When my wife, Deb, lived in California she often went shopping and to the movie theater and elsewhere on her own. People there welcomed her at their places of business and were glad to have her business. That is how things should be for everyone, even those who like my wife who happen to use a wheelchair.
Today Deb and I were in Boston. We enjoyed being at the Boston Commons. We rolled along Charles Street. We had lunch at B'Goods on Washington Street at Downtown Crossing.
Then we went to Quincy Market so DebbieLynne could have a nice Cannoli. Before I got the pastry I took the elevator down to the restroom. DebbieLynne waited for me in the public eating area. That's when our pleasant day in Boston turned sour.
A security guard came over and asked DebbieLynne "Is your friend coming back?" There was no need for the woman to ask that question. The guard wasn't going around asking anybody else who happened to be sitting alone such a question. But DebbieLynne answered, "Yes, he's coming back."
"Good," the woman responded, "I just didn't want you to be alone."
"I'm Ok, geez" retorted DebbieLynne, aggravated that this woman didn't think she was qualified to sit by herself in a public place.
The security guard then walked about 10 feet away and stayed there, keeping an eye on my wife.
After a time the woman summed another security guard to stand with Debbielynne while that guard went off looking for me. My wife was obviously upset by this treament. What if she decided to go somewhere else? Would they follow her? Would they try to prevent her from leaving the area?
When I got back and found out what was going I demanded to see her immediate superior and then the director of public safety at Quincy Market. I want people to treat my wife with the proper and simple respect she deserves. She should be as free as anybody to be where she has a right to be whether or not she is by herself.
That woman ruined what had been a nice day for Deb and me, and ruined Deb from feeling free to be in Quincy Market or elsewhere in Boston on her own, or even go there with me because there will be times when I won't be right there sitting next her and there will be people like that security guard who will find something wrong with that.
Deb and I are extremely upset that she gets treated that way when on her own. Last year it was a policeman in Randolph who treated her that way. Today it was that security guard at Quincy Market in Boston.
Please pray that these people will learn to treat DebbieLynne and all people with disabilities with the common respect everyone deserves whether they are with others or by themselves.