Friday, October 01, 2010

Fantasyland no more

Is it because I don't have anything obviously wrong with me that causes people to stare? More and more I've become aware of the longer glances, the less than discreet body scan to check out why I might be in a wheelchair. At first, it was amusing - now, not so much.

What really slammed it home for me was while Missy K. was here visiting and we went to Disneyland. (Sidebar: Why oh why do I insist on going to places I know will be filled with crowds and children?) While at Disneyland, we developed the three step rule to get people to move/notice me: 1. Ask nicely and politely (Missy K. lives in the South now and has sweetness injected in her veins. It sends her into shock if she has to be even mildly rude. Charming, but ineffective in getting someone out of your way. Love you anyway, honey); 2. A decibel tone louder, "Excuse me, please", which again, did not evoke any response. (At this point Missy K. would try her best to find a way around the people stopped right in front of us but with the crowds, this was mostly impossible); 3. I merely suggested loudly, "EXCUSE ME, PLEASE MOVE!" or my favorite, "HEY!!" (Missy K. scolded me a few times for being rude but, really, I can't help it. Why do I have to sit there while a family of seven, in matching khaki shorts, white legs and colored polo shirts, walks akimbo across the pathway? Even the animals boarded the ark in twos. C'mon people, get with the program!).

Anyway, the final straw was Peter Pan's flying ride. I love all things in Fantasyland. But that operator ruined it for me. Look, I get that people are going to cheat and sit in a wheelchair to use the shorter line privilege. But this guy told Missy K. as the ship came towards us, "Tell her to stand up and get ready to walk. Tell her to stand up and get ready. Here comes the ship!" I'm paraphrasing but basically the dude expected me stand up and walk to the waiting ship. I kept saying, "I can't walk, I can't walk. I have to wheel up to the ride." He upset me so much I couldn't enjoy myself. Missy K. did her best to try to calm me down but I couldn't forget what that man said. When we stopped, the ride operator was much nicer only it was too late for me. I lasted a few hours more but I was less than happy in the World's Happiest Place.

I've wrote about this before. It's nothing new and it's something that I'm still learning to deal with five years after my accident. Honestly? I don't know if I'll ever get use to it. I have to remind myself not to be rude, I feel the sourness seeping out of my pores if I'm not careful. I don't want to become that person - that bitter old lady that snarls at anyone in her path. I'm afraid if I look in my personal rear view mirror, I won't like what I'm leaving behind. Remember those cool bracelets that Wonder Woman wears? When a bullet is fired she deflects it with a graceful flick of her wrist? Maybe the Amazons from Paradise Island can make me a set and adjust them so that when I feel rudeness coming at me or from within myself, I can move my wrists, Wonder Woman style ("shrroom shrroom" noises here) and move it away. Sigh.

Maybe not. For now, no more Disneyland...I haven't been to Sea World in years...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home