Tara Nanayakkara

Addressing The Issue

In Priya's World, Trent managed to get rush tickets for the symphony. Priya couldn't go as she was unwell. Similarly we were offered rush tickets to see Olivia Newton John and like Priya we couldn't use them; we couldn't prove we were married. Seriously!

Before our trip to the States, my husband and I talked about taking in a show while we were on The Strip in Las Vegas. Four tickets to a show seemed like a pricey proposition so we decided against it. We would instead, content ourselves with touring the hotels and strolling The Strip. That alone would have been enough for us. My children were enthralled with the splendor and grandeur of the hotels, the lightshows, the fountains and yes the pursuit of souvenirs and trendy eateries.

My husband was actually hoping that we might be able to score some rush Olivia Newton John tickets hours before the show at a discount. We got lucky - not.

At the Flamingo, there was a special on for married couples and their families only.  If you could prove you were married, were willing to sit through a ninety-minute presentation about a new sister hotel, tour the presidential suite and listen to speeches about how great the hotel is, we could get a meal and four steeply discounted tickets for that night's concert. After quickly debating the pros and cons of sitting through a 90 minute spiel and a meal, we decided do it.

We approached the saleswoman with money in hand. She asked us for proof of our marriage. We promptly waved our ring fingers at her. Then she asked if we had any ID to show that we lived at the same address. My husband had his driver's license. Being visually impaired I had no license to show and unfortunately had nothing else in my wallet with my home address on it. We were regretfully told that we could not qualify for the married couple's deals. Apparently our rings weren't proof enough.

My question is, how would sharing an address prove we were married? We could have been  living common law, or been housemates. We don't share a last name. We aren't even the same race. Aside from carrying our marriage certificate around, who would believe we were married?  This then begs one of two questions.

Was it inconceivable to the saleswoman that a white man can be married to a South Asian woman?

Since I have a visual impairment and no driver's license to validate myself, does that make me lesser citizen in the eyes of society because nobody has created an ID card that includes your address as along with your name?

We left the hotel but you know what? We still had fun anyway. Instead of sitting through a ninety-minute presentation that we didn't want to sit through anyway, instead of eating a meal that wasn't of our choosing, we explored The Strip, had dinner at Cracker Barrel, (the first to open in Las Vegas), got over 35,000 steps each on our Fitbits in one day and a lot of fun in the process.

The concert would have been icing on the cake but it didn't happen this time and maybe it never will but do I really care? An experience, good and bad, is fleeting. In the end, all you are left is your memories.