Friday, January 21, 2011

Leaving the Opera Half Way Through

Carol had a fall, misjudging where the chair was, when she and I went to see Suzanne Westenhoefer.  Because of her artificial hip, it takes her a long time to heal from these.  I gave her massages to help.

She and I went to hear The Barber of Seville, because our friend Kathy won tickets.  Lawrence Brownlee was singing the lead beautifully.  Because of her pain Carol found my movements irritating, so we left at the first intermission.  She tells me I was moving more than usual, too.  At first, this made me nervous I was going to have to stop going to shows.  That was so upsetting, I wasn’t very supportive of her.  Then, I calmed down and apologized.

Carol pointed out sitting on aisles would help.   I know of one theater in town has a crying room.  The next day, my friend Alice took me to the Metropolitan Opera auditions, and suggested I sit in the disabled section.  In that venue the disabled section is nice and large, so I could have more space if I needed it.  Also, other disabled people are more pleasant about my movement than average audience members.

The present moment is warm.


  1. The opera was wonderful by the way! And for those not in the know about what life can be like when you don't have all your original parts, sometimes what happens is the mechanical parts move and shift around, and things can get stuck in bad positions - the joint dislocates and it's quite painful. I finally managed to pop it back into place after 4 long days . . .

    The other interesting part of the opera outing was my run-in with an usher. Marian and I were trying to enter the disabled doors on the orchestra level. This is very helpful because you don't have to go down the stairs and then back up the stairs once inside. The usher stopped us at the door and announced that the entrance was for disabled people. I said yes I was aware of that, which would be the reason we were entering there. He proceeded with a monologue about how he hadn't been paying attention because he didn't notice that either of us was disabled, and maybe he needed to watch more closely so he would notice such things . . He did this in a very condescending voice. I was shocked by his rudeness. (And the interaction was downhill from there, because yes I am a smart ass and I felt the need to call him out about his rudeness.)

    But it raises a perplexing issue - who gets to decide if you're disabled? And how disabled do you have to be to qualify as disabled enough? Are you required to explain your disability to those who might not understand it, because it's not readily apparent? I find the lines can blur for some disabled people - what's obvious to one person might not be obvious to another. But I vote for giving an individual the benefit of the doubt.

    And bottom line in this little operetta, the usher was unobservant. Had he really looked, he would have seen my penguin walk and Marian high-stepping . . .

  2. Oops sorry - the usher story is from Carol not Marian . . . I was reading the blog from her log-in not mine :)

  3. Marian, attending the Met Opera auditions with you was a great pleasure, and also an eye-opener. Some of the audience members were very courteous and thoughtful, and gave you plenty of room to navigate with your walker; others were just plain rude and pretty much elbowed past us. Next time I think I'll be more vocal.