There is an end to my patience and to my generosity of spirit. I don't often reach the end of it ... but reach it I did after spending two hours shopping in a mall full of Christmas shoppers. Anyone who uses a mobility devise of any kind can tell you that it takes intense concentration to get through people, get by barriers and get purchases purchased. People move in odd, unpredictable, ways when in a crowded space. Darting left, darting right, coming to a complete stop after racing ahead, gathering in groups just inside our outside doors. All of it requires that I, who am operating a moving vehicle, focus, really focus on keeping everyone safe. It can be exhausting.
I had been nice and polite for a very long time, smiling sweetly and ensuring that I wasn't in anyone's way. I find it interesting that few seem to care if they are in my way. Some people seem to actually put themselves in my way so I can ask and they can give. This happened more than once. I was, for example, leaving a store, the only way out was a space between a mannequin and a display table. I was nearly there to go through when a woman dashed ahead and stood in that place. Just stood there, looking at me, waiting for the question. I asked if she'd let me through, she said, "Of course, dear." She called me dear! Anyways, as they say a wheelchair is often a cue for socially odd behaviour.
So, I'm nearly done. I am leaving a store. The aisle has just enough room for me to go one way and others to pass by me going in either direction. As there was no one there, I was going down the centre of the aisle. A late teen girl started down the aisle and I pulled over to the right, leaving plenty of room on my left. She saw me do this and also pulled over, coming straight at me. When we met, I came to a stop. She looked perplexed. I was in her way. There was ample space right beside me but she turned to 'scoot' by me. I said, calmly, "You aren't going to do that, there's not enough room." She said, "It's alright, I don't mind." I said, "Well, I do. You'll be right in my space and that will make me uncomfortable." She said, "What am I supposed to do?" I looked at the ample space beside me and back at her and said, "If you can't figure that out on your own, I'm worried about you."
It was like she suddenly saw the space. She's now embarrassed and jumped over to the other side and rushed by me. Easily rushed by me I might say.
Sometimes the problem isn't me.
Sometimes the problem isn't mine.