Saturday, October 28, 2006

Walking Robson

"I'm not going to do it," my voice was resolute. "No way, not this trip!" Joe and I were pulling into Vancouver having driven down the sunshine coast in pouring rain (hmmmmm) and alighted from the ferry. We were talking about the day we were going to spend in the city as our flight home takes off Saturday morning. There is a store I particularly like on Robson Street and Joe wondered aloud if we would go there like we usually do.

My reaction was swift. "Not on your life."

It takes courage for a fat guy to walk on Robson Street. Vancouver, in my experience, is the most fat phobic city on the continent. Every time, that's every time, I walk on Robson someone in a car hollers out, "Lardass, Fatso, Piggypiggypiggy." And I don't feel up to making the walk. Some other fat person can take on the responsibility for integrating Robson. Me, I'll stick to Davies - they are nicer over there.

Then I remembered listening to the self advocates the other day talking about teasing and bullying and life in the mainstream. They hated it but they understood that for them the cost of community was higher than it was for everyone else. I, of course, encouraged them. Let them know what they were doing - that they were making it easier for every person with a disability that followed them, that they were standing up to bigots, that they had a rightful place in the community and that they shouldn't give it up to anyone for anything.

Damn.

I meant those words.

But I really don't feel like walking Robson. I don't want to feel the tension of waiting for it to happen, expecting it to happen, fearing it happening. I don't want to deal with that - today. Shouldn't everyone have a day off from difference? From having to walk Robson?

But I believe that anyone should be allowed to go anywhere. I don't understand "white only" signs. I admire those that stand up for their rights - or sit down at their rightful place at the table. Really, I do. Seriously, I get it.

Fine.

It's just before seven in the morning here. At 11 o'clock today, I'm hitting Robson. Writing about this has been good for me. It helped me find my backbone again.

Hey, not only am I going to walk on Robson. I'm going to sit on a bench and eat Cheezies.

Take that Vancouver.

10 comments:

Susan said...

I admire your courage to Walk Robson. And I also wonder if part of self advocacy has to do with knowing when you want to hold 'em and when you want to fold 'em? I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience!

Belinda said...

A guy was on my tail when I left work the other day, pushing me to drive faster than I was. I must have annoyed him because I was going slightly under the speed limit, unintentionally. I didn't notice him (or her, but I assumed it was "he," unfairly, I admit) until the loud blast of the horn jolted me into upping my speed. I was headed for an intersection on rain-slicked roads, when at 200 feet the light turned yellow. I was going fast, but I was not going to let the person behind me push me through an intersection I didn't want to go through, so, still spooked, I put on my brakes. That did not sit well with the person on my tail and they had to swerve quickly, going around me to the left, honking again, and going through a red light. Why am I telling you this? Well, they went on up the road and I felt sorry for them that they were who they were. I got to still be "me". And maybe there's something in this story that echoes Susan's reminder that we always have a choice.

Belinda said...

A guy was on my tail when I left work the other day, pushing me to drive faster than I was. I must have annoyed him because I was going slightly under the speed limit, unintentionally. I didn't notice him (or her, but I assumed it was "he," unfairly, I admit) until the loud blast of the horn jolted me into upping my speed. I was headed for an intersection on rain-slicked roads, when at 200 feet the light turned yellow. I was going fast, but I was not going to let the person behind me push me through an intersection I didn't want to go through, so, still spooked, I put on my brakes. That did not sit well with the person on my tail and they had to swerve quickly, going around me to the left, honking again, and going through a red light. Why am I telling you this? Well, they went on up the road and I felt sorry for them that they were who they were. I got to still be "me". And maybe there's something in this story that echoes Susan's reminder that we always have a choice.

Belinda said...

Sorry for posting the same message twice!

Anonymous said...

So was the trip to Robson St. worth it? I hate Robson St and I am one of those annoying skinny white girls lol. Actually I just hate Vancouver period, people are just ignorant there. Ok, so what was the point to this post? Oh right, did you enjoy it? I just love the the 3 story Chapters Book Store there. If I am ever forced to enter that area of town then I must pay Chapters a visit to at least make it worth it.

Lily said...

Pass the Cheesies, please.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please do pass the chezzies, but only the real ones, you know, the crunchy kind ;-)

Dave Hingsburger said...

Yes, it was worth it, if only to make a point to myself. Ended up with a pleasing dusting of agent orange (or whatever they use to make cheezies) all over my black jeans. The best cheezies are Hawkins, they are super crunchy and super cheesy.

Anonymous said...

Hawkins are the ONLY real cheezy haha. I actually remember you mentioning them when you were here in PR about 10 or so yr ago. If I recall you mentioned that these were not available in the US. Too bad, they are missing out ;-)

lina said...

everyday I have a new realization of what a sheltered life I lead, wow again, truth is stranger then fiction. I can't believe this is a true story - I mean I believe but wow - when you think about it - it's really unbelievable. I know I need to take off my rose coloured glasses - but I know that Robson is also in toronto and everywhere else I have been - and yet still it's close to impossible to comprehend. But I do imagine and I do believe ....and some day .....hmm