Angst on a Shoestring

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The Joys of Being Disabled..

Ya know, GBR's, rarely do I go off on tirades about being a crip. I walk with a cane, have iffy balance and I have a fear of heights. Because, you only have to bump a Weeble for them to go spinning out of control.

But I think I reached my limit this past Thursday. My mother bought tickets to see Wicked for Christmas gifts. It was my Aunt, my cousin (our sissy), The Boy, my mother and myself. Now mom has new knees and new hips. And walks, poorly, with a walker. So when you see us moseying along it looks like we escaped from a home. Now back when she told me about the tickets, I reminded her (yet again) about asking for Handicapped Seating. Hey look, if there's any benefit to being a crip, its getting better parking, better seating, better bathroom. I fully take advantage of the ol' ADA.

Get a cup of coffee, this is a long entry. I'll wait.

On Tuesday of last week, she asked me if there was a way for her to get in to the Theatre. I fought the urge to bang the phone against my head. I very slowly asked if she called the Academy to ask. She hemmed and hawed. And my blood pressure rose.
She has to do some things on her own. I can't make the arrangements for everything. But the first thing I check is that whatever venue it is, is it ADA compliant?

So here comes Thursday and all day I'm dreading this "treat." I pick her up and she's already telling me she's hurting. Her gait was very slow and shuffling. (She didn't do the therapy like she should have ~sighs~) I get her into the car and The Boy is watching me closely. He can pick up the fact I'm nervous as hell.

I get down there and there's a little alleyway that I can pull into to drop her and Boy off. The trick was backing up into traffic.
I got her in and went to park the car. Across the street. I had another cigarette and prayed to who ever is listening to get me through this night.

I catch up with her and Boy, she's sitting on a plush chair one of the ushers brought her. I did the final bathroom run for Boy before the show. There was an elevator, I'm thinking, good, good. The operator asked to see the tickets and says "Amphitheatre." Which pretty much means that you and God will be sharing kneespace.

I find my aunt and cousin as Sissy was in a show for high school and I had Barry bring them down. So we go to find our seats.
When I looked in and saw the steep drop to the seats, I just about fainted. A mountain goat would have felt right at home.

My mother's face was set in sheer panic. Not a drop of color. And my aunt just about went postal. The Boy, Sissy and I just stood back. There was no way in hell she was walking down any of those steps. We squeezed into our seats, knees about ear level. The Boy was very excited by the set which was very cool. There was a big map of Oz and he was pointing out to the couple next to him where to find the Witch's castle (Winkieland.) The usher sat my mother in a seat close to the door. And the rage that was rolling off my aunt was so palpable. Sissy was tearing up and I felt helpless. I am no good with these kind of seats and the height element was really freaking me.

My Aunt was angry because the usher told her she would have to help move my Mom if the person that has the ticket for that seat shows up. She muttered about that the woman said Sister, and my Aunt hissed something about me being the Daughter and I should do something. But what?

I felt his hand slip into mine and I looked down. He was frightened, not by the seats but the anger. He misses nothing. I was thankful the couple sitting next to him didn't mind his "Map Tour of Oz."

Wicked-The Official Site

The show starts and it is a great set, even from up there. The show draws alot of teen age girls. And I can see why. They identify with Elphaba (Wicked Witch of the West.) She's not really wicked at all, just very very misunderstood and used.

Elphaba is "Defying Gravity"

The book that started it all.


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