“Most of you people seem to prefer being pushed around rather than pushing yourself, nice to see you putting effort in.”
Smiling? Nice? My opinion is changing.
Before I go on let me say that the store seemed to be chock full of wheelchair users. It must have been ‘Cripple Day’ or something because there were a lot of people there. One used a power chair. One was being pushed by someone else. Three others were pushing themselves. Now I know that on any given day with any different group of disabled people those numbers could be very different.
“Having a disability means that you put effort in every single day, if not in one way, in another,” I said.
“Well, I just wanted to say that I’m cheering you on!” She had noticed my tone and this was her parting shot. I don’t think she saw it as a shot, but it was.
This is the problem, isn’t it?
People don’t hear what they say in the way we, or at least me, as disabled persons hear it. I hear insult and prejudice and intrusion. She hears compliments and encouragement.
I’m not sure how to handle these situations. I want so shop, not give a master class in disability manners. I know these are opportunities for learning but I don’t want to be forced to take every opportunity for teaching. I just want to know which brand of chili I’m going to buy based of a very strict criteria that I apply in making this decision.
I know that she meant this to be a pleasant interaction, I’m sorry that I couldn’t pretend that it was.
I used to be able to pretend.
But I can’t any more.
I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
But it is what it is, at least at this point in my evolution as a disabled person who likes to be out in the world but not always part of it.