Mind Your Manners Monday: At The Theatre...

I was brought up to respect the theater. I was privileged enough to be able to attend many shows on Broadway as a child. Dressing for the theater meant leaving the Sassons and clogs at home. Appropriate dress meant dress or skirt and "proper" shoes. As I was coming of age many battles ensued. Why couldn't I wear jeans? Everyone else did! Eventually I grew to understand the importance of dressing properly. It's a form of respect, really. And now I enforce the same rules. My children must be presentable. And by presentable, they know what I mean. The boys don't fuss. They are happy in their wide wale cords and Shetland sweaters. Rebecca, these days, would rather look like a slob in Abercrombie, Uggs and her Northface. She hates me now but one day she will understand and one day she too will make her little girls dress up. Even, when like she, they are not so little. It's a right of passage, really.

It surprises me, frankly, to see people, both young and old, in sloppy jeans as though they were at a ball game or a movie at a large Cineplex. We've become too casual and relaxed. And even at the theater our manners seem to be slipping. Little things really, but little things with a great impact.

Tamara, (Cancer Sucks even with Lilly Pulitzer on Your Side) is my guest blogger today.

She's had a few very interesting, um... run-ins with bad manners at the the theater, both small, local productions and Broadway.

Read on to see what she has witnessed!

Dear Entertainingmom,
Thank you so much for hosting me this week!
Let's discuss minding your manners when you attend a concert, play, musical, etc. I have had the misfortune of witnessing the following infractions in the past year:
-listening to a soda can rattle its way down the slanted playhouse floor during a childrens' theater performance
-hearing a grandfather answer his ringing cell phone and start talking during a chidrens' GRANPARENTS' day event
-hearing young lovers arguing and then start kissing during a BROADWAY musical
-listening to crying babies during musical concerts
-watching adults texting during childrens' musical theater
-sitting across the aisle of a man who took his shoes off for the second act of a BROADWAY play

Normally I would not think one would need to mention the fact that you need to keep your shoes on during a Broadway show, but these times require new rules! Minding you manners when you attend any type of performance based event is simple. You just need to turn off your cell phone, put it away in your purse, refrain from eating/drinking/gum chewing, leave your baby or young one at home with daddy or a sitter, pay attention, keep your shoes on and enjoy the show!

And if all else fails and you find yourself seated next to a texting, gum chewing, snacker without their shoes on while holding a crying baby just remember:

"The test of good manners is to be able to put up pleasantly with bad ones." (Wendell Willkie)

Thank you, entertaingmom for helping spur a good manners movement!

I  love Tamara's bit of advice. However, I would like to insert my own advice to said offenders!

Grandpa, and all you other Crackberry/iPhone/cell phone Addicts: If you must keep your phone on then keep it on vibrate and excuse yourself from the performace or room before you answer. If you can't answer it immediately, let the call go to voicemail and return the call as soon as you are in a place where talking is appropriate. Tweeting and FB updates are inappropriate as well.

Young lovers: GET A ROOM!

Mothers to young children/babies: If you are unable to get a sitter or your sitter backed out on you, please leave the premises IMMEDIATELY the minute Young Offspring starts to fuss. Please!

To those People needing cough drops or other food items: Be sure to bring something that does not make noise as you unwrap... I've had to bring snacks and cough drops to productions before. I choose ones that aren't wrapped in crinkly paper... or unwrap them before hand and keep them in a Ziplock bag. Likewise, I have had to bring m&ms and gummy candies to productions before. I always remove the candy from the wrapper before leaving for the theater. Ziplock bags don't make noise when opened.

And regardless of where you are, Gum Chewers: Smacking is just gross in general!

To the gentleman who took his shoes off... I have really have no words!


Tamara's beautiful little girl as The Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland