Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Duck ... Part 1


It was way hotter than was predicted, the sun was stronger, so we'd headed out to see the world's largest rubber duck completely unprepared. We weren't exactly sure where the duck was so we headed in the wrong direction. I was in my manual chair and pushing on outdoor surfaces is still really difficult for me, I needed more help that I had anticipated because we'd gone so far out of our way. By the time we were passing Tim Horton's we all needed a bathroom break and something cool to drink.

We headed in and found that the line up for the toilets was much longer than the line up for food. So we got in it and there was immediately a problem. Some people believed, for some reason, that disabled people needed to go to the head of the line, others didn't. There began a weird spat. I spoke up and said that disabled people wait in line like everyone else. Then I parked, put on my breaks and waiting with Joe and the girls. A couple of people couldn't take the pressure of being in front of me and said that they'd find another bathroom and left. I refused to feel guilty because I didn't ask them to leave or want them to leave, a line up is a line up is a line up, doesn't everyone just know the rules?

Once done and coming out, I had to go by the line, that had continued to grow rapidly behind us. They collectively were too nice and thereby made it very difficult. Everyone did something to make more room. I didn't need more room, there was plenty of room for me to just roll. But because they hadn't coordinated, some pushed up against one wall, others against another and then there were those few who were so panicked about a person in a wheelchair coming towards them that they just froze in place. Now my way was effectively blocked. I had to ask each person to do something in order to make the way free. If they'd just stood in line, like they did for everyone else coming out, I'd have been fine.

I needed to get to the turn, not to the door out, but to the line up for food and drink. The people in the line up had divined that I needed to go out and therefore had cleared the way for me to go out. I didn't want to go out. But even when I asked them to move so I could turn into the other line up, they wouldn't. Several people explained to me that the way to the door was now clear. They were so happy they'd done this that they couldn't hear that it wasn't what I wanted. Finally I had to raise my voice and state clearly that I wasn't going to the door. Now, by their faces, I'm not only disabled, I'm an asshole. ARGH!

Then, we were out, and on the way to the duck.

The whole experience of just trying to be in a line up or push by a line up had been so exhausting that I felt that I was done at that point. I just wanted to go home. But I didn't, the kids were excited and they passed that along to me. But more was to come ...

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Sounds like most people do NOT know how to line up and share the space with a person in a wheelchair.
Kids' enthusiasm for adventures that we might not otherwise choose gives us good memories, usually.

curious about that duck...........

clairesmum

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

You can't win. Maybe it's a gift that I don't get out much - I'm a cantankerous person when irritated, and have no energy for dealing with this kind of... obstructionism by accident?

But more people need to do it, if they have the energy, because the world is STILL clueless. Maybe some nice public service announcements showing exactly what you just wrote, with funny actors and a bit of QUIET music in the background, showing the 'dance' we have to go through with people in the way.

SammE said...

Does this kind of scenario come about because we Canadians are trying to be "nice"? I'm not sure, but it could be that people want to do the right thing for you, and get all wrangled up trying. I'm excited to hear about the duck! :)

Shannon said...

Awkward lineup situations, ugh. I am often asked the question "are you on line?" when I am waiting on line.