I never really noticed, as I shouldn't ever notice, until I was nearly home. We had gone out after work to get a few things done. We are about to leave on a two week trip and the things that need to be done, and done quickly, are many. Trouble is, we haven't done this for awhile so we're a bit out of sync with organizing. So we set off with a list of errands and spent a couple of hours, pleasant hours, getting them done. Our last stop was at the little greengrocers near our place to pick up some fresh veggies for supper.
On the way home, I scooted head of Joe, giving my chair a chance to really take a run, blow the cobwebs out. As I turned towards the apartment building, I noticed, as I should never have to notice, that I'd been out for over two hours and nothing happened. Let's review because nothing means something in this case:
1) Every place we went was accessible and welcoming.
2) Everyone serving us spoke to me or to Joe depending on who was leading the interaction from Team Us.
3) No one on the street made a big deal about the wheelchair, no one took exaggerated steps out of my way even though they weren't in my way.
4) No one stared at me, made a loud joke about me, pointed and made a quiet remark to whomever they were with, no one.
5) People who stood in line with me respected my need for space and I didn't have to ask, and ask again, and ask again, for them to back up so I could turn my chair.
6) No Phone Walker Zombie had me veering around them to protect them from themselves and from running into my chair.
7) No one called me a name.
8) No one commented on my purchases at the grocery store, no 'good choice' for the veggies or a 'do you really need that' for the two chocolate bars we bought to put in a package to the girls.
9) No one told me how wonderful it was that I could get on an elevator with my chair.
10) No. One. Hurt. Me.
I shouldn't live in a world where it's notable that I'm treated simply as just another person doing an ordinary bunch of stuff. I shouldn't notice that I could get into a store. I shouldn't notice that I got equal service. I shouldn't notice that No One Hurt Me. But I do.
I wish it wasn't surprising. But it is.
It shouldn't be.
But it is.