So I kind of went back and forth on posting this. But I decided as long as I leave names out it should be OK!
Justin received a gift card to a chain of restaurants. We decided to venture out with Kendall to eat at one of them on Saturday evening. We were going a bit stir crazy and felt like a laid back dinner out that included Kendall would be nice. We lugged her wheelchair out of the car to go into the first one. The wait was extremely long, so we decided to go to another one not far away. (Both of which are in our "small" town. We like to keep business locally, but tend to eat at the "mom and pop" restaurants mostly instead of the chains. They know us, love us, and always ask about our family!)
Anyway, we arrived at our second choice. We were pleased to find that there wasn't a wait. I asked for a table for "two and a wheelchair" because I wanted to make sure there would be plenty of room for Kendall in her chair to pull up to the table and be included in our dinner (so what if she wasn't actually eating...she usually likes being out and about and taking in the scenes.)
It started pretty rocky, Kendall was arching and stiffening and beginning to fuss. We decided to order our meal to go because it looked like she wasn't going to make it.
Anyway...there was a family seated behind us, so Kendall had to be in the isle. Long story short...the waitress behind us told me we couldn't have our stroller in the isle. I ignored her. I was more focused on getting our stuff together and dodging the stares we received for a yelping baby. Justin agreed to stay behind, wait for our food, pay, and meet us in the car. Kendall likes to be on the go, and when she's in that mood, especially in a public restaurant, we oblige her.
So, no big deal. We were leaving. I was calm. The first waitress was a b. But I figured she was in the weeds and frustrated. I let it go. THEN, on our way out a tray was blocking us fitting Kendall through, so we waited patiently when ANOTHER waitress told me we weren't allowed strollers inside. I looked at her shocked, and said, "trust me, if we didn't need this special chair, we wouldn't be using it."
I headed for the door, wanting to duck out and run for the hills, but I reminded myself I have a new job. A job I didn't exactly sign up for, and don't get paid for, but a job nonetheless. So I told the hostess the table they sat us at wasn't wheelchair accessible. We were leaving, but not for that reason, just in the future, she and the manager might like to know and have another plan. She looked at me blankly. Then the hostess holding the door for us on our way out gave me a big attitude.
Honestly, I left feeling really bad. I was not at all embarrassed by Kendall. And goodness knows Justin and I have had our fair share of eating out with our jobs so it wasn't that either. I just left feeling for the first time in 20 months sad, disappointed, and angry. For the first time in Kendall's life, I felt that her special needs were inconveniencing people. All they wanted to do was get rid of us and ignore the situation. And that pisses me off.
I e-mailed the manager yesterday. He has yet to respond. I'm boycotting that stupid restaurant and their baby back ribs now.
Oh, and when we got home, we found our order was wrong. That pissed me off even more. I probably would have drown myself in a bottle of wine and lost myself in my silly Vampire book if it weren't for my husband. He told me "Look on the bright side of things. At least you have your next blog entry thought out. This shit practically writes itself."
And so it does.