Sunday, October 29, 2006

Teach Your Children...

I swear, I'm not lettin' this whole blog be a rant about kids, but...

The Tulsa Convention Center; while large; is not what I'd call roomy when it comes to seating arrangements. Even though the whole idea of building a huuuuuge new arena seems stupid when we consider that there's not usually enough crowd to fill the present one; I was glad to hear that the new arena will have larger, more comfortable seats.

This isn't due to the size of my ass; it's due to the comfort of my elbows.

It seems that even though there's not enough crowd to fill the convention center for Oilers Hockey games; there's always just enough nearness to make me anxious about feeling way too close to people I don't know. Call me anti-social if you wish; I'm just not that interested in feeling snuggled-up to a stranger.

Now, I know that if the place is full, it's not polite to throw a purse or coat in the empty chair beside me; but if there are a couple dozen empty seats around us, I don't see why I should have to sit through an entire hockey game sharing an armrest with someone I don't know. I shouldn't have to deal with having a stranger's elbow nestled in my ribs if there's six empty chairs on the other side of him, why should he have to sit so close to me? Since there's nobody on the other side, would it be so hard to move down a chair or two so we both have more room??

That's why I got my undies in a bunch last night.

I vaguely remember where it came from -- when I was young, very young, I remember a bit on PBS about that whole purse/coat concept I just mentioned; and the same piece also covered the fact that kicking the chair in front of you is also not polite.

Last night, the people who sat behind us came in midway through the first period; came up the right-side aisle, and crawled over people who were watching the game, then climbed over chairs to get to the row behind us -- even though coming up the left-side aisle would have put them right in their seats without disturbing anyone. Most of the family sat behind us; and they sent a couple older girls to sit in the row in front of 'em; with us. They left an empty chair in between, thank God.

It wasn't long before the kicking began. Now, kicking my chair is bad enough. Last night I was repeatedly kicked in the shoulders and even a time or two in the neck. Yes, seriously, my shoulders and my neck; as in, "Honey, could you brush this floor-dirt off my sweater, please?"

The seats are so close that I wouldn't dare go to a hockey game without tying my hair up totally; because it would be insane to leave it hangin' on the floor where people's feet go -- and also insanely invasive to have it in the laps of the people in the row behind us. The seats are close, the rows are close -- the people who are there on a regular basis know this, and we're careful. The people who sit in the row in front of us know that they should probably make sure we don't have nachos when they get ready to take their coats off; 'cause we're that close. I know that I'm not particularly tall; but I need to watch my knees so I don't jab 'em in the back when I'm gettin' up out of my chair. It's not something that was explained to us when we got our Season Tickets -- it's just basic human decency, we don't invade other people's space unless there's a serious reason for it!

It's not that I'm rippin' on first-time Hockey Game Attendees; it's that I'm pissed about people not teaching their kids not to touch strangers. Good Gawd, the kicking and kicking and kicking...

We went outside during the breaks and each time we came back, I was soooooo glad to see empty chairs behind ours -- maybe they didn't like it and decided to leave! But no, they came back, and by the time they made it back in to climb over everybody and sit down for third period, my purse (in the empty seat beside me) was catchin' the evil-eye from one of 'em 'cause she wanted to sit by her sister. The purse had been there for two-thirds of the game -- now all of a sudden, she wants that seat. And all of a sudden, there's a family who thinks it's alright to let their kindergartener move away from Mom and Dad to sit down right beside a total stranger.

I thought it might help the kicking situation, but it did not. So now I had it from two different directions. Have you ever watched a kindergartener take off a sweater?? I didn't have to watch, because I got elbowed a few times, and then I got rubbed with the sweater as she tried to hand it to her parents -- the Dad told her to put it back on; which was basically a repeat/reverse in the process of elbow banging.

Clayton, bless his heart, tries his best to avoid having to watch my psychobitch come out in public -- so he put his arm around me. It helped, it was really sweet of him -- but now instead of kicking some chick's neck and shoulders, they were kicking some guy's arm. Some rough-lookin' guy with a ponytail that still doesn't quite hide the "Chariots Of The Dead" Hearse that's embroidered on the back of his coat.

Hello? Is nobody teaching kids that it's not only impolite, but that it's dangerous to feck with strangers??

I really think that a kid who was small enough to be a kicker but big enough to sit in a seat alone would've been too short to reach the backs of our seats -- a kid big enough to reach the backs of our seats would've been old enough to realize "Hey, I probably shouldn't piss those people off."

I'm 90 percent sure the kid was sittin' in a parent's lap.

Now, even though it's fun to watch Hockey, surely it's not enthralling enough that someone wouldn't notice that the kid they were holding in their lap was kicking the shit out of the people in the next row! I'm not talking about a little toe-tapping here; I'm talking about full-on feckin' kicks, to the point that once they took to kicking Clay's arm instead of my neck, it was still shaking my whole upper body. I was ready to just stand up for the rest of the game when Clay decided we'd about as well just leave instead of watching the Oilers get beat to pieces along with my neck.

Good Gawd, I hope they didn't just buy a batch of Season Tickets.

If they did, I'll either move down a row and sit with the polite family who makes sure their kid doesn't touch people; or I'll just start standing up for the whole game -- that way I won't have to put my purse on a nasty floor, and they won't be able to kick my neck either.

"What? Oh, you can't see when I stand up? Well hell, I didn't know you wanted to watch the game, I thought you were more interested in seeing how hard you could kick my shoulders..."

More later... _\,,/

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