Thursday, December 09, 2010

My New Ride

I opened a big envelope earlier today and read that the MBTA said "yes" to my application for The Ride. According to their large-print handbook that accompanied the certification letter, "The Ride is [the MBTA's] paratransit program, which provides door-to-door public transportation to eligible people...who cannot use public transportation, all or some of the time, because of a physical, cognitive or mental disability."

I have optic nerve damage and vision loss as the result of my MS. I don't walk with a red-tipped cane, have a seeing-eye dog, or read Braille but I do have low vision and I no longer drive. I take regular public transportation almost everywhere that it goes but it doesn't go everywhere that I want to go. And, depending on my destination, I sometimes have to take a trolley, a bus, and a train for an hour and a half to get somewhere that's only a 30-minute drive away. I get a lot of rides from my wonderful friends and neighbors, but it's nice to go places by myself and on my own schedule sometimes.

In spite of all these no-brainer reasons for The Ride, I waited about a year after I stopped driving to ask my neurologist to sign the application, and then I waited another year to mail it in. I had a whole lot of excuses but only one real reason. Pride. I didn't want to be someone who needed The Ride.

And, I have to say, I still don't. And it's still all about pride. What will the other riders will think of me? ("Why the heck is this able-bodied woman scamming a seat on The Ride?") What about the neighbors? ("Oh! Julie must be going down the tubes with her MS. Poor thing!"). What happens if I flirt with a handsome man in Ikea and he walks me outside and is about to ask for my number when my short bus pulls up?

I'm thinking that, for my inaugural trip, I should pick a place to go all by myself that I couldn't get to on the train. It should be something fun and not something absolutely necessary like a doctor's appointment. Maybe I'll go to Ikea (to troll for cute men who don't have anything against visually-impaired people) or to the DeCordova Museum.

Or maybe, I'll stare at the certification letter for another year. 


  1. Maybe it's just that I live in Atlanta but hun, if I see a cute guy by himself in IKEA, I am 99.999% sure he bats for the other team, if you know what I'm sayin'.

  2. Anne - you're too funny. . . and oh so right!

  3. I vote that you take yourself someplace fun. Anne is a riot there...

  4. So what do you think, Anne...should I take My Ride to Home Depot? ;-)
    Lazy J

  5. Potentially a lot of flannel in Home Depot. Me, I love the smell of a hard-working man in flannel. :-D