After work yesterday, we went over to Whole Foods Market to pick up dinner. First we wandered around the store, did some Christmas shopping, filling up the bag on the back of my wheelchair. Then we went over and filled up some cardboard containers with supper and headed out. Joe took the bag back to the car while I wandered around a store that was stuffed full of stuff.
He joined me and we looked at things, talking about who might like what. Joe's not the shopper I am but he indulges me in this and we spent a pleasant half hour or so looking at stuff, him calling me to look at something, me calling him. We didn't buy anything but got a few ideas. Then we got back to the car and rode over to the hotel.
Once back in the room we answered a few emails, watched some television, had some dinner, and went to bed. It was a nice, but unremarkable evening.
I don't think it's the kind of day that many of those who we encountered during our wander imagined we had. Both of us noticed, but didn't talk about because it too is part of 'the new normal' in our lives, people staring at the both of us. Some pitying Joe. Others pitying me. I think that they think that our days our somehow wildly different than theirs. That our time is spent somehow in different ways, doing different things. Different people do different things, don't they?
We encountered this, and still do to some extent, years ago as a gay couple. (I think our 'coupleness' is nigh on made invisible by my disability, most seem to think Joe either a brother or a care provider.) As a gay couple it surprised people that we shopped, made dinner, went to work ... lived quite ordinary lives. I never really knew what they imagined. I was always just bemused at the idea that somehow gay people were supposed to just spend all our time 'being gay' and none of our time frying eggs for breakfast.
I think the fear that people place on the possibility of their own disability some day is that there will be a loss of 'ordinary'. Well, let me testify, here and now, that we have a lot of 'ordinary' in our lives. It is a 'new ordinary' because old stuff is done in new ways, but it's still old stuff.
All this to say, that we had a lovely, quiet, ordinary night and I'm really, truly grateful for it.