When Someone Else Advocates

I'm sure if I were someone who paid closer attention to her life, and wasn't always plugged into my headphones and rushing from place-to-place - I'd see more examples of these moments. But as this event unfolded right before my eyes without my prompting or anything, I was so floored by it that I knew it would need to become a blog post. 

Months ago my friend told me that he had bought us tickets to a comedy show, (it was Louis C.K. for curious minds who want to know the kind of humor I dig...) and at the time I had excitedly penciled it into my Google Calendar: the show was labeled in blue, my favorite color under the category called "Socializing." (Because yes, I am that kind of organized freak.) My friend told me the time of the show, where it was, and our seats. These all became things I also added to the 'notes' section of the Google Calendar event.
Great, I thought. I just had to show-up with my friend and be prepared to laugh. On my end I prepared by re-watching videos of Louis C.K.'s stand-up routines, getting my laughter ready in anticipation during the days leading up to the show.

It was about a week leading up to the show when my friend contacted me and said that there was some kind of problem. The folks handling the seating of the venue informed him that our seats were not actually accessible, and we would have to be moved.
"What are the other seats we'd have to be moved to?" My friend asked them.
"Well there are these other seats in the back.. or we'd have to remove the inaccessible seats in Row A.." They said to him.
My friends, like me, are opportunistic and there should be no surprise that he went with the seats in Row A. The front row, where seats would, apparently, need to be removed. So be it. There was no doubt in his mind that these accommodations were necessary, no dilly-dallying about whether or not he should ask me first, no question as to whether or not this was the right thing to do. He vouched for me, for us, because that's what friends do.

My friend relayed all of this information to me and I thanked him for "scoring us such sweet seats!" My excitement increased exponentially.
The night of the show we showed up the minute doors opened; this was mostly because I assumed there would be some kind of roundabout 'wheelchair accessible route' to get into the venue (because isn't there always??) The usher took our tickets and showed us to our seats. Well not our seats but the other seats way in the back!
As we were being directed to our seats my friend looked at me, brows furrowed and shook his head silently behind the usher.
"Now I have to say I am incredibly disappointed with the way this turned out..." My friend launched into it. I hadn't yet turned off my wheelchair, had only just parked my self into the allotted space, my jacket half un-zipped.

My friend went into the entire spiel of how our tickets had been moved to the front row, that this was incredibly ridiculous... my head spun: Because I am used to being the one who expresses disappointment in accommodations. I am the one who is usually talking to people about how I was told one thing when given something else. I am the one typically clarifying the 'miscommunications.' I am the one who is used to making all of the arrangements ahead of time. I am the one who doesn't think twice about making sure something is accessible. I am the one frequently explaining to people their understanding of accessibility is bogus. I am the one who is usually making the fuss... and this time I was doing none of that. This time I was just sitting there watching it happen. It was at once a weight off my shoulders but also a weight I shared, silently, with my friend as we sat in the seats and waited for the ushers to fix the situation.
"Thanks.." I began.
"No, this isn't right. They better put us in the front row or I'm going to be pissed. I'm writing a letter to complain to their box office."

I didn't really know what I was thanking my friend for at that moment, but "thanks" didn't really seem adequate. In the end Row A seats were unbolted from the floor by technicians, and we were able to laugh ourselves silly the rest of the evening, from the front row, as it was supposed to be.

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