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A Man Is Suing His Date for Texting During ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

Empty movie theater
Alamy

It’s a story fit for a mediocre rom-com: A 37-year-old man from Austin, Texas is suing a woman for texting during a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And not just some random stranger, either — she was his date. In what he describes as “a first date from hell,” the woman allegedly refused to put her phone away and continued to text until he finally suggested she take the conversation outside. She did just that, taking her phone out of the theater, through the lobby, and out to the parking lot, where she drove off and left her date without a ride home.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Brandon Vezmar has filed a lawsuit against the woman in small claims court, seeking $17.31 — the price of admission to a 3D screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — in damages. Vezmar alleges that the woman “activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.” His petition claims that this “direct violation” of the theater’s policy “adversely” affected his viewing experience. “While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behavior is a threat to civilized society,” reads Vezmar’s petition (emphasis mine). What is this guy, the Batman of etiquette?

Vezmar also claims that when he asked her to stop texting, the woman refused, so he suggested that maybe she should go outside. Per Vezmar, the woman left the theater and never returned. She also took her car, leaving Vezmar without a ride since she had driven them both to the theater.

When reached for comment, the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Oh my god. This is crazy.” She was completely unaware of the claim filed against her, and maintains that she only texted “two or three times.” Like everyone who has ever texted in a theater and annoyed the people around them, the woman said, “I had my phone low and I wasn’t bothering anybody.”

She says she’ll be filing a protective order against Vezmar, who has contacted both the woman and her sister asking to be reimbursed for the cost of the movie ticket. The woman refused to pay him back because, she says, “he took me out on a date.”

But let’s give this some additional context before championing either of these people as heroes: Vezmar and the woman met where all day-walking, skin-crawling nightmares are born — an online dating site. Their first date was to see a movie, which is maybe the worst first date idea next to taking someone to a laxative tasting. You can’t get to know someone during a movie, where you sit next to each other in total silence for two hours. You know who chooses a movie for a first date? The kind of person who’s going to decide whether or not they want to see you again based entirely on your opinion of said movie.

Not to victim-blame or date-shame or whatever, but I’m just saying: would never go to a movie on a first date, and most of my cinephile friends would agree. Those who live in Austin (like me!) would also agree that you would definitely never take a date (first or otherwise) to see a movie at the Barton Creek Square Theater, which is where Vezmar and the defendant went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The people of Yelp have my back when I say it is one of the worst theaters in Austin. Everyone has a story about that theater, and more than one of them involves rats.

But maybe there’s no real hero or villain to this piece — even if the woman should NOT have been texting during the movie, and even if Vezmar’s claim is a bit zealous (it definitely is). Really, there’s no better ending to this story than the Statesman’s final line, sure to elicit at least a few dozen cries of “SAME”:

“I’m not a bad woman,” the woman told the Statesman. “I just went out on a date.”

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