Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Nice Day

I sat in the mall and waved into the clerk at the desk. The store had an item I was interested in purchasing but there was no way that I could get even a few feet inside. The aisleways were crammed with stuff making passage impossible. I didn't make an issue of if, so what, as long as he could get me what I wanted to look at everything would be fine. Joe was back a couple of stores paying for something and I had gone on alone. The item was exactly what I wanted so I asked the clerk to put it on the counter and Joe would be able to go in an pay when he was done.

That's what we did, no problem.

I didn't even make the slightest noise about the inaccessibility of the store.

As we continued our way through the Halifax mall, we both noted that it was 'disabled day' in the mall and there were people everywhere in wheelchairs. Most were motored chairs, one guy was nearly my size and had the "Mac Truck" of chairs. It was huge, looked roomy, and could move! I tried not to envy him as I pushed my way through stores and through much of the mall. We went to the second floor and there was another store that I just couldn't get into. It was exactly my kind of store, "Browser rated - 10" and I looked longingly into the store. It would have been dangerous to try and get around in there, I would have knocked things over. I took my custom elsewhere and that was it.

I wondered why they bothered ramping the mall for me to get in if the stores made it impossible to shop. I still didn't say anything, but it angered me.

There are days when you just don't want to be an activist. When you want to just have a nice time and let things slide. When the fight just isn't in you. That was yesterday. All I wanted was a nice day, and I had one. But now I'm feeling guilty, like I should have made a comment or complaint to someone, written to the paper, protested in some way.

But I'm allowed to just have a nice day some days, right?

I'm not sure.


The Goldfish said...

Yes, definitely. We really can't hold off having fun until we achieve our utopia. Many of us are fighting for changes we simply won't live to see, so it's a must to get some living done, in between the battles.

I have given you a Thinking Blogger Award.

Anonymous said...

What's activism for, if not to have a nice day some days?

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean in relation to that conflict between thinking you ought to do something or say something and wanting to just have a LIFE. As a deaf person, I run into barriers all the time (just of a different nature from yours). And if I complained or wrote a letter or lodged a complaint with the Department of Justice every time this happened ... every time I wanted to see a movie and couldn't because none of the local theaters had that movie playing with captions ... every time I stayed at a hotel and they gave me lousy accessibility equipment that just didn't work the way it was supposed to ... or wanted to see a play but either couldn't at all because there was no interpreter or could only see it by sitting in the very most expensive seats in the theater because those were the only ones from where you could see the interpreter ... if I complained every time, then I'd be spending the rest of my life complaining.

Often I feel like I should be complaining more than I do, if not every time my rights are violated then at least in the more serious cases (like when one motel we tried to stay at swore at us over the phone instead of simply working with us to get the appropriate ADA accommodations -- if you ever find yourself in Trinidad Coloardo, do not, do NOT, DO NOT stay at Trail's End Motel; if you ever go to Trinidad Colorado then email me at ashettle (at) for more detail and for what advice I can give before you go, including in relation to the local hospital.) But sometimes I just get so fed up.


Never That Easy said...

Absolutely, you're entitled to a nice day. It's what we're all talking on and on about anyways, isn't it? Just being able to go someplace and not have to worry about any of the issues we face now? Don't feel guilty for trying to enjoy yourself.

Jacqui said...


Thanks for blogging about this. I was beginning to think that I was the only one who had access problems in shops (and I'm not even in a wheelchair).

All 4 My Gals said...

Another Mom and I were just talking about this last night. I said sometimes just "being" is advocacy enough. It's not like the clerk didn't notice. Was it an official "disabled day"? What a dichotomy if so.