It all started with getting gas.
We were parked at the station and Joe was in paying. I was looking at posters stuck up in the window of the gas station and noticed one that announced that Anarchy in Angus 2 was finally here. On the poster were four guys making 'angry he-man' faces, fists up. When Joe got in the car I pointed the picture out to him and said, "Let's go!" He looked at me and said, "You are kidding, right?" I told him that we were in a rut, we should do something different than we'd ever done before and that wrestling fit that description. In a second, Joe as into the spirit of the thing and we bought tickets right then.
The doors opened at 6 and we were there shortly after. I wasn't sure what they'd do for wheelchair seating and I wanted to be able to be up close. This, I was absolutely certain, would be the only time I would ever go to wrestling so I wanted to actually experience it close up. Wheeling in, I noticed something odd, people quietly and without fuss made room for the chair and absolutely no fuss was made about getting seats. The ring was in the center of the gym and movable chairs were set up on it's four sides. "Push aside any seat you want," was the instruction given.
As the crowd arrived they were clearly in the mood for a good time and people were grabbing places to sit and, true to advertising, there was a fair degree of orderly anarchy in Angus. Rows grew and shrunk as chairs were grabbed and moved. For a while I had two people in front of me, then four, then one as people got settled in.
When the wrestling started, I was impressed with the showmanship and with how hard the guys and gals worked to give the crowd a fun time. The kids were in heaven. One boy in front of me said to his friend after a spectacular lift and drop (do not expect me to know wrestling terms) "It just doesn't get better than this."
And for awhile for me, it didn't, as far as anyone was concerned I could have been sitting in a regular chair. No stares, no pointing, no notice, nothing. Everyone was fixed on having a good time and it was an egalitarian evening.
Last week we went to a play, we saw, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and though the staff at the theatre were nice, several people made a big deal about stepping around the chair, about the fact that I sit tall in my chair, about having to wait for me to push into the theatre. People who would sneer down their noses at a wrestling crowd did the same to me.
But not here.
As costumed men and wild women slammed each other down on the mat I was just part of the crowd.
Before going that evening I had made a joke, a few times, about what I expected. "I'm more afraid," I said, "about the people attending than I am of the guys wrestling."
That was a snobbish thing to say.
I was wrong.