Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Mouth and I Get Tea for Two

Photo Description: Tea being poured from a glass pot into a glass cup.
Odd encounters come unexpectedly. They catch you off guard. Let's face it, for disabled people, and I imagine but do not know that it's the same for anyone considered different, it's gets harder and harder to be caught unaware. Silly comments, inappropriate intrusions, and downright bigoted interactions aren't, like, um, rare. But, even so, I was caught off guard.

Joe and I were out for breakfast. He was over at the 'order eggs and hashbrowns' place and I'd gone over to a separate 'order tea and coffee' place. I waited in line up. Money crushed in my hand, like an excited 4 year old waiting to pay. I ordered our usual. Yep, 'usual' we come here often. I ordered one large cup of black tea and one large cup of green tea.

The woman brought them to me individually and I asked her if she could put them in a tray so that I could easily carry them. She did, cheerfully, and said, "So you like having both kinds of tea." I was confused, "No, I drink the green tea the other tea is for my husband." "Oh," she said, "I thought you were on your own." She thought I was alone. I buy two freaking teas and she thinks I'm alone, her assumption is that someone like me is alone. Evidence for two becomes a pity party for one. I practise my 'happy place' imagery while my calm yourself breathing strategy isn't working my breath comes ragged like I about to give birth to twins.

She didn't blink at the word 'husband' score one for her, but she said, "He lets you get tea by yourself? You could drop it!" She shook her head. SHOOK HER HEAD!! What kind of man must I have married that he'd let me, all on my own, without his ever present help, carry two teas on a tray across a room? She continues sarcastically, "Must be quite a guy you've got there."

One the teas were snugly in their tray, I was backing up in my power wheelchair, I stopped at her 'my guy' statement. "Yeah, in fact, after a blistering, passionate Friday night, I can't walk for days!!"

I couldn't read her look. Shock? Horror? Envy?

I didn't care.

15 comments:

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Still chuckling.

I hope you get 1) recognition, and 2) a lot more respect next time she serves you.

Envy, probably.

People who comment on other people's business should not be surprised when they get an earful. For heaven's sake, she was making snide comments about your whole life - while being totally unaware.

You lead such an interesting life.

Alicia

jwg said...

Best ever response! Wish I could have seen the look on her face.

Colleen said...

Thanks for the laugh. Wish I could have seen her face. But sorry you have to constantly deal with this nonsense.

leslie sobel said...

Nearly spilled MY coffee all over my keyboard reading that. I never come up with good responses in the moment and that was excellent. Laughing. so. hard.

Clairesmum said...

High fives!

jen said...

Dave if you weren't already married I think this post would have people lining up to propose.

gps said...

Oh, I dunno. You were coming up to the counter alone. At least she didn't ask if the second tea was for your "helper"..... The other comment, however, was utterly out of bounds. I'm surprised she didn't "drop it" at your retort!

Anonymous said...

I understand.

Anonymous said...

Interesting.

B. said...

Good laugh! I wish someone would teach me the art of the quick come-back.

Sabrina Bartram said...

Fantastic I wish I could come out with responses like that. I only ever think of them afterwards.

Anonymous said...

I feel it was an unnecessary comment on your part Dave. Crude. I understand the sting of the assumption, but the assumption was not around your husband, it was on being by yourself. What about the other side? Not questioning if you were able to manage on your own, or if you should be out on your own. Not saying it is "weird" to order 2 teas. in your own words She served you cheerfully. You may have been having a pre-breakfast low, and indeed the comment was low-brow.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! I also wish I could be as witty so quickly!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!

Debbie (NJ)

Anonymous said...

Okay, devil's advocate here. Remember the woman who suffered serious burns because she spilled a cup of coffee on her lap at a MacDonald's drive through? She couldn't stand fast enough to spare herself serious injury and hospitalization. I know people made fun of her - "like, what did she expect her coffee to be like? Cold?" - but her injury was quite severe. I don't condone this woman's words - they were patronizing and uncalled for. And I would also guess she had rarely met someone as competent at navigating with 2 cups of tea (whether on wheels or feet) . . . I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt - that she had genuine concern about your safety (but the "slight" in her dismissal of your husband's judgment was unforgivable).

Just thinking . . . (which I've been told should be a spectator sport in my case!)

ecodrew said...

I learned a few things as a waiter back in the day that you never assume/guess: someone's age, whether a woman is pregnant, a baby's gender, or whether or not two people are a couple. Sorry this barista didn't learn this or common manners. Your response was awesome, btw.