“Different strokes for different folks.”

You’ve probably read me use that phrase many a time – it’s one that I try to live by. Hokey as it sounds, it centers me, helps to remind me to respect the way other people might do things, even if it’s the polar opposite of what I’d do.

It’s a mantra, and it’s one I use every time I’m watching a movie with my folks, or my Filipino relatives in general.

Because of my obsessive need to make everything perfect, I practically require my film viewings to be deathly silent, with the exceptions of laughs or screams. Talking is always definitely out of the question. It’s like I operate under a strict code of behavior when I’m watching a movie.

My family does not follow the same code.

For one thing, just because a movie is playing doesn’t mean any conversations that might be going on stop for them. They just keep right on going. Additionally, they aren’t shy about adding an actual running commentary to the film on display.

[Imagine the following sample quotes with Filipino accents. It makes it better.]

“Who is that actress? I know I’ve seen her before. She looks like Grey’s Anatomy.” “No, that’s not her. She’s prettier.”

“I can’t believe none of those bullets hit him. In the Philippines, that would have killed him.”

“That’s not realistic.”

But hey – not everyone takes filmgoing as seriously as I do. It would be irrational and just plain ridiculous to assume that everyone adheres to the same standards, right? But that’s not where it stops.

These are the same people that even when watching a movie at home, they won’t pause it when they go to another room and do something else. Then they go back to it as if they didn’t just miss five minutes of the story, totally nonchalant.

Two possibilities usually follow, both equally perplexing for me:

Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to ruin or otherwise affect their viewing experience of the film at all, which boggles my mind because, well, they just missed five minutes!

Then the other times, they finish the movie dissatisfied and complaining about the story – without acknowledging that that might be because they missed a very vital five minutes of the movie.

And lastly, they can be absolutely okay with a DVD version of a movie when the Blu-Ray one is checked out at the video store! Generation gap indeed – if I can’t see the pores on that guy’s face, you can’t expect me to sit and watch the whole thing.



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