Sunday, October 15, 2017

Two Queens and and King

I written about this before.

It really worries me.

We'd just got off a plane and were heading towards the luggage area. A man was coming towards us, about our age, he was walking quickly to get to the gate for the departing flight. I said to Joe, after I spotted the accessible washroom, "Hey would you mind checking to see if the door is locked?" Before Joe could move, this man, who had overheard my question, had assumed I was asking him. Annoyance crossed his face at having been asked to do this but he started to go to the door!

I called out, "I wasn't asking you!"

By then Joe was on an intercept course and the guy, looking relieved, said, "I thought you were alone and were asking me."

All I said was, "I'm not alone."

I could have added "And  even if I was, I can get in on my own, there is a door opener for easy entry."

This happens all the time.

I'm writing about this one because, really? I'm going to ask a stranger for help with going to the washroom? He saw Joe and I together ... no, I've said that wrong ... even though he saw Joe and I together he assumed that I was alone.

The natural state of disabled people is alone, friendless, unloved and unsupported. Isolated people who live isolated lives waiting for friend death to claim us.

Yes, there are people with disabilities who live very isolated lives and that isolation relates to their disability. I know that, I know that it's an issue of social stigma and prejudice and barriers to full inclusion. I know it's because people with disabilities may need to socialize in different ways with different needs. I know and have worked on this issue for most of my years as a professional in the disability sector. I know.

But loneliness is not the natural state of any human being.

It may be chosen, but for the most part we are social beings.

That I can't be seen in relationship to another person when I'm out is astonishing. That same day, when the man thought that I had asked for his help ... we checked into the hotel. I always mark, when I reserve a room, that there will be two people in the room, but the clerk, like most do, prepared only one key for the room and had to be asked for a second key. "Let me see if I can change your room to two queens."

I was tired, and still pissed off from the guy and the washroom. I responded, "We ARE two queens and we really want a king."


clairesmum said...

That desk clerk won't forget you!
In America I think most strangers might ignore you if they overhead your request to Joe.
So I am guessing you are in more likely in Canada.....but distracted travelers are ubiquitous in airports these days, no matter where you are.
I don't have much of a poker face so I sometimes look annoyed when I am startled...but more likely annoyed at myself not to have noticed that someone was trying to get my attention.....
while it is really nobody's business to notice or make assumptions about whether you both are together or just standing by each other, if you are friends, partners, or a professional carer and client.........
hope your travels get boring for the rest of the route.

Utter Randomness said...

Excellent response to the desk clerk!

Your story reminded me that I haven’t used the free passes I got from a local museum because one of their staff followed me into the bathroom stall in case I needed help, and wasn’t willing to understand that people who need help in the bathroom generally have someone with them to do so...

Shannon said...

That was such a great answer. I stayed in a hotel in NYC about a week and a half ago. It had a roll in shower. I don't use those at home but thought I would give it a try (first time I had a room with one of those, could not use it, as the controls were not reachable from the seat that was attached to the wall). This one had a plastic seat that you could move. However, if I moved it into a position that I could get into from the wheelchair, it was not possible to reach the controls. If I put in a position to reach the controls, I could not get in because the sink would be in the way. If I had the time, I think I could have positioned it in some way that I could get on from a different angle. But I didn't so I just sat in my chair and washed my hair without getting anything else wet. Also there was an annoying lip at the thresholds to both enter the room and the bathroom. I could get over it but someone with less strength might not have been able to. You never know what to expect from a hotel bathroom. Next time I'm just getting a room with a tub, which I might or might not be able to use.