Saturday, January 07, 2017

I Lied

I lied.

I liked to Joe.

And to Marissa, and to Ruby and to Sadie, I out and out lied.

But, of great concern to me, I lied to myself. It was an easy lie to tell. It was a lie the obscured a truth that I didn't want to acknowledge and I didn't want to confront. Those are the easiest lies to tell.

We were all talking about going to see 'The Illusionists' who were here in town, with their 'Direct from Broadway' show playing at one of the big theatre houses down in the district. The only time that everyone could make it was yesterday, Thursday. It was a work day for me so I said, "I'll organize the tickets but I won't be able to go because I have to work." It was an easy lie to believe because every word was true, or nearly true.

I got on the computer, found seats and purchased 4 of them. I was astonished at how simple the process was. I pushed a few buttons, filled in credit card information and wham, we had seats and seconds later the tickets themselves. I haven't bought seats on line for many years because accessible seats are apparently so difficult to arrange that you've got to talk to a person who talks to a person who talks to a person and an hour or two later you have seats. It was so efficient! Do non-disabled people even realize that their privilege seeps into everything, including buying tickets for a show?

There was also a sense of relief on Thursday morning when I started work knowing that they'd go down and get their seats and that would be that. I'd have been tied up in knots from anxiety because well more than half of my experiences in the big theatre houses in this city and in New York, as it happens, there has been a whole heap of bother when I got to the theatre about my seat. I've been moved to seats I didn't want because they didn't take out the seats for the chair, I've been made to sit across the theatre from those I've gone with, I've been humiliated by an usher yelling at me about going to the bathroom before the show. When it's good it grand when it's awful it's shit. Thursday morning no worries.

But then.

As I did the work that I was doing. It all started to unravel. I have vacation time left, none of the work I was doing was urgent even while it was important. I could have gone.

I could have.

But, I simply didn't want to go to the theatre while being disabled. I just didn't want to face it. I didn't want to spend hours on the phone finding tickets and then hours worrying about what's going to go wrong this time. I just didn't want to.

So, I lied to myself.

I made it easy for me to ignore the world I live in, the role that inaccessibility and sort of accommodations play in my life, the work and the worry that comes from being disabled as opposed to having a disability.

I can't do this.

I can't get into this habit.

I can't simply submit.

I can't let truth hide behind lies.

I can't.

And, I hope, I won't do it again although I suspect, I might.

2 comments:

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Like all failed experiments, it still gave you an important data point: what happens when you're out of the picture.

Here's an idea: make up a package of these posts about accessibility in public spaces. Send them to the humans at the other end of this discussion. THEN get your tickets.

You wouldn't have to write much new material, but they would be able to see what they do.

You are a VOICE for those who are disabled, and can't explain it the way you do. It is one of those unwanted missions from God that prophets get.

It's not just for you.

And you know the experience CAN be good. EVERY provider at the other end needs to hear this - and the ones who do their job should be praised.

How about a FB page for these accessibility pages: each new entry being someone who got it right or wrong? With no judgement (except maybe a grade), just the facts.

Unknown said...

I think that I understand your aversion to lying to anyone, including (and especially) yourself. I tend to have the same aversion. As a long time follower of your blog, I know how hard you have to work to attend theatrical events, and move around in public spaces due to the stupidity of humans and the laws of physics.
Maybe sometimes it is ok to sometimes give yourself permission to not attend an event. If you never go out, then the dark forces have won. And if you always have to expend large amounts of physical/emotional/psychic energy every time you go out. then you risk exhausting yourself.

I used to beat myself to do more, try harder, never "wimp out" on anything...until I realized that behavior was actually a way of abusing myself by continuing to obey that abusive voice in my head that said I would never be good enough no matter how hard I tried but that I better keep trying to justify my existence by meeting the needs of others.
That is not true, that is the voice of my abusers.

Maybe wisdom is in the middle path of choosing what is right for a particular time/day/event. And being honest with yourself, and Joe, about all the reasons for your choice. Social lies are OK once in a while....and your family will let you know if they think you are being dishonest on a steady basis.
take good care, Dave.
clairesmum