THROWDOWN AT THE PRE-SCHOOL GRADUATION

June is the month for graduations, and I have been to three of them in the last couple of weeks.  The first one was for my grandson’s transition from elementary to middle school.  Only a certain amount of tickets were given out for each family, and this was strictly enforced with staff positioned at each entry.  I know some people found this annoying, but at least they had a head count and knew precisely how many people could be seated at the church where the graduation took place.

The second graduation was at UCLA where my son-in-law was receiving his degree.  This celebration was unique and was only the fourth one of its kind.  The children of the graduates, who were decked out in a mini cap and gown, were able to walk across the stage with their parents, which two of my grandchildren were able to do.  It’s a great concept, because it gives the children a foretaste of what they can achieve later in their own lives and helps them feel apart of the victorious moment.  This graduation went off without a hitch, because most of the students are not parents, and the ones that are don’t opt for this option for various reasons.  That means there isn’t the masses you would normally expect at a UCLA graduation.  There wasn’t a limit on the amount of tickets, because it wasn’t necessary.  In fact there were still some seats left in the auditorium where it was held.

The last one was a graduation from the pre-school two of my granddaughters attend.  Rows of seats were set up on the asphalt in back of the school.  This was expected to be a small gathering, because the whole pre-school wasn’t involved, only the kids from the accelerated reading program the school offers.  However, though I consider this a good thing, people tend to invite their extended families  to performances and graduations at this school.  My granddaughters, between the two of them, had 14 family members on hand to cheer them on, which was a little over the top, but that’s how we do it.  Fortunately, we live close by and were there in plenty of time to grab seats even though we couldn’t all sit together and were not all able to partake of the seats covered by a canopy to ward off the heat.

This is where things started to get sticky and not just because it’s June in Southern California.  In the row in front of us was a man and woman saving three seats for relatives who had not yet arrived.  There were still a few scattered seats here and there, but they were quickly being filled.  Two ladies came in together and one of the more assertive ones insisted on taking the seat next to the woman who was saving it.  “Your relatives aren’t here, so these seats are available,” she insisted.  The woman who was saving the seats was obviously not one to back down either and a backwards and forwards monologue ensued with each of them refusing to budge and the assertive woman’s backside encased resolutely in the formerly saved chair.  The lady who was with her obviously wanted to avoid unpleasant confrontation and was content to sit in the vacant seat next to me in the second row.  When the relatives of the woman saving the seats showed up, they found somewhere else to sit, which displeased the woman greatly, but, after a few mumbled complaints, she let the matter drop.

I don’t know how I feel about this seat saving issue, having been on both sides of the fence.  One of my daughters feels that it’s okay to save seats until the event is about to begin, and, in theory, I can see that, but what if the lights go down at that point and you can’t see where you are going, or what if all the seats are taken by then?  Sometimes the guests of the seat savers never even show up.  So for anyone who has an opinion on this matter, what’s your take?  Who should be the one to comply.  People can have really strong feelings about this matter and, instead of road rage, they exhibit seat rage.  What would you have done under these conditons to avoid a throwdown at the pre-school graduation? 

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