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JayMac: Simultaneously horrified by and proud of my daughter

The Megaplex theatres in Utah were one of the last groups to close when social distancing first began. And like moviegoers across the state, they are looking forward to safely watching a film on the big screen.

DISCLAIMER: the following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.

Last night, at the same moment, I was strangely horrified and proud. My wife and I and my oldest daughter were attending a school play, which one of my other daughters is in.

Let me set the scene for you: you can hear every sound in this small theater. Someone dropped a Mike and Ike candy, and you could hear it throughout the theater. There is no music in this play, only dialogue.

Behind us, someone was eating with their mouth open. This person was chewing so loudly that it was distracting from the play. Thunderous. I could tell that the people around us were distraught.

“That’s the loudest chewing I’ve ever heard in my life,” my wife whispered in my ear. But I decided that I would do nothing and just deal with it.

At that very moment — it’s burned in my brain –my oldest daughter turned around, tapped this person on the knee and said, “Would you mind chewing with your mouth closed?”

I couldn’t believe it. I curled up in a ball. I was like, oh no, she didn’t. I wanted to run out of the theater.

The person didn’t say a word, just stop stopped chewing. But that could have turned ugly, in a hundred different ways. There could have been a news report on KSL’s Morning Drive about an altercation at a school play in Lehi. I felt so badly for this individual who now had to sit there and be embarrassed. I wondered what I had ever done to train my daughter to think that that is what you do. But I also thought of how proud I was of her — talk about self-assured and confident.

About three minutes later, he started chewing with his mouth open again. And I was like, see, it didn’t even work.

Then, my daughter turned around and in the nicest voice said to him, “Seriously, it’s very loud.”

My daughter has come to a place where she would not want to be a distraction to other people around her and not know it; she would want to know. She would want to be treated the same way in this case.

After the intermission, they went and sat someplace else. I felt bad for them. But I also understand my daughter’s perspective. My daughter had no ill will in her heart, but she was also so brave and bold. I’m still blown away.

I think we have lost the ability to communicate kindly and in a civilized way, so I was shocked this person did not get back in my daughter’s face.

From their responses, most of my listeners whole-heartedly supported my daughter in her act of bravery. She texted back to say, “I’m glad the public is behind me” — with a crying, smiley-face emoji.

Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Don’t forget to review and subscribe to the JayMac News Show podcast on Apple Podcasts. Or follow Jay on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.