We went out for dinner. I scooted on ahead, carrying Ruby after a complicated negotiation had resulted in Ruby being carried to the restaurant and Sadie being carried back, to get a table. I arrived and two young men were acting as 'hosts'. They asked what kind of table I wanted, I said, "I don't care what part of the restaurant we are in, or if we have a view or not, I only care that I'm placed in such a manner where my wheelchair and I are comfortably out of the way." They nodded.
(You know where this is going already, don't you?)
The other's arrive. We are then taken to a table that's not a table, it's a booth. Everyone would sit in the booth and I would pull into to the table along it's edge. I immediately didn't like it. It was at the end of a row of booths and I would be clearly sticking out. I already, just by being, draw enough attention to myself, I don't need more. I said I didn't like it. So I was told we could wait at this table and then when they cleared another set of tables we could move. Would I like that, I was asked.
So now, here's the thing, great they were offering me a solution, not so great that they put me in a situation of having to move 5 people, including two kids, plus all the stuff we had with us. I'd made it clear when I came in what I wanted. I don't want to be a bother, I say, 'I don't like it, it's not what I asked for, but, no, we'll stay.' That settled that.
Five minutes later I'm steaming. It turns out that I'm not only sticking out, I'm in a high traffic area for the wait staff. They rush by me. One of the two men I spoke to on coming in, you know when I said I wanted to be comfortably out of the way, stumbles over the back wheels of my chair ... twice. Every time this happens I'm jolted in my chair, I can now picture someone going ass over tea kettles with a tray of food. Thing is it will be deemed my fault for being where I didn't want to be and asked not to be.
So, after the second time he trips, I tell them I'm not happy being tripped over, I'm not happy in a high traffic area, I want to move. They set up a table, wipe it so sloppily that it's drenched with pools of water, and we move, trying to mop up the table with our napkins. No, we didn't leave in a huff, no, we put up with it ... the girls like the food there and I hadn't checked out to see if other, nearby, restaurants were accessible.
After we dry the table and get settled, we end up having a nice time together. I again, pack my annoyance in a box, set it aside, and enjoy the food and the chatter. Sadie does something funny that sets Ruby off on a riff that she found so funny that she could barely speak for laughing. It was awesome to watch the two kids play off each other that way and for all of us to be included in the hilarity. It turned into a nice evening.
But it took work.
And every time I have to do it, it seems a bit harder.