretty decent posture at my desk, for example.
But I slouch in theaters because I want to make sure that whoever’s behind me can see.
So it comes out of kindness.
I’ve been the kid behind the tall person.
My kids get very stressed about that.
What if they sit behind a tall person?
I’m like, the tall person will do their best, and we can move you.
Increasingly, theaters are designed to be able to handle tall and short people alike.
But man, older theaters with those seats so close together, the worst.
But you know what’s the best?
You, dear listener, you’re the best.
Hey, by the way, if you’re hearing this on Tuesday, May 2nd, or any time thereafter, which I guess is everybody, if you’re hearing this, it is Tuesday, May 2nd or thereafter, I have a new podcast out.
It’s called Sorkin in it.
And it’s with my friend Brian Warren.
And I’ll tell you more about that one tomorrow.
It’s called Sorkin in it, and bring me the next Philcotex.