I had come out of the exercise room and was heading up to our hotel room, while Joe was out getting the laundry done. I rode up, in silence, with a woman of about my age. We got off the elevator and I began pushing down to our room. It’s an accessible room and, like many of them are, it’s at the end of a long hallway. The carpet was noticeable but manageable and I was making pretty good time.
Suddenly the woman, who had stopped at her room a couple of doors back was behind me and I felt her touch the handles on my chair. This is a major violation for me, and I don’t care if people don’t understand that, I don’t need anyone’s permission to feel violation and I am not required to forgive ignorance that causes unwanted touch. I came to a dead stop. I held on to my tires resisting her effort to push me.
“Don’t,” I said assertively.
She began to talk quickly about helping me.
“DON’T,” I said assertively and loudly.
She let go of the handles,
“Never touch someone’s wheelchair without their permission,” I said in a tone that let her know that I was not in an ‘educational’ frame of mind.
“Please, let me push you, let me help,” she said.
“I don’t need your help and I don’t want your help,” I said, I was still angry at her for touching my chair and attempting to push me without even asking me.
“No, I don’t need help.”
“But I’ve had a really bad day and helping you would make me feel better,” she said, nearly tearing up.
The rest of the interchange didn’t go well, but let me assure you, she didn’t push me to my room.
I’m still upset by this experience. I can brush a lot of them off but, shit, really? I’ve always resisted insper-porn and all that comes with it. But this, to me, is just a little bit uglier. The idea that we exist so others can show charity and feel better about themselves is disturbing. Such selfishness, she didn’t want to help me, she wanted to help herself. I was to be used so she could massage her self esteem a bit. A little bit of cripsterbation will make you feel just fine.
Let me say that again.
I got back to my room and I’m sorry, I had to do it. I took out my wet wipes and wiped down the handles at the back of my chair. She creeped me out. She disrespected me. And she left feeling that I was an ass for not letting her do what she needed to do to feel better.
I never thought I’d be a centerfold in the Cripsterbation Monthly magazine.
Nor did you, I imagine.