We entered the theatre. They have only two disabled seating spaces. The one on the right, the side we'd entered, had been taken. I raced across the theatre to get to the other side and managed to grab the space. When you go to see a play or the opera broadcast from afar into your local cinema, the crowd tends to be a fair bit older and the disabled seats are hotly contested. I was in place, Joe and our two friends had seats right beside me. We were in and we were staying put.
The play we were going to see was Macbeth and it was being broadcast by National Theatre Live and the showing had sold out. There was a fair bit of action around us as others tried to find seats. A bus load of seniors had arrived with a 'minder' (which is something quite different from a 'support staff') who kept treating them like an errant group of kindergarten children who constantly defied her will. The seniors simply didn't listen to, I saw one turn his hearing aid off - letting everyone know that he wasn't going to listen to her instructions about how to go to a movie with a large group of other seniors - they were a defiant bunch.
Her goal was to get them all together in the theatre, row up on row of seniors. They, however, had other plans. The got into the theatre and scattered. Sitting in pairs, sitting alone, sitting in small groups of three or four. Some sat down near the front, others in the middle near us, some in the seats lining the walkway, but one, rebel that she was, climbed the stairs to sit much further back.
I know all this because when everyone was in and scattered, the minder came forward, a few rows ahead of us and counted them all, like you see them do with groups of kiddies on an outing. I get the need to know everyone is in and none have gone missing. I do. It was the very public way that she was off to the side and pointing and counting. I know it can be done discretely because I've done it discretely. You don't need to make a show of yourself and when you do, it's usually because you want all about to know that you are a 'carer' out 'caring' and ain't that special.
The reason I know about the woman who climbed the seats to sit further back and higher up was because the 'minder' couldn't find her in the count. Eventually she spotted the woman up in the bleacher seats and said, "Oh, she's gone up the stairs, we were all supposed to stay down in these seats here."
Eventually the minder took her seat, alone, opened the big binder she was carrying and began checking through pages and making notations. This was her workplace and we would all see her work.
In all this though, I was impressed by the spunk and the spirit of the seniors, who wouldn't be told, wouldn't be corralled, wouldn't simply follow the rules set for them. They simply went about doing what they wanted to be doing and let the 'minder' adapt to them. None of them were rude while breaking the rules, but they all broke the rules.
And we all know, don't we, that some rules simply beg to be broken.