Last week I went to our football team’s away game at Ole Miss. The drive was fun. The tailgating was fun. And the game was fun. But, there was one dark spot on my day. When we entered the stadium and found our section, row, and seats we learned that people had already taken them and those seats all around them.
Well, not wanting to fight through that crowd to get to our seats (the add on to the stadium was very space-inefficient) we decided to take the two closest seats we could find on the next row up. Another reason we chose to do this was because every single person around us was not in their assigned seat, either…..save one older couple behind us (you’ll hear about them in a bit).
Now, enter the family from hell.
We have seats 6 and 7. Turns out this family has seats 1-6. They walked right up to me-no, my girlfriend-and rudely state that we are in their seats followed by the words, “You need to move now.” Now, it’s worth clarifying that these aren’t actual seats; it’s just a row of bleachers with numbers spaced evenly apart for designated “seats”.
I immediately put my girlfriend on the other side of me and explain to them that someone has our seats and we cannot even get to our seats because so many people are between us and our seats and the stadium is so tiny. I’m talking so tiny that when I sit down I have to turn at an angle or else my knees are in the back of the guy in front of me. Back to the story, though. So, we exchange some not so kind words and they finally leave us alone after we scoot over enough to take up maybe a fourth of seat 6.
Enter the people who hold seat 7 and 8. Now, seats 8-11 are also held by people who are not in their assigned seats. But because the owners of seat 7 and 8 are to my right I have to deal with them. Guess what? They are cool with it. They know how it goes. No doubt from sitting in the student section at our games in Auburn. (It’s first come first serve there). They actually take two seats behind us and at an angle. No muss no fuss. Problem averted.
This is where that older couple I mentioned in the introduction comes in. I can’t say enough about how kind they were. They moved over enough to let those two sit by them. They talked to them and mentioned how they had saw us try to get to our seats and that we really had nowhere to sit.
But, here is the kicker. While discussing arrangements with those two guys the family to my right (more specifically the wife) decides to become involved in it all. That didn’t go well…especially since it wasn’t their business. She decides to try and tell me we need to move. I sigh and tell her if it’s still a problem to her than she is welcome to go find a police officer or stadium employee and we can sort this all out. I mean, I would love to actually have my assigned seats. She scoffs and says I need to find the officer since I have a problem.
This was my favorite part-I laughed. And while chuckling I told her I didn’t have a problem…..she did. After all, she was the aggressive initiator. Finally her son, who goes to Auburn, asked her to calm down and she turned away from me.
Now, I understand we were partially in one of their seats. And they had every right to ask us to move. But, to be a total ass about it and try to force me to move only made my resolve to stay that much stronger. I’m just the type person where if someone is nice and obliging I will work with them. But, I’m also the type to purposefully be stubborn and not cooperate with someone who has no respect for me and thinks they can bully me. The guys behind us….if they had said they really need these seats they have nowhere else and where they are is too cramped….I would have looked at Katelynn and said, “We need to find another spot.” Not kidding-they were awesome. And they are in the right.
What the family should have done was get a cop or official that worked in the stadium. Hell, the stadium even had a sign for a number you text when there are seating problems. I wouldn’t have minded at all if an official of some sort came because he/she could have solved our seating problem, as well. But, I refused to be bullied. Period. And this family was trying to bully me out of the seat instead of asking politely.
Why didn’t I just call the officials in the first place? Because we actually got to the game rather early. It’s just our seats were in the middle and that was the area everyone congregated to for seats. So at the time the outer areas were wide open. Add that to the fact that everyone around me was saying how no one was in their assigned seats and I never thought it’d be a problem. In my mind, whoever had my seat…..well, someone had theirs, who in turn had theirs, and so on down the line. Everyone had a seat available somewhere in the stadium. That is evidenced by the tickets. I never dreamed it would become a nightmare until this family entered the picture.
But after the game I realized something. Yes, there are jerks in the world. And they will not ask you politely. They will not be nice. And they will harass you. But there are also really great people in the world. People who work with you. Help you out. Cut you some slack. See someone with a problem and do their best to make things right. It’s a balance. And in the end everything worked out. As it always will.