Those blood tests that require you to fast from after 8PM? No problem here, I go to bed at 8. After having the test yesterday, Joe and I decided to treat ourselves to breakfast out. There's a hotel that has a nice buffet breakfast - and buffets are good when you've 'fasted' since 8 PM!! So we got our table and then I headed over to where the fellow was making omelets, Joe went off to make toast. There were a group of, primarily women, who were placing their orders. I was asked for mine and I ordered two orders of two eggs over medium. Just after I ordered another woman arrived, rushed, and was greeted by the others waiting.
I asked her if she was with that group, she looked startled that I spoke to her but said that she was. I said that, if she wanted she could go ahead of me so that she'd be able to eat with the others. She was even more startled by the offer. She said that she shouldn't but that she would take me up on the offer. the guy doing the eggs smiled and nodded at me and then took her order.
Then. They all started talking about how incredibly nice I was. They talked to me and about me at the same time. They were all a bit shocked at the offer and we really impressed by my incredible kindness.
Now, I hesitated writing this. I don't want to write about having been NICE. I am not writing this so people will think WHAT A NICE GUY DAVE IS. Or, alternately, DAVE SURE LIKES TO BRAG ABOUT BEING NICE. I'm writing to make a different point.
This encounter kind of saddened me.
I didn't think I was being particularly nice and I sure as hell wasn't being kind. I thought that what I did was unexceptional.
Joe and I talked about this over breakfast and we realised that we've come to a point, in how we are all with each other, that thoughtfulness (for that's all it was - it wasn't nice and it wasn't kind, it was just thoughtful) is exceptional. Thinking about the needs of another before one's own needs is part of how we should just be with each other - isn't it?
It's tremendously sad that we've come to the point that a single act of ordinary human thoughtfulness is a shock and surprise.
Then, when they were leaving, I heard one of the women say, 'I suppose that disabled people are used to waiting and being patient.'
They explained away my 'niceness' and my 'kindness' as something deviant that comes from my essential deviance. It couldn't be something expected of them.
It couldn't be something that they, the truly important, should be expected to do.
When it comes the point to having to reason away 'thoughtfullness' ... I wonder if all is lost.