She almost never let him buy the coat.
He is in the lineup in front of me. He's maybe thirty, Down Syndrome, and had picked out a new winter coat. He was alone. Quietly standing in front of me. I smiled an invitation to chat but he chose to just stand quiet instead.
When it came to his turn the clerked looked up at him and gave him one of those 'ahh' smiles ... maybe like I had done ... and then ran the coat over the scanner and the price popped up. It wasn't cheap, a bit over $150. Good taste, expensive taste.
"And how will you be paying for this?"
He, still silent, pulled out a credit card.
She looked shocked. She didn't say it alloud but her face definately screamed, 'someone gave you a credit card?' She fumbled for what to say. "I'm going to need picture ID." He pulled a health care card out of his wallet along with some kind of picture ID I didn't recognized. She looked holes through them, looked back at him, checked the name on the credit card. He stood, patiently waiting.
"I'm going to need to call my manager," she said and did.
I'm sitting there itching for a fight, for him to get mad and demand to be treated like any one else to state that this is discrimination, but he didn't. He just waited. The manager arrives and they confer, looking over at him and back at the ID's and credit card.
"Where did you get this card?' the manager asked.
"From the bank," was the answer.
"I have a job, I have a bank account and I have a credit card," he said. Still calm.
"I don't know if we can ..."
"There's one more thing I have," he said and they looked up questioningly.
They rang the coat through on the credit card.
Then the clerk looked over at me in my wheelchair with my purchases bundled on the till. "I have a credit card too ... do I need a lawyer too?"
She shook her head and quietly ran my items through.
The world has indeed changed.