There are many things I could write about for BADD this year. Incidents from this week included as well as things from a while ago and just general observations.
I could tell you about being screamed at in the middle of mcdonalds for taking too long in the disabled toilet.
I could tell you about the person who called my parents when she couldn’t get me on the phone (I was at CAB and apparently the call was too urgent to wait)
Those are my two things from this week. But mostly I’m thinking about tomorrow.
I am – hopefully – going to see Dirty Dancing with my friend Rachel who I was at uni with. I know that Rach is looking forward to it. I’d say I’m looking forward to it but that would be a lie. I’m looking forward to seeing Rach. To lunch at Pizza Express and a catch up.
But I’m looking at the emails we’ve been sending sharing train times and plans and seeing the “We’ll have the time of our lives” she’s signed a couple of emails off with. And it makes me smile. But I also wonder if we actually will. Will we get there? Or will it be yet another shitty experience of disablism from a theatre?
Because this will be my third attempt to see Dirty Dancing.
I was supposed to go see it in December in the theatre in Oxford. For my birthday. The whole sorry story was blogged about in my blog post from January titled “Attitude is Everything” with a little bit of a funny follow up in another post titled “I believe”
Basically the lift in the theatre broke, they were appalling at getting it sorted and kept implying it was my decision not to see the show when I refused to use their alternate access for genuine fear of being killed by it. It was the most ridiculous thing and the worst incidence of disablism I’ve experienced in a very long time – not least because it was somewhere I’ve enjoyed going for years and previously had very good times at and good access/inclusion experiences. Those previous experiences made it worse because they were so unexpected.
And it ruined my birthday.
That lift was then fixed only to break again on the day we should have made a second attempt at seeing it. And more ridiculouslessness ensued.
I’ve been joking with people that this time it’ll be fine – after all Birmingham Hippodrome has two lifts!
But it’s the evening before my third attempt and I find myself worrying that maybe it won’t.
I can accept that my experiences with the theatre in Oxford mean I can’t go to musicals as often any more because I don’t feel safe going there now. But if the same were to happen with Birmingham not as often would become basically never and that would be very upsetting.
It’s probably a ridiculous and unnecessary worry. But it’s the scar that disablism has left behind.