If I'm really not enjoying this movie/concert/poetry slam/cooking demonstration, is it ok for me to leave, or is it rude?
Today an email from Kelly Hughes, owner of Aqua Books, got me thinking about this. He sent out what he called a "general amnesty" for people who "feel imprisoned by" his weekly e-newsletter, titled This Week at Aqua Books. If people feel imprisoned by his newsletter, I thought, why haven't they opted out before now?
This led me to wonder why I don't 'opt out' of things I am not enjoying. I saw an action movie recently that I found boring and gruesome (interesting and gruesome I can watch, most of the time. The boredom kills it), and didn't leave until the end. This may have had something to do with the fact that I attended the movie with several friends who seemed to be enjoying it, and I didn't want to leave them. I didn't ask them, though. Maybe they were as bored and disgusted as I felt, and we could have left together.
So here are my top five reasons why we stay with things we dislike watching/hearing/eating:
5. We're with friends/family/significant others who don't want to leave.
4. We're afraid of being spotted by the performer(s) and called out and/or insulted.
3. We don't want to explain why we're having an awful time to the wait staff/performer(s)/our dates.
2. We're hoping with all our might that it will get better before it ends.
1. We paid GOOD MONEY for the tickets/food/outfit we wore to the venue, and we don't want to feel that we've wasted it.
The #1 reason is very pertinent to my blog. Obviously, when we spend a lot of money on an evening's entertainment, we don't want to feel that the money goes to waste. But if we're just sitting there wishing we were somewhere else, like me in the movie theatre, wishing I was home doing laundry, then our time is being wasted along with our money.
If you can't get your money back, at least get your time back. Stop doing something you don't enjoy.
By the way, Kelly Hughes, I love your newsletter and I won't be taking advantage of the "general amnesty" notice. In my opinion, reading This Week at Aqua Books is time well spent.