The Lutheran Ladies Guide to Movie Etiquette For Morons

I know the title seems rather harsh, but I didn’t know what term to use for someone whose

We like going to the movies…or used to….

actions fall between blockhead and half-wit. Let me explain…

We like to catch a matinee every month. Five of our last six outings have been pestered by people whose brains have been disconnected from their social skills. Honestly! We’ve decided that movie watching behavior has gone the way of  the typewriter and the corded phone.

Let’s have a short refresher course in Movie-Watching Etiquette in case anyone needs a reminder of these transgressions.


Maybe it’s been a hundred years since you’ve been in church. There’s a reason why people sit in the very back pews. It’s so they can slip out easily.  The same rule applies at the movies. So, if you :

  • have a bladder problem
  • need to call the baby sitter
  • or plan on getting a free refill on that half-gallon of soda and bathtub of popcorn you bought at concessions….

Then for the love of everyone’s knees…SIT BY THE DOOR.  Don’t climb over people.

And if you do have an emergency and must leave, WALK SIDEWAYS down the row. Nobody wants your bedonkadonk in their face.  Or…heaven forbid…your crotch.  Just shuffle like a normal human being would down a sidewalk and move out of the row.


Just because you can haul a child into an R-rated movie if they’re accompanied by an

The Eye of Sauron as portrayed in Peter Jackso...

adult, doesn’t mean you should.  So when a child cries because aliens are probing innocent beach party-goers or psychos are jumping from behind every tree, or the Dolby sound system is rattling the tubes in your kid’s ears…it means your child isn’t enjoying the movie.  The rest of us aren’t either. As a matter of fact, you may be the only one in the theater, ignoring your kiddo , watching the flick. Your bliss won’t last long. Someone will  get management and you’ll be asked to leave.

So why not save everyone the hassle?  Go to the child’s age-appropriate film in the first

Image representing The Walt Disney Company as ...

place. All of us have paid our dues and sat through more Disney, Pixar, and Hannah Barbara movies than we can count. Please…Adult-up and do the same.


“Oh, my.” one of the Lutheran Ladies will say, when I quote this rule. But these three words cover a legion of movie sins.  We think the problem originates because folks are used to sitting at home, talking back to their TV. People cuss the news, moan at the weather, sneer at reality shows. They’ve trained themselves to talk to their entertainment.

How else can anyone explain why some people narrate the movie?   If you’re guilty of being a movie commentator, you need to know that you don’t need to tell us:

  • “It’s Glenda, the good witch,”  “He didn’t really die,” “Sauron did it,” or anything that’s happening on the screen. We can see it for ourselves.
  • We’re not  talking about emotional gasps, laughs, and moans that are a natural part of movie enjoyment.  This rule is for those folks who share their running commentary of what’s happening.
  • As brilliant as your observations probably are…people paid to hear the movie, not you commenting on the action.

This Just-Shut-Up-And-Enjoy-The-Movie rule, takes care of:

  • sucking the last ounce of liquid out of your cup
  • rattling your Raisinettes
  • filling in your movie-friend on what he/she missed when they went to the bathroom
  • and just because you’re texting, doesn’t mean you’re not talking or disturbing anyone.  Shut it off.

Aunt Ula has a longer list of movie sins. (She should know because she’s broken most of them and been asked to leave.) But nobody wants to read a blog that long.

Actually most movie problems can be solved if folks simply remember one thing.

Movie-watching is a community experience.

You’re not alone at home. Or as they say in the movies…

You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

Do you have a movie-watching etiquette pet peeve?


Photos: Theater:Joeybls Photography; Saurons Eye-Wikipedia; Disney-by Crunchbase; dog-yuankuei; Dorothy-Wizard of Oz-FanPop


White People Trying to Clap

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the Tell-Me  poll

What Bothers You About Church Music?

 Here are the results (some logical; some hilarious)

  •  50% of folks feel the music is too loud.(No it’s not okay to arrive early and unplug the speakers as a solution.)
  • 40% are tired of singing all the verses.(C’mon, c’mon…let’s get to the sermon and get out of here.)

And then there were the Other answers

  • Coyote singing

One person felt it was a sin for her husband to open his mouth because he sang so

Let ‘er rip, Granny.

off-key.  Ohhhh….I understand that one. You know how a coyote in pain yowls?  I’m sorry to say that’s just how my granny warbled.  One note covered 6 scales and she belted it out with a gusto that made little kids climb under the pews. She put her whole heart into: “Make a joyful noise.”

