I arrived early at the cinema armed with my large bag of popcorn and drink. Scanning the seats I picked one perfectly in the middle, three-quarters the way towards the back. I began to enjoy the best part of the show; people coming in, negotiating with each other as to where “they” wanted to sit and watch the show.
It was proceeding quietly and orderly until the scene. It was so simple that nobody could understand the issue.
Two couples arrived about ten minutes before the show. Given the time and even though it was filling up quickly there were several options. As they negotiated between themselves two rows in front of me became their number one choice. As the lead gentleman looked down the seats he easily deduced that if a block of four people in the middle shifted just one seat to the left that his group would fit just right of center.
Asked he asked the three others to wait in the isle, he excused himself and quietly went up to the four to see if there was an option available. “Are the three seats available? Is that single seat available?” The request was gentle and soothing.
Yes and yes were the answers.
“Would it be possible for you to move over one seat so that we could sit together?”
The couple on the far left moves and he thanks them. One of the two women in the center refuses and he asked why. She ignores his question.
Since I was directly behind her I leaned over and check out the seat she was in trying to see if that was a better sight line. Nothing special! We could not hear her answer so everyone strained to hear the follow-up questions. She refused to acknowledge him as a person or move. It was her choice, her right.
Resolution only came when the authorities moved in and took over; the sense of anger and frustration was real.
“A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person; a heartfelt present cools a hot temper.” (Proverbs 21.14)