Friday, October 17, 2008

Half the Story

We were somewhere in Pennsylvania on our way, about half way through a eight hour drive, when we decided to pull off for lunch. We chose to go to a Wegman's - which is a supermarket with a buffet style eaterie tucked off to the side. We've eaten at these before and knew that they always have something vegetarian on offer. We parked and got out. I had yet to replace the legs on the wheelchair so getting in was difficult, but I knew I had to keep my spirits up as my dark mood had almost cost Joe his day. I didn't want to be responsible for that - after all, as much as I wanted to punish someone, somewhere - and even though Joe was convienient, Joe didn't do it.

We made our way around what was on offer and found that they had a vegetarian chili. I got myself a large cup and decided to get a few roasted potatoes on the side. Joe caught my drift and put a few spuds for himself in one of the soup cups. When were were going through the check out the woman on the desk, looked at what we'd done and began to patiently explain that she would have to charge us for an extra soup because Joe had put some potatoes at the bottom of a soup cup. Soup cups were for soup. Sides were to be put on the plates provided. There was frustration in her voice as she informed us about our error.

A woman, who's back had been to us as she cleaned a table, turned around and said, "That's just a silly rule, you don't have to follow it." Annoyance grew in the cashiers face, she clearly didn't like being told what to do by someone with Down Syndrome. I said, "It kind of is a silly rule, isn't it?"

She let out a breath and said, "OK, I'll let it go this time, but only because you didn't know."

"There, that's nice," said the bus girl clapping her hands together.

On our way by, I stopped and thanked her for her intervention. She said, "My mom and dad, my parents, taught me that I had to follow all the big rules, the God rules, be nice, be honest, don't steal, don't hurt people. But all the others rules I get to think about. Dad says that people make rules for no particular reason."

"So you are a bit of a rebel then?" I said.

"That's me," she said grinning.

"I'll bet that your parents are going to regret teaching you that one day."

"They already have," she said, laughing. And moved on to another table.

There's a story I'd love to hear.

11 comments:

Ettina said...

I'm a lot like that girl!

lina said...

Cool story, very, very cool.

Kei said...

Love it!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dave I wanted to vote on your poll but I didn't know box to check. But it did make me have a big think.

Is community, community because of willing participants with some kind of commonality?

Is community, community because of commonaltity whether or not participants are willing?

Is community a choice for some?

Is community a desire for some without choice to participate or belong because of exclusion?

Can I be part of a commuinty without commonality? E.g. Part of the disability community without a disability regardless of my personal relationships and commonality with those with a disabilty?

Can one choose to be part of a community and can one choose not to?

Do we belong to communities regarless of whether we are accepted?


Are our views of community so different that it is merely impossible to define?

Do communities exist because of a shared understanding of what they are?

Can communities exist as community with different perceptions of what it is?

mmmmmmmmmm! thanks for making me look at this again. x

gracie1956 said...

Many times I have said "that's what I get for teaching you to think for youself" when talking to my daughter regarding one situation or another when she chose her way instead of mine. She knows she can say no for no particular reason. She has the right to choose her own way. She knows that it is her right to not be touched and that her opinion matters over anyone elses. There have been more than a few people who have thought I was making a mistake in raising her to be so independant. They were wrong.

Glee said...

Excellent story about an excellent person. It so comforts me to know that many young pwd are taught to value themselves by their parents these days. Bout bloody time. Such a relief.

cheers
Glee

Glee said...

"Are we taking the dis?" a video. This is a bit off topic but is a video that shows the discrimination that ppl with learning disabilities suffer. From Britain. May be a useful educational tool to show abloids what ppl go through.

Glee

Glee said...

Woops forgot the link to "Are we taking the dis"
http://dl.groovygecko.net/anon.groovy/clients/readingroom/takingthedis/takingTheDis9.swf

Glee

Lisa said...

I enjoyed that. Thanks!

Lisa

rickismom said...

Oh, I can just imagine Ricki talking like that in a few years! Nice story!

theknapper said...

Such a wise young woman......so many rules are stupid.
Loved this story