Wednesday, May 27, 2015

An Afternoon at the Movies: The First of Many Parts

Photo Description: a big red star, outline in gold with the words The MOVIES written across. 
Yesterday we had a day off, with nothing we had to do, So, of course, we went to a matinee. We love catching the first movie of the day, There are fewer people there and it leaves a fair bit of the afternoon to do other things. We got to the theater, got our tickets and headed on in to the auditorium.

They had two spaces where people with disabilities could sit next to someone and two spaces where there were spaces for people in wheelchairs but no seats for anyone without their own chair. There were already two people with disabilities there, both with significant disabilities, who were with staff. The sat on either end of a row with their staff sitting beside them. OK those spots were taken.

Joe and I began to look at where we'd take up residence. One of the staff calls to us and tells us that we can sit 'there.' We looked to see where 'there' was and saw that it was at the far right of the theatre. I could back my chair up against a seat and Joe would sit in the remaining chair. I could immediately see several problems with this arrangement:

It was at the far right of the auditorium which doesn't give a great view of the screen.

It wasn't designed for wheelchair seating so I'd be sticking way out and thought I wouldn't be in the way, I don't like sticking way out.

It still wouldn't be possible to sit beside Joe as he'd be behind me in that seat.

I told the staff that I didn't want to stick out and feel that I was in the way. She spoke up and began to tell me, in more assertive tones, that I wouldn't be in the way and that I should sit there. I said, again, that I didn't want to sit there. She started up again, trying to coerce / convince me that that's where I should sit.

I wanted this to end. I am capable of picking a seat. I said, "Thanks but I don't need your help."

She sat back in her seat as if slapped.

She was annoyed.

A disabled person hadn't done what she had instructed them to do.

This upset the natural order of her day.

Joe and I chose where to sit. He sat in the row behind and over my left shoulder and I sat in the row in middle front nearly but not quite directly in front of him in one of the other spaces for wheelchair users to sit. It was a good solution, the best in the circumstances.

Joe, once we were in place, leaned forward and said one word, "Staff."

"Yep, she's staff," I said, "the power kind."


CapriUni said...

Humph! The only Power Staff I want in my life is the kind carried by Gandalf (Then, I might be able to zap the other kind with a "mute" spell)!

Cindy said...

You could have said "Thanks but my husband I will work out what's best for us" That would have stopped her too, I think.

Andrea S. said...

But, CapriUni, if you get a Gandalf-style Power Staff then EVERYone will want one! Which I know because now *I* want one! Except for mine, in lieu of the "mute" spell, I would probably substitute a spell for making hearing people ACTUALLY WRITE when I explain that lip reading isn't working and I need them to please write what they're saying. But certainly "mute" would be a great spell to have when in proximity to the OTHER kind of Power Staff.

Anonymous said...

So you didn't do what the STAFF told you to do??? The nerve of some people's children!

AnyBeth said...

Reminds me of a similar "power" staff I crossed paths with at a Christmas party consisting mostly of stroke and TBI survivors. Sometimes one of my limbs (preferably left arm) does this quick, dancy, semi-voluntary motion, and this happened at the party. That staff person was the only one who batted an eye at the odd movement and boy did he! He gave me a look of such disdain, clearly indicating he thought that action ought to be controlled. Like, how dare I be allowed out if I do such things! This movement that hurt no one made me a disgusting thing in his eyes. Very upsetting. And this is how he treated strangers with disabilities.

Cindy said...

This comment is for Andrea! I belong to a dog site on Facebook and Pat has a blind dog name Lily. She also has another dog named Daisy and this is she posted yesterday about her walk.

I went for our daily long walk and i had to smile at what a lady said today, Lily has a her pink vest on and her collar cover reading "I am Blind", so their we are Daisy, Lily and me just walking through a gate into the second field. A lady was coming towards the gate so i held it open for her, as she approached she said "oh my a deaf dog still she can learn hands signals, i believe they can you know". I replied "no doubt she would if she were deaf and could see", she then replied "my dear just do hand signals and i am sure she will fair better at passing through the gate without bumping into me". I then replied "actually she would do far better in passing through the gate if you stood to one side as she is blind". She then said "well like i say hand signals my dear, works wonders and manners will follow good bye", i giggled to myself as i trundled across the field.

Some people just don't get it, no mater what you say to them.

Andrea S. said...

Egad! They really don't, do they?!!