The 5 Perks of Being in a Wheelchair

1. Awesome concert seating accommodations. Whenever I go to concerts or sporting events I have always been appropriately accommodated. This usually means getting seats that enable me to view the stage / field, but also maintains my safety. Sometimes there is a roped off section for wheelchair seating (plus one or two guests), other times accessible seating is intermingled with the rest of the concert goers. Either way though, I have never complained about this and ... neither have my friends =) It's particularly sneaky when I (purposely) buy tickets that are NOT accessible beforehand.. and on the day of the event, places will have no choice but to put me in accessible seating! This way I'll just wind up paying the difference of the costs ;-)

2. Courteous and chivalrous behavior. Although there will be some obnoxiously rude moments, for the most part I can expect people will treat me courteously. Who said chivalry was dead? Chairs are always pulled out for me, doors are always held open, and usually I am allowed to enter the elevator or other places first. Also, I personally think it rude when guys check out a woman's ass. Glad that I'm usually sitting down to avoid that kind of staring.

3. No one questions what I'm doing. I might be climbing on top of my wheelchair. I might be driving in the middle of the street in the middle of winter. I might need someone to carry my tray for me while I just point at everything I want to eat. I might be setting off the alarm to an accessible exit / door. Or I might be taking longer than necessary in the accessible bathroom. But rare is the moment when I am questioned about my actions. If any non-wheelchair user were asked why they got to cut the line to the dressing room (to get to the accessible dressing room)... they might get glared at. Me? No one questions me. The wheelchair silently answers all of their questions.

4. I can stop traffic. Growing up in the Northeast (in a city that's known for its crude driving behavior), I have learned that being able to stop traffic is a power I should wield more frequently. In the winters the sidewalks are usually poorly shoveled and there have often been times when I just drive my chair in the middle of the street instead. Even in Boston, a driver that honks at a wheelchair trying to survive the harsh winter would be deemed "Epic Masshole." Other situations: when construction is blocking the ONE curb cut to a sidewalk, I have had police officers stop traffic and construction for me to cross safely. At first I thought it was a bit awkward and silly, but now I think it's just amazing.

5. They don't ask me for money. You know them. Those, usually, 20-somethings who are standing outside in every form of weather wearing THOSE t-shirts, holding those clipboards... ready to accept your Master Card, Visa or American Express for a donation to save the whales. Usually when I'm cruising the city my wheelchair is lower to the ground, this makes me able to go faster - way too fast for them to ask me "do you care about?" It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't want to be bothered filing out 500 lines of personal identification, and then tugging out a credit card in the vain hopes that maybe my $20/month donation may drastically save a baby otter RIGHT NOW!

What's on your list of perks?? 

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