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Ms. And Miss Cellophane

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Yesterday Tori and I went to the movies and were looking forward to some quality mother/daughter alone time. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot it seemed as though we were just that – alone; invisible.

Once stopped, I gathered our belongings and deployed the ramp to exit. Just as we were beginning our descent, an impatient driver sped into the spot beside us close enough to halt me halfway. The driver, an older man, looked at me, shut off his car and opened his door trapping me midway. Once he decided he was ready he closed his door and walked away. With room now to continue, we fully exited and made our way to the theatre.

Our timing was perfect. Just seconds ahead of us was a party of 4 adults. As they made their way into the theatre, they all glanced our way. Surely entry into the venue would be smoother than our exit from the van. I was wrong. No one held the door and it closed right in front of us. Several other couples were standing outside yet I had to turn my daughters wheelchair sideways and reach for the door with one hand while the other tried to maneuver the chair into the now open doorway. The entrance is on a slight incline making this no easy feat. The couples looked and continued their conversations.

Good news is we made it inside relatively unscathed and the line for tickets wasn’t overwhelming. Anyone who has ever had the back of their ankles scraped by the wheels of a shopping cart is cognizant of the need for space between wheels and the flesh and bone ahead of them. I left a slight gap between us and the patron ahead. Apparently, one group took that as in invitation to jump ahead of us in line.

“cause you can look right through me, walk right by me…and never know I’m there…”

I actually gave a sigh of relief as we finally made our way into Theatre 4 to watch the movie. I am always careful when selecting our seat. Obviously, we don’t have many choices as there is usually only one wheelchair aisle. Middle, left or right. I selected the left as there were no people sitting directly in front or behind. That didn’t last long. A big group of young adults came in – selected the row in front of us. Turned and looked, gave each other telling glances and then exited to another section.

Next a mother and son came into that same row. She selected the seat directly in front of me and motioned for her son to sit beside her. This young man, probably no more than 12 years old, showed us the only kindness on this adventure. He turned, looked at Tori and said to his mom…”but if I sit there I’m going to block her view.” He left an empty space between them. I wanted to give that boy a hug. When he settled in his seat, in front of and to the right of Tori’s position, he glanced back again. I could only manage to mouth the words, “thank you.” He smiled at Tori and turned around to face the screen.

The next two hours were focused on the feature presentation unfolding before us. Sometimes this party of two can sit silently through a movie – sometimes we can’t. This outing was a mixture of both and to the credit of the young man in front of us – he never turned around.

We stayed put until the credits finished rolling, gathered our belongings and began the ascent up the aisle and into the lobby. We led ourselves out into the air and found our way to the van.

I post this not for sympathy or outrage from the inattentiveness, disrespect and disregard by those mentioned above. I share this for one reason. Many times you hear people say the “youth” have no manners and express concern for the future left in such hands. On our outing we were dissed by male, female, the elderly, adults ranging in age from 20 - 60 and a group of teens. An adolescent boy was the only one to notice and consider us. If his simple action is indicative in any way of the sensitivity of his generation, then maybe we have a chance and the future is in gentle hands.