Sunday, September 06, 2015

Reluctant Jars

Photo Description: Two hands, one cradling a jar of pickles, the other taking the top off.
Yesterday we were in the lobby waiting for the elevator. One is off service, waiting for parts to arrive. Another was being used for someone moving in. The remaining one is alone in service of 27 floors. When the elevator doors opened I moved towards it, pausing to let an elderly woman off, but then noticed that it was continuing down to the basement.

The woman was holding in her hands a brand new mop head. She headed over to the security desk and asked the guard, a woman about my age, if she had strong hands. The guard was taken aback by the question and didn't answer. I spoke up, "I have very strong hands."

Everyone looked at me. The lobby was much fuller now, many waiting for one elevator. I said, "I'm in my power chair now but I push myself in my manual chair, I have very, very, strong hands." The elderly woman said, "Could you help me with this?" She handed me the mop head. "The mop has to click into place here," she said said pointing to where it clipped in, "I have tried and tried, but I can't get it in."

I took it from her and looked at it. I put my fingers on the rim of the mop, and pressed, hard. There was a resounding "CLICK" which echoed in the lobby. There had been a fair bit of resistance but, then, I have strong hands. I looked it over and saw one other part than needed to be pressed in place. I did the same thing there and it was done.

She looked at me, shocked. "You did that so easily." I told her again that I use my hands to push  myself, and I'm not light, down hallways and through parking lots, my hands are very strong.

The elevator arrived, Joe got on, as we were next in line, she got on and I backed in. We rode together upstairs. "Do you think I could bother you every now and then when I need strong hands?" she asked.

"Yes," both Joe and I answered together. We gave her our apartment number as I told her that I was expert in opening reluctant jars.

"Funny," she said, "I wouldn't have asked you."

"Yeah, I understand," I said, "people tend to think I'm disabled all over."

"How wrong we all are," she said, and wished us a good day as we got off the elevator.

On the way down the hall Joe said, "You earned lots of brownie points today." And I did, because, I've got strong hands.


clairesmum said...


Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

'How wrong we all are' is so perfect.

Now, when you have extracted that confession from a young healthy male, we will have finished the task.

Blessings on the woman who led the way.

And, BTW, that was awesome.


Mardra said...

""How wrong we all are," she said,"
Hm. Those open to learning this lesson can change the world, I feel.

Liz said...

LOVE this post!

AnyBeth said...

A month or so back, I was encouraging a cashier to put as much as she could in the reusable bags I'd brought. At some point, she expressed reluctance, saying, "I don't know, it's getting pretty heavy..."

"Don't worry about the weight, I'll be fine," I said, adding, "Anywho who pushes themselves in a wheelchair has pretty strong arms."

The cashier took a second to consider this. "Huh," she said, "I never thought of that. Makes a lot of sense."

Yes, yes it does. Wheelchair ≠ weak

AnyBeth said...

Ack! Anyone who, that is. :-p