I've only walked out of two movies in my entire life: "Seven," the 1995 thriller starring Kevin Spacey as a psychopath who went on a killing spree using the biblical seven deadly sins as his theme (I couldn't get past lust), and, this week, "Avengers: Infinity War."
Here's why I left: Let's start with the fact that the Incredible Hulk gets his behind kicked in the opening scene. One of the quirkiest things about me is my lifelong obsession with the Hulk and this opening scene triggered flashbacks to his airplane death in the 1990 made-for-tv movie, which I've never recovered from. Second, there was my nine-year-old daughter covering her eyes and screaming, "Mommy I don't wanna see this!," which made me realize my third reason: I didn't want to see it either.
After the first 20 minutes it was obvious that the movie's intended audience was my husband and twelve-year-old son, anyway. So I grabbed my daughter's hand, my overpriced bucket of popcorn, and walked out. During the cab ride home my daughter expressed how relieved she was that we left but also her disbelief over our abandonment of a movie we had already paid for. She wanted to leave, but she wasn't sure we should have left given the investment we had already made. It hit me that her dilemma was a common problem for women. We are taught to push through, to never let anyone down after we've already committed, to endure even at our own expense. Our sacrifice results in an galactic battle between our sense of obligation and our instincts for self-preservation. Sadly, we often lose to our own selves.
The next time you're in a situation where you feel pulled between your own needs and that of others, whether it's a toxic friendship or a job that's sucking your soul, just ask yourself, "Will staying (or continuing) jeopardize my long term well being?" If the answer is yes, use your superhuman speed to get out of there. When I asked my daughter if she felt staying to watch "Infinity War" would have jeopardized her long term wellbeing she exclaimed, "TOTALLY. I would have had nightmares for the rest of my life!" I told her that based on that answer, we had made the right decision. She agreed with me, especially after we got home and did exactly what we wanted to do—made tea and popcorn and had a pajama party.