I'm a little disturbed as I write this.
I wish I had way more social skills than I do.
Why aren't you given a crash course in how to 'be' in the world as a wheelchair user?
Today I hurt someone's feelings. Badly, I think. And the thing of it is that I was being really, really pleasant. Maybe 'Peach Pie' pleasant. I'm no where near able to be 'Belinda Apple Pie' pleasant. Anyways, believe me I was nice. I have tried to develop a tone of voice that I can use that can give a command or refuse a request without sounding either harsh, demanding or negative. Though it fails me sometimes, it usually works.
About an hour ago it didn't.
We had gone into the breakfast area of our hotel, the tables were all taken. We saw a fairly high coffee table between two overstuffed chairs and decided to use that. I had just pulled in, Joe had just placed a plate of eggs down beside my cup of tea, when a real table came free. I saw it before Joe did, his back was turned waiting for the toast to pop up. I called to him to grab the table. He immediately placed a plate on it and headed to me to help me with my stuff. A woman passing by saw that we were going to move and rushed over to help by grabbing my plate to move it. She spoke as she moved, 'Here, let me help.' I said, 'Oh, no thanks ...' She said, 'I don't mind ...' still moving towards me. I said, in my Peach Pie voice, 'No, I don't want help, thank you though, but I don't want help.' Her face crumpled in hurt.
I really do appreciate it when people are willing to help. I do. But I also don't want the intervention of strangers into my day, when I don't need it. I do ask for help, the other day in Walmart a kind woman reached a box of pink cookies that I knew Ruby would love - I asked, she helped, it was perfect. I don't like hurting people's feelings in general and I really don't like hurting feelings when the person is intending to be nice. So, she left the situation feeling stung. I left the situation feeling like a shit. No winners here.
I begin to wonder if I should have just let her do what she wanted to do and feel good about it. But the cost would be that I wouldn't feel good about it. So it ends up no one feels good - and yet I think that might be a better outcome.