Thursday, October 29, 2009

Up With Which I Will Not Put

We're busy getting ready for our trip and that means dealing with the pharmacy, getting all our meds (I'm kept alive by chemistry), and sorting that which comes from that which stays. Joe is in charge of almost all of this but I try in my little way to help. On our way to our hotel in Gravenhurst we stopped at a Shoppers Drug Mart because we realized we need to take several bottles of menthol Otrivin with us and in order to do that we had to buy several more bottles.

I can't imagine sleeping without my nightly shot of Otrivin or lecturing without a little spray. We went into the store and I wheeled myself around while Joe went in search of the miracle spray. I ended up at the top of one of the rows waiting for Joe to find the treasure. A fellow of about 23 entered the row and I noticed him, honestly, because of his gait. His knees were tucked together and he walked with quite a sway. His feet shuffled on the ground but he walked with confidence. True a little slower than the typical person, but then each step was weighted with more meaning than it is for most.

A couple came in behind him, well old enough to know how to behave, they were nearly 50. They were hurrying up and ended up behind the young man who hadn't noticed them, he was focused on getting up the aisle and over to the cash. They had to slow up a little bit. Annoyance crossed their faces, clearly they needed the several seconds that it would take to wait for him to clear the aisle. The man turned to his wife and mimed a shuffled walk, she laughed, covering her mouth almost to show that her husband was being incorrigible, hilarious but incorrigible.

I prayed.

'Don't look back.'

He didn't, he didn't see their annoyance, their mocking of him. But I'm sure he's seen it all before. I wonder if, when he struggled to learn to walk that they taught him how to balance on his feet and how to balance his personal achievement with the stares of ignorant assholes as he made his way through the world.

Step by step, we, the disabled must claim what is ours.

Push by push, we, the disabled must own our own space.

You know, just because there are assholes doesn't mean we have to constantly put up with their shit.

And an amen to that.


KWombles said...

Amen to that. When we see people engage in crap like that, we need to stand up to that and censure that kind of behavior. I'd start with asking them how they'd feel if someone had just acted that way about one of them or their children? It might not work. It might lead to a pissing match. But they'd know that that kind of behavior would not be validated.


I hope ya'll have a good trip.

Kristin said...

And, another AMEN to that! Assholes are assholes are assholes no matter their age or their circumstance and that couple was a set of grade A assholes. I am so very glad that young man didn't look back.

Gary Miller said...


I just pray that you don't see that kind of behaviour whilst you and Joe are over here in the UK.

I'm not saying it doesn't exist - it does - I just pray you don't find us all to be assholes.

Bon voyage mes amis...

FAB said...


FridaWrites said...

Yes, definitely old enough to know better. How would their mothers react, or would they make fun of them too as they get older?

Ashley's Mom said...

I deal with this kind of crap ALL THE TIME. My beautiful daughter is in a wheelchair and looks different because one eye is very, very small. She, fortunately, is blind and doesn't see how people stare and make fun of her, but I do. I speak up each and every time, and usually like KWombles said, it ends in a pissing match. People don't like being called out on their rude and ignorant behavior. But too bad. You DO NOT make fun of people, especially my daughter, or you feel my wrath!

Jeannette said...

Old enough to know better?
Give me a break!
No child would have acted like that man did, not unless the child was already emotionally damaged.

Clay said...

Dave, sorry to be off topic here, and I don't know whether you've covered the subject before, but I figured you'd be the guy to ask about this.

What do you think about the use of surveillance cameras in institutions, for the purpose of documenting (and perhaps preventing) various forms of abuse of residents or students by supposed caretakers and teachers, (or fellow residents/students) ?

Recently, in my town, several Nurse's Aides were prosecuted for abuse and neglect, and either lost their licenses or were convicted and jailed for their offenses.

One of my Listmates objects to their use, saying it won't prevent or detect all abuse, and is an infringement of the privacy of residents or students. I'd agree that the use of cameras in itself could be abused, but feel it's a necessary thing to "catch people in the act" and provide evidence to convict those who would abuse people in their care.

I'd like to know what you think.

Karyn said...

unfortunately some parents aren't good role models.
Ever think his parents, in addition to teaching him to walk and hold his head high, taught him not to look back. Those people can just wait because he is important. When I walk in a store I don't usually look back to see what the people behind me think. I don't care.

FridaWrites said...

Clay, I think that's a good idea, esp. if privacy can be protected as much as possible (i.e., for more able people, only reviewing camera footage when an incident has occurred, as with school buses, or periodic audits rather than continual surveillance?)--I'm not sure. But people shouldn't get away with what they do to others.

The Student Nurse said...

Old enough to know better isn't exactly how I would put it. A young child would not act that way. A child would stare, not out of malice but out of curiosity at someone different. Children are far more excepting than adults. We learn to hate, and judge. We learn that differences make us unequal, instead of making us, well different. After we learn these things most people are taught it is inappropriate to mock others, to judge based on differences in appearance or style, gender, race, or disability. Most of as are taught this, but sadly few of us truly learn it. So when those who are different have their back turned we make our comments, we mock and laugh, we discriminate.

It is not about being 'old enough to know better.' They know better, but they do not really think 'better', or feel 'better,' they are not better people. I do not agree with that particular choice of words, but I will agree with you when you say they are assholes!