Ever read that book, or indeed seen the film, ‘Yes Man’? Well, I sometimes wonder where life would lead me if I started saying ‘yes’ to more things. When you’re struck down with a condition like MS it is jolly easy to fall into the trap of using it as an excuse to get out of doing things. Playing the MS card can seem pretty lame, but for many people I’m sure it masks a lot of unspoken anxiety lurking beneath the surface…
Never one to make New Year Resolutions I unexpectedly found myself searching for a ‘new me’ this new year. The result? I said ‘yes’ to an evening trip to the cinema. This probably doesn’t sound like a very big deal, but it was for me. My MS is way worse in the evenings – my fatigue levels skyrocket as does the restlessness in my legs; I avoid night-time activities wherever possible. Fed up with feeling like the ‘boring’ one, however, I threw my MS into the fire and marched myself out the door at the ungodly hour of 5.30pm.
Now, anyone with a Blue Badge will know that parking is one of the the most stressful things about going anywhere – I usually try and beat all the elderly drivers by getting to places super duper early, and believe me, it really does take some getting out early to beat the oldies (who, we all know, hold the vast majority of Blue Badges). On this particular evening I wasn’t too worried because most old people, like myself, don’t venture out after dark. However, what I was faced with instead was a hoard of non-disabled drivers parked in disabled spaces. As I approached the on-street parking I could clearly see that the cars had no badges on display and they mostly had men sitting idly in the driver’s seat; presumably waiting for someone. Winding down my window I slowly approached one of these men and meakly called out, ‘Excuse me’. Nothing. ‘Excuse me,’ I tried again. Nothing. The stupid man was asleep! It’s very easy to get angry and road-rage-y in these sorts of situations, but I always think it is better to approach such matters in a calm and friendly manner to avoid people retaliating with all guns blazing. Finding a spot at the edge of a bus stop I yanked up my handbrake and, clutching my Blue Badge, hobbled my way over to one of the other men sitting in his car. I tapped politely on his window, which he then lowered, and I said in my sweetest possible voice, ‘I say, would you awfully mind moving your car, only I wish to park here with my Badge.’ With a nod of apology off he drove and in I parked. Lovely jubbly.
Next challenge? To fend off power-crazed cinema staff. Ever the first person to arrive I innocently took a seat in the cinema foyer to wait for my friends. My legs had been the cause of atrocious walking that day and so I sat down holding my crutch and feeling relieved to have survived the short downhill walk from my car. ‘Hello!’ chirped a booming voice suddenly over my shoulder. I looked up to find a patronising member of staff greedily rubbing her hands together. ‘Do you have a ticket?’ ‘Not just yet,’ I replied, ‘I’m waiting for my friends.’ ‘I see, it’s just that we get a lot of people up here randomly sitting down to rest, which we don’t allow.’ ‘OK,’ I responded and went back to staring into space. Was she seriously going to kick a person with a walking aid off a vacant chair? And since when was sitting down to take a rest an actual crime? I was amusedly appalled at this exchange and couldn’t help chuckling to myself as I watched the woman move on to harass the couple at the only other occupied table. Dear, oh dear…
As for my evening out, it so happens that I’ve rarely been happier to have said ‘yes’. The evening was a delight. My legs survived. I stayed awake. Granted, I nearly didn’t make it back to my car when my right leg gave way on me, but I did it! And what an outstanding, gloriously nostalgic piece of cinema ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ turned out to be.
5 thoughts on “‘Yes’”
Glad you got out. Glad you enjoyed it.
I also ventured out after dark in December. It is such a rare occurrence that I took photos to show my family that I went out. Lol.
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Awesome! Good to know I’m not the only one : )
Brilliant post Emma, I find myself getting annoyed with Blue Badge misuse too! Well done for getting your space, I’m usually quite lucky because like you I aim to get to the cinema early and my husband is doing the driving!
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Hello isn’t it a bit sad what we have to think about a lot before we might say yes I too did a 4 o’clock showing of Mary Poppins coming out in the dark with daughter and 4 grandchildren oh I’m so glad I did I’m trying to say yes lots while I can daughter and I both have ms
It’s so much easier to say no, when there’s such a lot to plan to go out. But worth it sometimes !