Monday, May 05, 2014


It must have looked like a ballet of politeness, a pas de deux of graciousness. Joe and I had just got into our places when the first of a long line of people using wheelchairs, scooters and walkers started to arrive. I don't think I've ever been in a theatre with so many others with disabilities. Where I was seated, in the aisle because the disabled seating really sucks - it's way up back and it's on a steep slope - was fine for other patrons to get by but left too narrow a space for anyone else using any kind of mobility devise.

I caught the eye of a woman using a walker and told her that I would move. But before I could get going she said that she wanted to sit over on the other side and would use that aisle. OK, good. The next was a young fellow in a silver scooter, I rolled down to the front so he could go up and back further. No, problem there. And thus it continued right up to the start of the movie, people with disabilities moving around for each other, making sure that everyone got in and everyone was seated comfortably.

All done with no fuss.

All done with no frustration.

All done without cussing or cursing.


I got the sense that we all knew, really knew, how to share space. I felt that each of us was used to being seen as a problem, as using too much space, as needing too many accommodations. It was like we all wanted to show each other the simple courtesy that it takes for things to be done easily.

The movie was awesome.

Joe and I both enjoyed the humour, the story, and the action.

On the way out, it was the same thing, those of us who were using the disability entrance and exit simply managed to do so as if we were synchronised swimmers doing a routine on land, in chairs and walkers and scooters.

It's easy to do.

Sharing space.

I wonder why those who take up less space always seem to need more.


Anonymous said...

My family went to the Abilities Expo this past weekend. One of the great aspects of it is everyone there is used to wheelchairs. There's no awkward stopping in front of anyone, or tripping over anyone. everyone watches out and makes room for everyone else very naturally.

Anonymous said...

As with most things, it is the space between the ears that is the problem!!