"I was hoping to see you!!" He dashes out the store with a big grin on his face. He wears huge, HUGE glasses and speaks with a breathy cadence - one adopted by many a drag queen. He runs a store, around the corner from where I live, that sells bobbles and bangles and beads. I shop there regularly. Typically I point to something in the window and his daughter (there is story there but I've not yet asked) comes out bringing me the things I want to see. We've become very friendly, chatting about typical kinds of stuff. They know all about Ruby and Sadie as we've bought things for them from the shop for Gay Pride day. We know all about where they vacation. Chat stuff.
Anyways, over the last several months they've been updating me on their desire to have the store made wheelchair accessible. It's a very old building, built long before the idea that people with disabilities might not be so 'bound' by bed and chair. These buildings are so seldom ever adapted, at least around me here, that I thought their struggles with their landlord were 'cute' but probably completely futile. What I did like was the fact that they cared about their shop being wheelchair accessible and that they care about me as a customer. They never once, ever once, made a big deal out of serving me outside. I never made a big deal about not being able to get in because I didn't have to - they did that for me.
So yesterday I was pulling up to the store to see their new Halloween windows - it's their biggest time of the year. And he flew out of the store. Even in pants, he walks like he's in a gown! He called to his daughter and they both proudly showed me the new ramp that they'd had installed. They'd been waiting for me to come by and see their achievement. During the conversation I learned that daughter wanted dad to open the store so he had somewhere to store his dresses! She is not the sequin type but clearly loves daddy, who is. Gotta love families that work!
We all celebrated their achievement, I promised next time I came by to head into the store itself, Joe and I were a bit rushed to go in at that moment and when I go in, I want to shop. SHOP.
Maybe that's exactly why they wanted their shop to accommodate my chair - because the chair carried a true, to the bone shopper!
But whatever the reason, I was touched that someone cared, someone fought, someone won a battle - for me and for all who would want equal access to size thirteen stilettos and drop dead gorgeous rainbow wigs.