We have been waiting since to see 'August Rush' ever since we saw the trailers at the movie theatre. It opened here in the UK yesterday and we headed out to see the film first thing this morning. We went to the Trafford Centre, a shopping center whose imagination matched it's proportions. We found a disabled parking spot near the entry and headed in.
When we got to the kiosk to buy the ticket, the lovely woman who greeted us warmly, took money for only one ticket but handed us two. I'm immensely honest about these things and pointed out that she had made an error, we'd only paid for one ticket. She smiled and said that Joe did not have to pay for a ticket because he was my carer and was there to provide me assistance.
Off we went. My first thought was ... "Cool, free admission." Joe and I found seats and then he went back to get popcorn. I sat there, in the semi dark, and thought about his free ticket. I was really honest about her mistake about the money but was feeling dishonest about accepting the free ticket. Here's what went around in my head ....
Joe does provide me with assistance, getting in and out, getting popcorn and treats.
Joe and I had every intention of seeing the film, Joe is seeing it because he wants to, not because he's there with me.
Joe does 'care' for me but is not my 'carer'.
I probably make way more, I mean way more, money than the woman working at the theatre, I can really afford to pay for my ticket, Joe can afford to pay for his.
This is a benefit for all disabled people, let it go.
I'm kind of stealing from the people who made the movie.
It's an extra four pounds in my pocket.
I'm reinforcing disability stereotype.
Finally when Joe came back from getting the popcorn and pop, we talked about it. At first he was a bit annoyed ... the 'why do you always have to think about everything' kind of annoyed. Then after a few minutes he said that we should have refused the free ticket. Then a few minutes later he said, 'Well, maybe not.'
We agreed that we didn't know what was best to do ... or even if it matters a whole lot in the scheme of things. After the movie, which I cried through, we stopped for lunch and talked the ticket thing over again. Finally deciding to have a poll .... here on the blog ...
So here's the question:
Should people with disabilities who do not need a benefit turn it down? Should we have refused the free ticket and paid for Joe's seat?