Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


  Home Theaters: Men vs. Women

Photo Courtesy of www.cedia.net

Last night, I finally saw "Farenheit 9/11". It may strike some of you as odd that I would JUST be seeing this movie. But then again, I should probably fess up to the fact that regardless of my innate need to at least keep up with the trends (whether or not I actually buy into them), there is one category where I am quite often WAY behind the times--Cinema. Why, you ask? Well, it's quite simple really:

We have a home theater.

Not just a basement room with a screen and projector, mind you. No, no, no. Our home theater has a 120" motorized retractable screen, top of the line equipment, Dolby stereo, etc. Our theater was designed by the same guy who designed the home theaters of Aaron Spelling, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise. This means that, at the designer's suggestion, the theater has no 90 degree angles--anywhere; padded damask-covered upper walls with hard, drywall lower walls (supposedly enhances sound quality); a lighted cove ceiling; crystal triple-armed sconces on both sides; etc., etc.

So, you may still be wondering, "What does this have to do with the fact that she just saw Farenheit 9/11?" The answer is: EVERYTHING! You see, my husband considers our home theater to be a cost-saving measure. Yes, in his mind, our $--,--- home theater is a way to save $$$. He figures that we can buy a DVD for $20 six months to a year after the movie comes out and watch it at home, thereby saving ourselves the $25-30 it would cost the two of us to see the movie in the theater.
In my mind, by the time you pay for the DVD, food at home, utilities, upkeep, etc., the difference in prices is negligible--even BEFORE you add the cost of the theatre. Hubby, however, sees it differently.

When Hubby first started talking about building the theater, I thought it was a great idea. Our children are at the age where they love having friends over for pizza and a movie. When winter comes and it's too cold to play outside for long periods of time, I thought it would be great to have a warm, comfortable place for our boys and their friends to "veg". It never occured to me that our theater would be considered by Hubby to be a "substitute" for our occasional "Movie Dates". Our friends Tricia and Warren have a REALLY spectacular and expensive home theater and they still go to the neighborhood theater at least once a week.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, THAT concept got totally lost on hubby.

For instance, when I bought tickets for us, the boys and two of their friends to attend the midnight First Showing of Harry Potter III this past June, hubby was totally incensed. NOT at the absurdity of taking seven and nine-year-olds to the theater at midnight...NOT at the absurdity of my suggesting that he put the kids to bed for a nap after dinner while I sat in line for four hours to get the perfect seats for the movie...and NOT that I would expect him to deliver four delirious and possibly cranky children to the theater at ten minutes 'til midnight. NO, his beef was with the fact that I had payed the full $7.50 per ticket for a movie that we could wait six months and watch in the comfort of our home! I saw it as an "event"--"a party"--an "End of the School Year Blow-Out". Hubby saw it as a blowout, as well--of a totally different variety.

Regardless of the fact that my husband is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known, I can not fathom how he (a tax attorney/CPA) can truly believe that we are saving money by spending tens of thousands of dollars on the theater instead of spending $50 a month on trips to the theater.

I also disagree that the theater is a "substitute" for the theater experience (which means that I am reduced to sneaking out a few times a month to go to the late-night Dollar Movie with my girlfriends!)

Plus, I hate the fact that since the theater is in close proximity to the laundry room, I feel obligated to be doing laundry any time I am in the theater alone watching a movie. I think that my evening with Farenheit 9/11 would have been even MORE fascinating had I not been folding underwear and straining to hear the dryer buzz over the Dolby!

And lest you think that this is ONLY one man's perspective and one woman's pain, fair warning ladies...

Not long ago, we were with 7 or 8 other couples when the subject of "the home theater as cost-saving measure" arose. Guess what? All of the men agreed: If you have a home theater (which half of the couples did), you don't need to be going out to see the movies when they are on the "big screen". "Too many people talking". "The seats are too uncomfortable". "The popcorn is better (and cheaper) at home". "Movie tickets are too expensive". "I can put my feet up at home". "I can fall asleep in the middle of the movie at home and my wife doesn't keep nudging me. AND, I can fall asleep as many times as I want while watching that same movie over and again but never have to buy another ticket to see the parts I missed (to which all of the men present laughed, nodded their heads in unison and high-fived one another)!"

So, ladies, don't say that I didn't warn you. Be careful what you wish for. I'm just sayin'....

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