Yeah, rock on.....
What the hell am I talking about now?
Let me set the scene....
*An absolutely gorgeous early summer night at a lovely venue.
*An outdoor concert--Paul Rodgers
*Amazing seats---directly in the middle, in the second section, "on the floor"
*The audience was filled with 50-somethings like us---people who appreciated some good rock and who wanted to let the music take us back to those years before kids and careers and retirement accounts.
Like I said--we had great seats. Because we were "on the floor", our seats were of the folding chair variety. To keep things orderly, the chairs were tightly tethered together with plastic bands. As soon as we sat down, it appeared to me that the seats were way too close for comfort. But, considering they were attached to each other, there was not much that could be done. However, it occurred to me that the spacing would not accommodate a larger person. Yes, I always think of those things.....
As we sat in our row, bantering with other concert goers, people were getting to their seats and going off to get beers and wine or snacks. The couple in front of us were cuddling, enjoying their libations and popcorn and the beautiful night. As people moved about, the couple thoughtfully moved when needed so that people could get past. Then, a few minutes before the start of the concert, a very large woman and her friend entered the row---sitting next to the cuddling couple. From the second they sat down, it was clear that the arrangement would not do. The couple tried to move around to get comfortable but because of the spacing, it was impossible. After a few tries, the man decided to get up and fetch the usher for help. Moments later, a thin, attractive female usher entered the row--snapping her scissors and ordering everyone--beginning with the larger woman--to move out of the row. She announced that she was going to snip all the plastic bands so that "everyone could fit".
With the concert starting in just a few moments--no one was very happy to be displaced from their seats or distracted from what was going to be happening on the stage in just a few moments. It was quite a production of people moving into the already crowded aisles and the usher snipping each chair and moving them so that everyone could fit. I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. To me--it was a clear announcement that there was a fat woman in the row. It was obvious that her size was what caused everyone to have to move and be disgruntled.
My heart ached.
I'm not sure if there's anyone to really blame--except for maybe the venue--they crammed as many high priced seats as they could into the area. They never even gave it a thought that it would be difficult for a larger person to fit comfortably! Of course, I don't blame the man who went to get the usher---we all paid quite a bit for those seats so I get it. And, I don't blame the larger woman--she had no idea the seats would be so closely tethered together that she would cause discomfort to others. I will say that I think the usher acted insensitive in how she approached the row--with her scissors "snipping" and saying that she had to make room for everyone to fit. She definitely drew attention to the situation. She could have done it more discreetly. Perhaps she was just trying to appear light and humorous. I doubt it was humorous to the larger woman. I'm guessing the usher was so immersed in the project that she didn't even realize the impact. As it was going on, I watched the larger woman--wondering what she thought, how she felt. Did she even know? Yes, I'm sure she did. I kept wondering what I would have done if it were me. Five years ago--it could have been me. Would I be so outraged that I would say something to the usher? Would I have sat in shame the rest of the night? Would I have left immediately? Would I need someone or something to blame? Would I never go back to a concert--even though I love them? Would I cry? Would I silently sit in prayer--asking God to help me to finally lose weight? Would I be filled with anger and rage?
I will never know those answers because I never had to endure a situation like that.
But, I could have!
Why do overweight people have to suffer such indignities?
It just makes me sad that at a concert where the music was wonderful and the experience was one to cherish---it was diminished for this woman.
I hope the rock soothed her soul.