Friday, June 12, 2015

every trip is longer

One of the things I really admire about the kid I started mentoring recently is that she already has one of the most valuable skills a person can learn: the ability to ask for what she needs.  I don't have to try to guess or play head games with her; if she likes it, she tells me.  If she needs a drink or a snack, she lets me know.  She is way better at this than I am.  Inspired by her forthrightness, I decided to contact the super cheap-o airline I am flying next week to ask if I can get an aisle seat assigned without having to pay for it.  And you know what?  It was hard to do. 

Reading the reviews about how small and cramped the seats are, how they aren't adjustable, etc., I knew that if I got trapped by the window or in the middle, I would be in so much pain and so stiff when I arrived at my destination that I would be even worse company than usual, which isn't very nice when one is going to a place to spend time with people you love that you only gets to see once a year.  I need to get up and move to prevent everything from stiffening up (way more than normal people), but when I'm on a plane, I just can't handle asking the other folks in my row to get up all the time.  It takes even more energy to do that, and people give me dirty looks if I even do it once, and it drains me completely.  This I know.  

So I had to decide whether to ask for some small crumb of accommodation for my disability.  And it was really hard.  I knew I should do it, yet I kept putting it off.  In the end, it came down to this: being present and good company is difficult for me all the time under regular circumstances.  This is a special occasion.  Why sabotage myself by being too d@$^#d shy to ask if I could have an aisle seat? 

So I asked, and they replied, and I will print out the email and see what happens at the gate.

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