Memoirs of an Armrest

This is another post of my thoughts. Just my thoughts people. No social commentary. Well actually, it’s full of social commentary. These are my thoughts on the armrest.

Does anyone know the armrest rule? When you’re at a movie theater, which armrest belongs to you? Is it the right? Is it the left? What if it’s the right and you are left-handed, and vice versa. On the flipside, is the armrest completely social? By that, I mean is it a gender issue? Does the man get the armrest, suggesting that there is a certain way ladies are to sit when viewing the cinema? On the contrary, should the man perform a chivalrous act and relinquish the cushion to the finer sex?

These thoughts ran through my mind last night as I sat with friends for the screening of Family Affair at the IFC. Anyone who is aware of the synopsis for Family Affair should literally curse me out for harboring on this topic, but I just could not grasp it. Call me weird if you’d like, as long as you still call me over for dinner. I sat between two young, beautifully talented women of color as the lights lowered, signaling the beginning of an experience. This is how it went down.

The young lady to my right immediately placed her arm on the rest. She positioned her shoulder so her forearm rested entirely on the cushion, and her position yielded at the elbow. With that, I had a fraction of enough armrest to simply place my right elbow at the back of the rest. Now, the young lady to my left didn’t go for the armrest. In fact, she may placed only half of her right hand on the front tip of the rest, giving me all the room in the world.

I didn’t know what those positions mean’t. Could it have been that the armrest to your left would be classified as being yours? Maybe. All I knew was the man/woman thing seemed to have been tossed out of the window entirely. As I tried to slide just a little more arm onto my right rest, I could not help but to feel a little less manly. Not to say that I felt feminine, but I did not feel entirely dominant. Then, I started to think that maybe the armrest was all physical. I am a bit taller than the young lady that sat to my left, yet the young lady to my right towers over me when she wears boots, which is mostly the case whenever I see her. Could the armrest be a size issue? When I go to the movies with my homeboy, Big Southwest, I automatically give up the idea of resting my arm. I just do not go for it. It’s unfathomable. Big Southwest is much bigger than I. I mean, this brother looms over me. I mean, this brother knows the top of my head like I know women’s feet. Could dominance be the key term here?

Needless to say, I took my place on the pecking order and fit in accordingly. I took just a little of the right and a lot of the left. Didn’t fully matter anyway. I am left-handed. This was just an interesting experience for me. I wonder if the feeling of dominance is innate for human beings. Is that why people subconsciencously rest their arms on the shoulders of those shorter than they? That is an issue I dealt with my entire life and is an extreme pet peeve of mine. Do not rest your elbow on my shoulder. I am not furniture. I’m sorry for that rant. Yes, back to the armrest.

What are your thoughts and experiences with the armrest?


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