Several days ago Joe and I had a date night out. This is something we rarely do. Now don't get me wrong, we do a lot together. In fact we do almost everything together. But we aren't night owls any more and we tend not to go out in the evening. But we wanted to see a show that played at 7:30 at night so we picked up tickets and decided to make a night of it.
We strolled down Yonge Street, chatting and just enjoying the night air. It felt different, being out that late, than it does in the afternoon. The dark of the evening and the glow of the lights as they came on created a real sense of intimacy. We were really enjoying ourselves.
When we got to the theatre we pushed the elevator button and got on along with a fellow who had come up from the subway level. It turned out that we were all going to the same show, I chatted with him but he looked and spoke primarily with Joe. It happens. A lot. But we were out on a date night, I wasn't going to rise to the bait. I just let it slide.
Joe and I got ourselves up to the theatre and found our seats. We watching the 'pre show' and the sound was very, very low. When I noticed a theatre employee come in to the room I scooted over and mentioned the sound to her. She used her walkee talkee to let someone know to turn up the volume. I thanked her.
I went back to my seat and she continued into the auditorium and checked something at the front. I then saw the fellow from the elevator approach her to speak with her. I figured he hadn't seen me go over and talk to her. On his way back, he stopped, put his hand on Joe's shoulder and began telling him that he'd gone over to tell her about the sound. Then he explained that he didn't want the show to be ruined by low volume.
He was flirting, all out flirting with Joe.
Now this is no great surprise, Joe is a good looking man. Joe is also immune to flirting because he never, ever, ever recognizes when someone is flirting with him. In fact, as we've not talked about this, when he reads this (Hi Joe!) he will be surprised that he was being flirted with.
Now the fellow on the elevator didn't seem like an obnoxious jerk who would flirt with someone's partner in front of him. He seemed uncomfortable or dismissive of me as a disabled person but that's not as uncommon as you might think. Look at me BIG and invisible at the same time.
It struck me today that the reason he felt comfortable to come on to Joe in the theatre right in front of me is because he had no idea we were a couple. I'm not sure what he thought the relationship was but I'm convinced he had just determined that Joe was a care provider or friend of some kind.
He didn't see the rings.
He didn't see the small touches.
He didn't see us - because he couldn't see me.
The sound came up, the lights went down, and the show began. I sat there comfortably knowing that Joe notices when I flirt - and always has.