Thursday, September 13, 2007

Monkey Face

A few months ago I wrote about my wallet. My old worn out black leather wallet with ripped coin purse and a faded radio sticker with the call name Dave that was given to me by the folks at KW Hab. I loved that wallet. Joe hated that wallet. For Christmas several years running I got an assortment of new wallets. I never used them, didn't want them, resented getting them. He didn't understand. Said they were the same as my old wallet, only new. I said they weren't the same as my wallet because they were new.

When I wrote about this last time I pointed out that my wallet was 'mine'. Absolutely and completely mine. Not shared. Not part of 'us'. Completely mine. And I liked it just as it was. I wanted to make the point, then, that people have attachments - silly or not - to the oddest things. That its wrong to take away these things, to talk people into giving them up, to use disapproval as punishment for not seeing the world in the prescribed way.

I was surprised when many people posted about how I could keep my wallet and get a new one at the same time. Put your old wallet in a special place was one suggestion. It didn't make sense to me, the special place I kept my wallet was in my pocket. Cut the wallet up and make a key chain with the leather and Dave sticker ... EEEEEEEEK! Get away from my wallet you butcher. I wanted to scream at the screen: "But it's my wallet, why do you care about my wallet, why do you all want me to give up my wallet!"

Admittedly, I knew you were all right.

But your being right doesn't subsume my right to be wrong.

So it will suprise you to learn that whilst in Owen Sound we were wandering around Wallmart and I spotted a very cool black cloth wallet with an awesome monkey face embroidered on it. I pushed myself over to examine it. Perfect. I couldn't understand why it was marked as a 'girl's wallet' but who cares, I'm daring, self assured in both my manliness and maturity. I plopped it into the cart. Joe picked it up and asked, totally confused, "Who are you buying this for?"

"Me," says I.

"But you've got a hundred new wallets at home."

"I don't like them, I like this one."

"It has a monkey face on it."

"Yes."

"It's a girl's wallet."

"So you say."

His face looked stern, "Well then I'm going to take the wallet I gave you last year, I need a new wallet and I might as well use that one."

"Be my guest."

We strolled away and I smiled at the idea of my new black fabric wallet with the cool monkey face on it.

On the way out I said to Joe, "Remember that conversation we had about choices for people with disabilities in the car." (We really do have the best conversations some times about disability issues and themes.)

"Yes," he said, warily.

"You know what my new wallet is?"

"What?"

"Uncoerced selection. And that is why I like it, that's why I bought it and that is why I'll use it."

I knew I had to give up my old wallet one of these days. Every time I was prompted to get a new one, nagged to replace the old one, my heels dug in a little further. I became defiant. About a silly wallet because I wanted to do it in my own time, in my own way and I wanted to pick out the next one myself. You may call this childish, I call this freedom.

8 comments:

Lisa said...

You make me smile Dave :) That story reminds me of when I Was 13. I used to paint my pinky nail with black nail polish. Only the one nail. And it drove my mum absolutely budshi* . Maybe that is why I did it. At least once a week she would say ''Lisa- take that nail polish off now'' I would shrug and say yeah mum and then leave it on. This went on for I would say 6 months (20 years of memories maybe it was closer to 3 months, but hey I like my version :) ) All I know is that when she stopped telling me to take it off- I eventually decided on my own that it needed to go. I suppose I am trying to say in along way that you do not need to be handicapped in any way to have un-coerced decisions :) I just need to remember this myself when dealing with my own DS son :)

Have a nice day folks!!

And thanks again Dave for blogging and giving such joy and laughter to so many people- real and cyber buddies :D

Kei said...

Yay on the wallet selection. My husband had a wallet that was old and worn. I loved the way the leather was worn on it, the way the color was so dark on the inner fold of the tri-fold. He used to say he really needed a new one. I used to talk him out of it. "But it's the one you came up here with... this wallet is part of our story" (He gave up everything he had in Texas, fit what he could in his truck and with $500 in his wallet, drove to MA to be with me 5 weeks after we met) "You can't just buy any wallet to replace it with" which of course was followed by his response, "then you pick out the one that will replace it"
It took me several years, but I finally did find one that was a tri-fold, leather and soft enough. He loves it. He did keep the old one for a memento~ it's in his keepsake drawer.

Enjoy your new wallet Dave. It already has a cool story to go with it.

Anonymous said...

I guess we now have to try and find another Dave sticker for you. I certainly will try.

Jo (KW Hab)

Casdok said...

Or could it be an autistic tendancy??!!!!

Nicole said...

No, I just call this funny. I wish we were neighbors. :)

lina said...

Dave,
great new wallet - not a 'girl' wallet - whatever that is!

Anne said...

I was told by David at his seminar to tell you, I saw his wallet, it is very nice and doesn't look like a "girls" wallet at all!! It is very nice!!
So David, when do I get paid?
LOL!

Congrats on a great choice of wallet and a wonderful seminar!!

Sally said...

Its the feel of the wallet too, and where things are in it.

It took me ages to find a replacement nearly ten years ago, that my befuddled brain can train itself to use smoothly without dropping or fumbling when the till cashier is asking me silly questions, the wheelchair joystick has a mind of its own and I drop my keys/bag/whatever, again.