Monday, December 15, 2014

One Nice Thing

We even got there early. But not early enough. We see a lot of movies and we always go to the matinee, it's cheaper, there's fewer people, and the timing fits in with how we organize our days on the weekend. We went to see "The Imitation Game" and were confronted with a wall of people all heading to the same movie. We got the last two seats. The fellow, whose sold us many tickets in the past, joked that my seating was pretty much guaranteed, where Joe would sit was up for grabs. We received assurances that if we couldn't sit together we could return our tickets and go to a later showing.

I pulled into the wheelchair seat. An older man was sitting in the companion seat and he had stuff piled up on the seat next to him. The theatre was packed. Joe got me in and then headed to the toilet. I leaned over and asked the man if he could move over one seat so that Joe could sit next to me. He was startled that I was talking to him and it took him a few seconds to focus on what I was saying. I had to explain again.

He pointed to a seat in the next row saying, "I could sit there." I said that he could or he could simply move one over. He thought about it for a second when a person behind said, "Why are you asking him to move? He has a right to his seat." I turned to her and said, "He does have a right to his seat. The seat he is in is companion seating for those of us in wheelchairs. I will need assistance during the movie, I don't want to be whispering across to my partner in order to get his attention. Would you like the exact details of the assistance I will need or have I quelled your assumption of my being a selfish cripple?" She sat back like I'd offended her deeply.

The fellow got up and said to her, "I really didn't need your help in dealing with a reasonable request from this nice young man." Then he turned to me and said, "If you do one nice thing, each day, for someone else, your life will not have been lived in vain." I agreed. He moved to the seat he'd chosen. I took off my jacket and put it on the seat next to me, saving it for Joe's return.

After the lights went off, the only drama we experienced was on the screen.

Thankfully.

10 comments:

CL said...

I find it really sad that after all the times people have mistreated you in public with nobody intervening, someone speaks up to say that you're being unreasonable. However, it's really great that the man stood up for you.

It seems like you're getting more assertive lately... I like it!

Mary said...

I know this is a bit of a tangent, but how did you find the film? I've heard a mix of good and bad about it.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

The feisty Dave is fun. There are helpful people, and then there are busybodies. And there are helpful people who are clumsy and awkward when they want to help.

Keep on educating.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Mary, We loved the movie. As did the audience who responded really, really positively to the film.

Kris S. said...

Bonus points for getting called a "nice young man."

Amy Dietrich Hernandez said...

Nice.

Rachel in Idaho said...

My grandma refers to anybody under about 60 as a "nice young man" or "nice young woman" - but then, she's 94! It's all in the perspective. :)

What I can't figure out here is why that other person tried to interfere. You asked him to move, he agreed. There was no problem there, as there were obviously other available seats, and he wasn't bothered by your asking. "Normal" people ask other people in theaters to move all the time so they can sit with the folks they came with, so why can't YOU, hmmm?

B. said...

That was fun, - your straight talking and the fellow's somewhat surprising straightforward reaction. Kind of like a good punch-line. thanks, Dave.

Mary said...

Thanks Dave. I trust your judgement and look forward to seeing it!

Anonymous said...

Aha . . . trapped by a "why" question. You have my permission to advise anyone who asks you "why" and to whom you are not accountable to say - "you seem to mistake me for someone who owes you an explanation . . ." or words to that effect