A woman and her small boy were waiting at the elevator, which happens to be on the other side of the door I had gone through. She would have been in her mid to late 20’s. She and her boy had been watching me come down the hallway while I prayed the elevator would come and take away the audience to my progression towards the lobby. I passed them, she said to me, “You poor thing” and I slowed to look at her, it’s first thing in the morning and I had no idea what about me resulted in her comment. “They make the doors too narrow for wheelchairs,” she said. I said, “I pushed through the door with no problem.” She nodded, the door opened for the elevator, and got on.
I’m now starting my day with ‘poor thing’ ringing in my ears and it’s going to take work to shush that up, push that aside and tamp down my annoyance. I’m starting my day.
Words have consequences.
By the time I got to work it had become a funny story. That conversion from feeling patronized and having reality distorted by prejudice … I was through the door … into an anecdote involves energy that could have been used differently.
Like enjoying the ride to work.