Tuesday, February 05, 2008

So Why?

We flew out to Vancouver a day early, it is our tradition when travelling to lecture in the winter to travel a day early so that should there be heavy snows in Toronto we have a day's grace to get where we need to be. The added benefit is that, as I get older, I have an additional day to adapt to the time zone change. The weather Gods were with us and we could travel unimpeded - so we had a day to enjoy the city. But from the get go, I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin, I quietly listened to what went on around me, quietly watched how people moved in the world, and I had questions ...

So, Why ...

why does the woman who serves us breakfast know so much ... like she knows ...

about Britney Spears going into hospital for psychological evaluation

about Britney's dad getting control of her money

about Heath Ledger and his relationship with an unidentifiable Olsen

about his ex wife and daughter - and how they are handling the tragedy

about Victoria Newman coming out of her coma on the Young and the Restless

about Jack and Gloria now living together

but she didn't know

how to look me in the eye when talking

how to take the order from me not Joe

how to include me in her conversation with Joe about the weather and where are we from

about how to simply treat someone in a wheelchair as a customer

And then there was the guy at the corner store, all cool and decked out in teen fashion - the right tattoos in the right places, the right piercing in the right spot ... he knew a lot too ... he knew ...

about the Giants winning the Super Bowl

about how everyone else bet on the Patriots

about how the Fiest song was lame

about Obama was WAY cooler that Clinton

about how the Canadian dollar made shopping in Seattle 'bitchin'

about how to get his girlfriend 'ready' on Valentines day ...

but he didn't know

that people could hear him when he talked

that the word 'Retard' just isn't ok to say

that name calling isn't cool it's stupid

that there was a disabled guy in the store hearing that kind of language

How come people know so much these days. So much about strangers, so much about the affairs of pop stars and a foreign nation ... but they don't know how to interact or be respectful to those who are a tad different?

Maybe it was the day.

Maybe it was the time change.

But it was a long day out in the real world.


theknapper said...

Because somehow as a society we don't get/teach inclusiveness.....because of fear or????
We need mutal connection.
That was an exhausting day.
Hope the people of BC (I'm one) see you & show you a better experience.

Anonymous said...

I work for four men who live in a group home. One of them has had a lot of medical problems lately and we have been from hospital to hospital, doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist.
The other day we went to see his latest surgoen who had the bad news that the surgery was not successful and that we would be moving on to yet another specialist.
But of all the doctors we have seen lately, this doctor stood out. He spoke directly to his paitent. Told him the news. Let him know what it meant. Gave him some options. Asked his opinion. Apologised to him that he wasn't able to fix the problem. Barely noticed that I was in the room until he told me to get his business card in case we don't hear from the new doctor in a timely manner.
Even though the news was not good, we came out of there feeling like that was the best experience we have had with any doctor. I wish this guy could teach other doctors to speak to their paitents and not the people who are there working for the paitents.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this blog and it's perfect timing. I'm prepping to become a teacher and am taking a class on special education. In addition, my husband is disabled (not visible). I can tell I'm going to enjoy your perspective and it will make me think. Thank you for that.

And I want to know why we, as members of American society, know so much about celebrity gossip and so little of what is going on elsewhere in the world, or in our own neighborhoods, for that matter!