Thursday, July 7, 2011

Two Hours You'll Never Get Back

If there's one thing we love as a society, it's this - easy go to phrases for expressing an emotional state. No delving into specifics, bogging down the conversation by relating our personal feelings; just quick, tested (mother approved), and streamlined phrases everyone knows the implied meaning of and can move on from (or begin arguing due to) promptly. They range from everything as simple as 'overrated' to the abbreviations like 'WTF' (which I believe means Welcome to Fargo, but I could be mistaken). The phrases which take the in-between area (likely because they lack the simplicity to go the full abbreviation) are just as common, and to be quite honest - just as annoying (to me anyways). For today's rant, I'd like to turn your attention to the following gem:

"Well, that's two hours of my life I'll never get back."

As opposed to when exactly? Those two hours you invested wisely in the beginning of the year, and (if you play your cards right) will be able to cash in through some sort of time investment mutual plan by which you'll receive extra time at the end of each month to use as you wish? No. You never get your time back. No matter how good or bad the experience was, that time is gone. Like any payment plan, you spent it, and while you may not like what you spent it on, it doesn't mean you're getting a refund. Some things just don't work like that.

I do understand the sentiment, however. You spent two hours watching something you didn't necessarily enjoy, and feel as if it has somehow deprived you of that time. So, you want a way of expressing that. You feel robbed of the time given to such a disastrous experience and now you have to release that frustration. One problem – the use this quote assumes it’s the movies fault you wasted your time on it. That you, in all your wisdom and capabilities had no power to get up and walk out of the theater, hit the pause button (or the eject button for that matter), or simply not make the choice to watch that movie to begin with.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing the filmmakers for making a film that will inevitably lead to a lot of time being wasted. Then again, when does anyone ever know that what they’re doing is going to be awful? Even if we excuse that one person’s wasted time could very well be another’s life changing experience. In the moment of creation we can convince ourselves that what we’re doing will be great, loved, and appreciated by anyone with ease. Much in the same way that we all like to think every blogpost we write is going to be a gem (though I'd be willing to bet a few of you are thinking "this is ten minutes of my life I'll never get back" right about now).

In life there are consequences to every action. If you decide to watch a movie, you do so with the knowledge that it very well may turn out to be a waste of your time. But it is your time you’re wasting (forgive the school teacher phrasing). The movie didn’t steal the time from you, you gave it the time. It may not have used it as well as you would have liked, but then again you could always cut it off. In a sense, you're the bartender and the movie is the weekly lush. Some weeks you don't mind letting a few extra drinks slide on down their way because they're great for company (and maybe a bit for business too).  However, on those nights that they're rowdy, crazed, and scaring away customers, you can boot the figurative boot into their ass and send them on their way to the curb (face first preferably).

So the next time a movie begins sucking away at your inner being, and you feel mortality creeping over as your time in this world slowly fades away, do us all a favor and just hit the damned stop button. Though not if you're in a room with other people watching the movie... or in a theater for that matter... look, just sit there quietly and pretend you're paying attention while you think about lollipops. It's better this way.

4 better thoughts:

Brittani Burnham said...

Nice post! I think what happens to me most of the time when I'm watching a bad movie is "I wonder if this could possibly get any worse.." and then I'm stuck watching the whole thing. The only movie in a theater I've ever walked out of is The Devil's Rejects. I should've walked out of many.

Alan said...

I've yet to walk out of a movie, but a couple have made me contemplate suicide by drinking straw. I've learned to focus on a positive detail (because EVERY movie has at least one) and roll with it.

Castor said...

Yea I have never walked out of a movie. I remotely thought about it with last year's The Expendables though...

Anonymous said...

Because outside the theaters and watching movies we are always perfect users of our time.

I can understand the sentiment, but it's not like people don't rob their-selves of time in other ways, like browsing through funny pictures of cats for hours or getting in debates with friends over sandwiches. Why don't we consider that a waste of time?

But when we have to shit through a crappy rom-com or action flick it's two hours of our life gone in the blink of an eye.

Get over it and go watch some more movies. It'll even out, I promise.

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