Saturday, June 22, 2013
Tall Ships and Shade
(for my gay readers, the boat is behind the guy with his shirt off)
Yesterday afternoon we went down to the Tall Ships festival that's happening in Toronto this weekend. Joe and I had had this discussion a few days ago:
Joe: I've always wanted to go down and see the Tall Ships and maybe go on board.
Me: Why don't we go?
Joe: I don't think it's going to be accessible.
Me: If YOU want to go, I think we should go.
Joe: I don't like the idea of you just sitting and waiting for me as I go on board.
Me: Joe, do you remember when I was still walking?
Joe: Of course I do.
Me: And if I was still walking and we went to the Tall Ships, what would have happened?
Joe: You would have wanted to sit in the shade while I went on the boat.
Me: I had no interest in going on the boat, I can still sit in the shade now.
So, we went.
Some things aren't about accessibility for me. I have wanted to see the tall ships too ... but I've never wanted to board them. I think they are grand to look at ... from a distance. I had a lovely time sitting in the shade and wandering around on a lovely afternoon. We had a bite to eat, shopped at one of the booths, chatted with some folks and wandered around. It was great.
I did for fun ask one of the people at an information stand if any of the boats were accessible. Her response was a dismissive 'no' while looking at me like I was asking the dumbest question that could have been asked. I was irked but smiled and thanked her for the information and off we went. Not going to have that enter the day at all.
There is another kind of inaccessibility that I need to think about. There is a temptation, in our relationship, to think accessibility is only my issue. I have to remember that Joe doesn't get to go to things because I can't go to them. For example, we both want to see the play Avenue Q, we checked out the theatre it's playing at here in Toronto and it's completely inaccessible so we're not going. Of course Joe could go on his own, but he doesn't want to ... he'd like us to go together (he is a sweet man) so that's out.
The tall ships is different. He wanted to go on them. I wanted to see them. So we could go and both get what we wanted out of the event. I could have easily said, it's not accessible to me so I'm not going.
Because it isn't about me.
It's about us.
And what works for us.
That means sometimes I sit in the shade.
But of course I'm doing more than sitting in the shade.
I have front row seats to a great show: Joe doing something he's always wanted to do.
(See that guy of to the right of the photo, he's standing where tourists step on to the boat, he's staring at me as I'm calling to Joe ... WAVE, WAVE, WAVE ... and you see Joe reluctantly waving - he's thinking: would you shut up and get back to the shade.)