Thursday, December 06, 2007

Invisible me

Explain something to me, please. What the hell happened to common courtesy, respect and politeness? Today was not only a day that tried my patience, it ran over me again and again.

It started out a fine day. Blustery and cool. Great to be outside shopping. Now, being in a wheelchair is difficult during normal shopping days and during holiday shopping, it's downright suicidal. Or homicidal, depending on your point of view.

The first ding was at the restaurant. How many bloody times do I have to say "excuse me" before you move your ass? (This is directed to the four dudes in matching white button down shirts. No, you guys were not, "way cool"). I wanted a cattle prod to move these doggies along. Seriously. I had to practically yell out my request and then I got a look as if I was the one with the rude attitude. I know you could hear me, buckeroos. I was almost in your crotches trying to get you to move. Oh yea, on an aside, the view from my chair is not always a pleasant one. Directing my conversational requests to a strange crotch or group of crotches, is not as pleasant as one might think. On another aside, if a group of geese is a gaggle, what is a cache of crotches? Think about it, I know I am.

Second ding. A gentleman was nice enough to open the door to a store (yes, Virginia, there are nice guys out there. Just not the ones traveling in packs of four, wearing matching white button down shirts) and bam! I was halfway in the doorway when this lady (I use the term loosely, very very loosely) darted around me to get out. Obviously she was on fire and had to roll, roll, roll. I mean, how else could she not see me, my wheelchair, and my brother pushing me? Why, we must have been practically invisible because she said, "oh, I didn't see you there!" Since I left my special invisibility bra at home, there's no way she could have missed me. Again, a cattle prod could be used for this situation. I would have stopped her as she tried to move past me. Then she would have noticed me, right? I'm sure the view from the ground would have shown a lovely sight as my wheelchair rolled past her twitching carcass.

And finally, the sympathetic soul who has to commiserate with my "obvious misery". I wheeled up to the register and one of the women behind the counter exclaims in a tone of voice used for a cute puppy (which I'm not. Cute yes, puppy...uh, no. I'm completely housebroken except for that incident when...never mind), "oh my, you poor thing!! what happened to your leg?" Now, I know she's not being deliberately intrusive but there has to be a line that people simply should not cross. If I were pregnant, would she think it acceptable to put her hand on my belly asking in that saccharine tone, "when are you due, honey?" I think not. I glared at the interloper and said, "accident. bad. not good." It's possible I hurt her feelings since my tone of voice was one of hostility and the accompanying look burned even my eyes. She backed up quickly. Smart girl.

So, whoopee. Guess what I'm doing tomorrow? That's right, shoppers. I'm headed out again. Because I'm optomistic. I know that there are polite souls out there with consideration and respect. I still have much shopping to do. Presents to buy. A cattle prod to find. What, did you think I was kidding? Remember, I may not be on my two feet but that doesn't mean I deserve half your respect. I'll remind you of that - me and my pretty cattle prod. Happy shoppping!


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