Monday, October 04, 2010

IWIST

Home from Ottawa.

One night.

We decided on comfort food. Wieners and beans on toast! It's a meal that we both love and it means home like pretty much no other meal. Joe's job was unloading the car, mine was going to the bank, going to get groceries and then getting home as quickly as possible.

Everything was fine until I got to the grocery store. It was very, very, busy. I picked up the ingredients and then found some great stuff to go in 'care packages' that we send out every now and then to surprise people. So I had more than I planned. I was originally going to simply carry the bag but when going through the check out, I thought I'd ask the nice young man to hook the bag on the back of my chair so I didn't have to bother with it.

There was a young woman behind me who had two of those power drinks set out to purchase. I would have let her by with them but the aisle wouldn't allow me to turn and there were too many people to back up, so I just smiled, I thought sweetly. When my bag was packed I asked the fellow for help, he eagerly agreed and came out from behind the counter. It took him a second, but only a second, to figure how the bag goes on the chair.

I was putting my gloves on and he was already back. The young woman behind me spoke to me through a conversation with him, love how that happens, 'Some people have so many needs, don't they?' My mind went blank with something to say. I felt myself flush. I began to berate myself for asking him to put the bag on the back of my chair.

Then he said, quickly, and as politely as could be, 'Yes, all people have needs don't they. Some need help with their bags, Others need to complain about people. Me, I'd prefer to need help with bags.' The colour magically drained from my cheeks and into hers. I had my gloves on and was ready to go, I tried to catch his eyes but he was now busy smiling at the next customer in line.

All the way home I kept thinking 'IWIST'.

Have you ever said it: I Wish I'd Said That?'

Oh, do tell me when ...

22 comments:

Kate said...

That's so great! I love that! What a smart person :) Especially to come up with that so quickly.

Nathan Dawthorne said...

This made me very happy. Especially with some of the shit you've experienced lately - its nice to finally see a stranger doing something nice for a change!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, Maybe he reads your blog or maybe he's watched you in the store and learned, or maybe his parents did a great job, or maybe his soul is like Ruby's!

Susan said...

Love this Dave, I have been reading your posts for a long time and seldom comment but this post and Rubys show me how I want my three year old to grow up. To see everyone, to listen to everyone, to respect everyone, not to be afraid to speak up and to know what to say when they see injustice.

I look forward to your posts everyday and they teach me so much that I want to pass on to my son.

Thank you
Susan

Liz said...

Wonderful! He definitely put her in her place! I need to remember that line, and the attitude behind it, in case I ever need it.

Natalie said...

I am going to pray for that woman today. Her heart is hardened to her neighbor. She had an opportunity to treat you with kindness instead of superiority. I hope the incident made her stop and think of how she could act with grace.

Anonymous said...

There is someone who sees people as they are - not a diagnosis - and embraces them. That seems to be a rare quality these days. This story made my heart sing.

Gün Osborn said...

Hmm, you know I had thought about it few times but I just cannot remember it now! I think I will take notes from now on :)

Wembley Fraggle said...

I absolutely love his reply! I'm never that witty. :(

ivanova said...

That is awesome!

Best snappy comeback I ever heard was

Nosy stranger, at a county fair: "What's wrong with him?" (Him being a kid with CP.)

Caregiver: "Nothing's wrong with him; what's right with you?"

Sheva said...

IWIST with my daughter all the time, now that she is getting bigger and coming into her own look( not the newborn squish look) I am baffled by the stares. IWIST I could just say to people " if you have a question about my daughter please ask me" but I never have the guts. Maybe next time.........

wendy said...

Wow...that line, or some variation of it, would probably come in handy most days at some point! Good for him for moving the blush where it belonged.

Lene Andersen said...

I am rarely with others when exposed to insanity like that and alas, inevitably think of the perfect comeback 30 min. after it's occurred. My "favorite" idiocies tend to be of the religious kind - the people who pop out of a crowd and tell you that they'll pray for you or that there are no wheelchairs in heaven (perfect comeback to the latter realized later was an innocent "then how will I get around?")

You and I have both complained about grocery stores lately. This moment would be a great one to share with the cashier's manager. What an awesome employee!

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I love that young man's reply! I am going to remember that one - Me I'd rather need help with bags - and tell myself that when I think my attitude might be a problem.

Colleen

Lianna said...

What a great attitude from the cashier! If only ALL people could articulate as well as he did about just being a good human being!

leighbe72 said...

Sweet!

AkMom said...

Good one!

moplans said...

awesome. what a great guy.

Kristin said...

What a brilliant response. I know there have been many instances I have thought IWIST but right now I am to tired to think of any.

Glee said...

yeah and there are some people who need many chairs everywhere waiting around for them to park their bum on when they need one - and there are those who bring their own!!

Sarah said...

This really did make me smile.

My son is almost 2 and has quite a few little "issues", as they're so politely labelled.

A few days ago we were on the bus home from running a few errands. He loves the bus. He gets excited. But unlike other kids, he does not laugh when he's excited. He will shake his head and flap his hands and scream.

There were two teenagers sitting by us. One of them turned to the other and said "God, if I had a spacker kid I wouldn't dare take them on a bus with normal people."

I didn't say a thing. I was caught between wanting to cry and wanting to scream at them, and I just sat and ignored them. My son didn't understand. He was just so damn happy to be on that bus. But it hurt. I could unhear what I'd heard.

Then I got home and it hit me. Who really has the bigger problem? People are always quick to tell me how horrible it must be for me to parent a disabled child.

I'll take him, hand-flapping and all, over an intolerant jackass any day.

I know this is barely related, but ... Your posts mean a lot to me. I'm more of a lurker than a commenter, but I just want you to know that you're an inspiration and I love reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

The one I always wish I had the guts to say, when people are nasty when I'm out with my service dog and say things to the tune of: "You don't LOOK disabled." The reply I'd like to make is "Well, you don't look rude/stupid, so I guess we're even."

I usually settle for the more neutral "Never can tell, can you?" with a smile (varying from sincere if I'm in a really tolerant mood to really toothy and fake if I'm not.)