  • Morgue Music

Another person couldn’t stand music that sounded like there was a half inch of space between the notes. Tooooo slooooow. And it was even worse if funky instruments were added. “Did you ever shake a maraca to music slower than sunrise?
(Uh…no…maybe shaking the maraca harder will wake a few folks up?)

The comment that made me laugh out loud was:

What Bothers You About Church Music?

  • White people, trying to clap.

    The rhythm seems a little stiff to me.

I’m guessing this commenter visited a Lutheran church. And I ask that you give me a chance to explain.

I’ll admit many Lutherans are clapping-challenged.  It began long ago as little kids when we stood bored and stiff-legged in church and decided to pinch a sibling for entertainment. Even though a “pincher” could expect a swat…it was great fun.  If you did it several times, you’d even get hauled out of church, thus missing that guy yammering up front and the woman who coyote- yodeled during hymns.

So from the get-go, we were told to keep our hands to ourselves.  Fingers clenched firmly at our sides or glued to a hymnbook were the only two accepted positions.  Even if you were very old, blind in one eye and couldn’t see out of the other, you held a hymn book and pretended to sing along. Our hands never had a chance to join the tempo. All those Sunday School hand motions to “Zaccheaus was a wee, little man” didn’t help. We’re not practiced at clapping.

I’m guessing the ability to follow the rhythm ebbs and flows along cultural lines. I attended PowWows with a friend who is Cherokee. She’d spend hours, trying to teach me the Friendship Dance. It’ a simple side-step move, traveling in a circle. My problem is…without warning—the drums stop, leaving me shuffling a step or two in silence. In some mystical way, everyone else knew beforehand the drumbeat is going to stop. My friend would squint and shake her head. “Can’t you hear that slight change in cadence?”

Nope. I”m deaf from trying to learn to clap.

But the best comment came from Merril at Snowbird Press. I’m sharing her name because she also put her lovely thoughts in the comment section for all to see.
She said:

“Our church’s organ went the way of all things, and our organist is now in a nursing home. We were left with either using recorded music or no music at all. That’s when The Spirit moves. Today we have a wonderful guitar choir that was formed by a few of our members. The music brings us together joyfully… can you ask for more?”

No. You can’t ask for more.
That kind of puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?
Sometimes it takes having only a little to appreciate a lot.

Clapping Photo: Captain Kobold

Afterlife Messages

by 19melissa68

Sixteen bags of garbage.  Oh, excuse me. It wasn’t garbage. It was all stuff that would come in handy someday.

That’s what we found when I helped my neighbor clean out her mother’s house. Forty years of saving  stick-on bows, aluminum pans, and extra sets of dishes.  My neighbor had wheedled and cajoled, trying to get a head start and purge the place before her mother passed.  But the old matriarch wasn’t interested, waving a hand away and saying, “I don’t have the energy, honey.  Do it after I’m gone.”

Mostly the bags were filled with garbage we’d found festooned between financial papers and coupons that had expired in ’92.  But there was one rare find.

by Muffett

A box. Inside were love letters between my friend’s mother and father during the war. And home-made cards she’d  crayola’d  as a kid.  She held in her hands the knittings of her family’s love that had made it all the way into the future.

Things have changed.  We rarely write letters on paper anymore. I love getting them, but I’m guilty about not writing.  Instead I use technology. That’s why a recent news article popped a light bulb over my noggin.

Some families are bemoaning the privacy policies of internet sites.  If you use on-line bill

pay, internet banking, or communicate with e-mails, those accounts aren’t accessible to heirs after you die.  Your Facebook, Pinterest, or Google account can be shut down with the proper certificates, approved paperwork and sometimes legal wrangling, but you don’t have access to content.  For example, if nothing is done, those e-bills will go on forever, piling up in the deceased’s Yahoo mail, but the family won’t know anything about it because they can’t access the account.

This is birthing new legislation, but for now, attorneys are recommending leaving a list of usernames and passwords (and instructions) with your will.  EX:  Download the family pictures and delete Vegas Weekend pictures from PhotoBucket.

But I had a better idea for this man-made perpetuity.

With a little creative scheduling, I could blog far into the future, even though I’d actually be singing in the heavenly choir.  Long after I’m gone I could wish the kids Happy Birthday each year. I could schedule posts 50 years from now to nag my great-great something-or-others into doing better in school, getting  jobs, or going to church more often.   Messages from beyond the grave.

When I shared this with the kids, they shrugged, telling me technology would change by then.  Besides, they’d prefer I leave a letter.  Something they could hold.  A missive with my funny-looking Rs and loopy Ys. A note that crinkles and makes noise when folded and refolded. Maybe even one that carries a scent.

