I don't like being in the way. Really don't like it. I think it's because I grew up fat ... fatty fatty two by four can't get through the kitchen door ... and was always made keenly aware of my size and the space available. Interestingly I've noticed that other fat folk seem to have similar approaches to space. Yesterday in the restaurant having breakfast I noticed a young very skinny woman sitting down at a table for six - with no thought of the lineup at the door - while a very large couple crowded into a small area that really was appropriate for only one. I'da done the same. Take up less space, avoid angry stares.
The wheelchair has only amplified this. I tire and sometimes have to stop when pushing myself from one place to another. Every time I look to park somewhere out of the way, I don't want two footers to vault over me. Joe's even worse about this, he'll grab my chair and move me while I'm paying for something so that someone can get more easily by. We've, um, discussed this a number of times.
Then yesterday we went to Tesco's to do some shopping and all the disabled parking bays were taken. We managed to find parking fairly close to the store but the parking bay was very narrow. I got out of the car and stood, bracing myself against the car next. Joe managed to get the chair out of our hire car and off we went.
On our way back the parking lot was pandemonium with way too many cars looking for way too few spaces. There was no way that Joe could get the wheelchair back in the car. So I waited while he backed the car up and got it parked so that I could get in and the wheelchair could be loaded. I got in easily but Joe took a few seconds to get the feet off the chair and loaded. Then he was folding the chair to put it in.
It was evident for all the world to see that we had parked in an available spot, that the spot wasn't wide enough to get the chair in, and there were people honking. Honking. Angry honking. Hurry up you are in our way, honking. Honking displeasure. Honk if you love yourself - honking. I could see Joe's blood pressure rise and his coordination fall. He was rushing so much that he couldn't get the chair in the back door.
Now the cars are screaming angry. With a huge shove Joe got the wheelchair into the back and then hopped in the car and drove away. He was upset that WE were in THEIR way. I was upset that THEY were in OUR way. Their attitude and their anger was in the way of us just getting about our business.
Is anyone so important that waiting for 5 minutes for a wheelchair to get put into a car is a bother?
What's happened to manners and civility?
Ah, the joys of travel.