Something rather wonderful happened last night. I was scheduled to have a dinner meeting with several people who I work with on a committee. I was a tad nervous because I'm new to the committee and really only know the person who invited me to participate. Also, I'm a bit socially, um, inelegant.
As is my habit, I arrived early. We always leave time to get lost even though with modern technology that's less and less likely to happen. Joe parked and we went up the elevator to the floor where the restaurant was. We talked details about where we would meet afterwards for Joe to drive us both home.
Then he and I went into the restaurant and gave the name of the organization hosting the meeting. We were guided to a small private room and when the door was opened I saw something amazing. Lovely amazing.
Exactly in the spot which was most accessible at the table, there was no chair. I could roll and pull right into place. No pulling a chair out, no wait staff to wrestle the table into an inconvenient spot. It was the perfect thing to do to demonstrate welcome.
My reaction may sound silly as if I'm exaggerating my reaction. And I acknowledge that it shouldn't be a big deal, but it is. It's never happened before. Ever. I've had business meetings in restaurants before, but never, ever, have I arrived without fuss.
This mattered to me.
I write this simply to demonstrate how simple gestures matter. Non disabled people expect to arrive at a table with chairs. Disabled people expect to arrive at tables with bother. But not this time.
Because I was made welcome.