Sunday, February 03, 2013

Yo, Doug, Thanks for the Shake Up

Joe and I went to the opera and documented the trip in photos for my Facebook page, I've decided to occasionally do a series of pix with the theme 'Accessibility: the will is the way." Because, I think, if there is the will, the way follows and I wanted to demonstrate that. It was fun taking the photos and sending via phone. This is probably all old hat to you but it's all amazing trickery for me.

Also, through Facebook I found out that Celine, who is someone I met and liked a while back, was going to be at the same performance. We've kept in contact in kind of a really relaxed, semi formal way. We are going to have tea one day, by hook or crook. Anyways we managed to meet before the opera began, but only briefly because when you are seeing a five hour opera, you appreciate them starting on time. It was fun chatting with Celine because we make an odd pair. She's one of those incredibly fit people who run long distances because she likes to, I only tell you so that you know that I am comfortable with diversity.

We met again at intermission, all pretty much bleary eyed, Wagner wasn't into ACTION, so staying awake is part of the challenge. Anyways we mentioned to Celine and Doug that we arrived early to work out any kinks there would be with seating. We've had repeated problems at the Four Seasons Centre so our trust is a tad low. In fact there was a slight problem with our seating, one easily fixed, but still, come on! So when we mentioned to Doug, who does not work in the disability biz, that we have to be fairly vigilant in order to ensure that we get the seating we booked, he looked at us quizzically, and said, "But don't you just book accessible tickets with the Box Office?" Both Joe and I laughed and joked, "Oh, how naive!"

That was that.

But I've been thinking about that little interchange for a while and I'm so glad it happened. Really, really, glad in fact. You see I think I was getting used to the fact that accessibility and accessible seating was a complicated business. In fact, just before we left Joe broke my heart by saying that he'd been worried for a couple of days about what kind of problems we were going to encounter. I never wanted my accessibility issues to become part of his enjoyment of something. But I suppose that's what happens when you have had problem after problem with just getting seats for a show.

But Doug's question brought me back to reality.

Yeah, it should be that simple.

Yeah it should be that dependable.

That's exactly it.

One little remark and I managed to right myself again. My thinking had come unstuck. I began to think that because there are always problems, problems are part of the process. It comes with the territory.


It doesn't.

It should be that simple.

You booked an accessible seat.

You get that seat.

Thanks Doug, glad to have made your acquaintance.

Blog Notice:

Donna Lee takes over the blog tomorrow with her thoughts on Forgiveness. Donna works on my team at Vita and I'm really pleased for you all to meet her and hear what she has to say.


re-fresh said...

Your right Dave. If "the will was the way" actually became the golden rule in putting others first, accessibility would not be an issue. Glad you and Joe enjoyed the opera :)

Celine said...

Doug's right. We book tickets and get the seats we want sans problème, you should be able to do exactly the same thing.

And I may be able to run marathon-like distances but, when it comes to marathon-length operas, you win hands down.

It was lovely, as always, to see you and Joe. Looking forward to a future tea date and more than ten minutes at a time to chat.

Purpletta said...

Dave, A good blog as always - I have to comment on your note about not wanting "my accessibility issues" to become an issue for Joe. While I totally get this in a sense of relationship and wanting to protect Joe from having to deal with it, what I immediately thought in reading this is that society's thinking, or a business's thinking, that the accessibility issues are "mine" or "yours," IS the problem in fact. The issues in their totality are OURS. Ours as a business, as patrons of the business, as a society. If one of us needs a ramp, and one of us needs an interpreter, and one of us doesn't need any of these things, we must all come together to see these as necessary for our collective enjoyment of the experience. Doug is right; it should be simple; it should just be a matter of letting the box office know...but if it is not as simple, it should be something we all worry about, we all take exception to... I am so glad you are doing the accessibility features through your Facebook page and hope your readership there expands many horizons. Thank you, Dave!

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I went to a movie on Friday, and they asked me where I wanted to sit. I said any open accessible seat. Each theater has two rows were a seat has been removed with companion seating next to it. And she said "Oh, if someone is there, I'll just tell them to move!"

In the past this same theater refunded my money because both accessible seats were full with (able-bodied) people who would not move.

And they have a new, more accessible stall in the bathroom too. Before they had one with bars, but there wasn't enough room to close the door with my wheelchair in there.

So progress is happening.