True to my word, I went back again, got different stuff but still all vegetarian. I also needed the veggie red sauce on my pasta. She did the same. I thanked her and headed back to our table. We chatted, Joe and I, with each other and with people who we hadn't seen for awhile, also attending the conference. it was nice. A little later, the hotel staff came by where we were just as Joe was taking the plates over to where others had set dishes they were finished with. She caught sight of Joe walking, and a look crossed her face. She glanced at me as if she was sorry for me for having to help someone who obviously wouldn't help me.
Such is the nature of invisible disabilities. Mine, obvious for all the world to see, in some situations - like a lunch line up - gets me appropriate offers of help. Joe's disability, though, isn't seen, and he gets a very different reaction. I think she made very different value judgements of him as a person..What kind of person would let a disabled man get lunch for him WHEN HE'S PERFECTLY CAPABLE HIMSELF. I have never understood why those with medical degrees and the ability to diagnose by sight end up in more pedestrian jobs than their skills would indicate.
But for me, I like the fact that, with my power chair, I have been able to relieve Joe almost entirely of some of what he's used to. I can lift, I can carry, I can get myself about. It allows me to be more of a contributor in our relationship.
Right now Joe may 'pass' as someone without disability, as someone without living in some severe pain, there are good things about 'passing' like people don't intrude into his health status with intrusive questions or give him odd medical advice. I was once told that 'cow hormones' injected regularly would help me lose weight and get me out of my chair (I shit you not). But on the other hand, people may just think that his needs are less valid because they aren't on public display.
Joe asked, "Why is that woman looking at me all annoyed?" I said, "Because she thinks I'm hot and she wants to rip me from your loving arms." He paused and said, dead serious, "Makes sense."