Monday, November 23, 2020

Three Stories from the life of a Disabled Man: Story 2

 We were going shopping for groceries. We both thought we'd come at a time early enough to avoid lineups but we were wrong. About ten people were stood in line waiting to get into the store. When I rolled up, approaching the end of the line, one of the staff at the front door called over to me, very loudly, "Hey, you in the wheelchair, you can come straight in." Every eye in the line-up looked over at me and I felt immediately on stage. None of them looked perturbed or in the least upset by this blatant favoritism. I called out, "No, it's okay, I'll wait in line like everyone else."

He ignored the, "like everyone else" part of what I said and called out, "It's okay, it's store policy." I was at the end of the line now and called back, "I'm okay here." Shortly thereafter a staff came out the other door behind the line-up and said to me, "You can go to the head of the line." I said, "No, it's okay." Then the woman in front of me turned to me and said, "Boy do they want to get you into that store!" I nodded smiling. She turned back towards the front of the line and then turned back to me, she said, "I think they're just trying to be nice, but it isn't really is it?"

I told her that I immediately felt on display and singled out, I knew the store policy and have always ignored it. She said that she turned immediately to look at me when the loud call to me was made and she got that made me kind of less than everyone else. I was blown away that someone got it. We chatted until it was her turn to go in. When we were invited in, one of the guys said, "We let wheelchairs in first," as if he was giving me information.

"I am not a wheelchair," I said, "I'm a person who uses one. There's a big difference."

"Soooorry," he said as if he was talking to someone who was way too sensitive. And maybe I am, but after it happens for the thousandth time, it gets wearying.

We bought cake.

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