I know what they mean. I love holding my Dad’s teensy-tiny Bible. He rarely talked about his beliefs, but I learned so much from the underlined passages and notes he made in the margins.

Things change. Things stay the same. So I’ll write my afterlife messages in a letter.  And I plan on passing it along in my Dad’s tiny-little Bible. Now if I could just figure out how to add the scent of homemade bread.

Being Important- Gone with the Wind

I saw a headline the other day under Celebrity Deaths

Ann Rutherford: ‘Gone with the Wind’ actress dies at 94

The story in the LA Times indicated “Ann Rutherford, one of the last surviving cast

Cropped screenshot of Ann Rutherford from the ...

Cropped screenshot of Ann Rutherford from the trailer for the film Love Finds Andy Hardy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

member of “Gone with the Wind,” died Monday night at her Beverly Hills home at the age of 94.

And while she’d played Polly Benedict, girlfriend to a teenage Mickey Rooney, in the Andy Hardy movies, it was her role as Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister, Carreen, in Gone With the Wind that she was best known.

It almost didn’t happen.

MGM head Louis B. Mayer called it “a nothing part”, intending to cut it, but Rutherford burst into tears, asking him to reconsider. Mayer okayed the part.

Of course, fame is fleeting, but I think the enduring gem tucked into this story is that no one wants to be a “nothing part.” We all carry an invisible sign: I want to feel worthwhile and important.

Criticism or withholding praise can blow those moments of connection away with the wind. Getting any church group, office group, neighborhood group, or even family to all agree can be a real headbanger. Believe me, the Lutheran Ladies don’t always see things the same way. But criticism junks up the road with wounded hearts, taking a long time to heal.

We have more of a chance of a positive discussion and being anchored against the winds when we remember each of us is carrying an invisible sign. I want to feel important.

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:2

To Paper or To Plate: That’s the Question

We were packing boxes to send to missionaries and behind us, at another table, was a Vera-type-gal, a micro-manager of the Universe.  She was organizing the Ladies’ for an upcoming reception, “And of course, we must use the nice plates, and the good glasses.  Nancy Sue will you iron the tablecloths and napkins?”

Heavens to mergatroid. Poor Nancy Sue  I thought.  I haven’t used my iron in…well, let’s just say I think it still works. Last time I used it was to create melted crayon crafts. I leaned over to my packing partner and whispered, “That’s a lot of frou-frou.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, that’s why I never volunteer for those things.”

Now obviously, I was born without a Martha Stewart gene, but it got me thinking, with all the coffee hours, receptions, mid-week suppers, etc., we’d get more volunteers if we’d use disposables. So what’s the better choice? Hence…


Being frugal Lutherans, most of our matched plates and flatware came from saving boxtops. (Everyone keep eating…we need 10 more sets of service.)

Ceramic/Glass Benefit

  • Their production and delivery have a carbon foot print, but it’s a one-time thing.
  • They have to be washed. (Blah…like we all don’t have enough washing in our lives). But according to dishwashers have become more energy and water efficient. (Obviously they’ve never watched the youth wash dishes).  Of course they caution if you run the dishwasher with only a cup and a spoon inside, it’s not too cost-effective, but the nature of most Lutherans is to fill that machine up until it looks like a steam-punk contraption. We know how to get the most soap out of a buck.
  • The threat of bacteria spreading is most likely not an issue unless we’re experiencing a horrible disease like cholera or maybe contamination by zombies.  Basic hygiene still applies.

Paper Plate Benefit

  • Disposable. No clean up. Hooray. But…here comes the rain on my dancing-dish parade…we’ll be buying them again and again. More production, transportation and bigger carbon footprint.
  • So, we’ll just recycle, yes?  No, not really. Usually soiled plates can’t be recycled and not all grades of plastic can be recycled. “Even if your community could recycle each and every disposable fork or cup,” says Leon Kaye of GreenGoPost, “they still require energy–and water–to create new batches of paper or plastic goods.”  And then there’s the bags of garbage after an event, percolating gas and goop like the eggs in an Alien movie.

So my lazy bones stand corrected. Ceramic and metal flatware is the winner.

It’s wise stewardship for money, attitude, and planet. “Think single purchase, not single use,” says Kaye.

Okay…I may volunteer for clean-up, but I’m still not ironing.

How has your church or organization solved the problem?

Thanks to Leon Kaye, editor and founder of Check it out for more info.