I decided to write this story because I want to show people that sometimes nice intentions are not so nice, they can be fucking annoying. I don’t know how to say it in a more polite way, but let’s just say when you have people coming up to you every day just because you’re disabled it is beyond annoying. I hope this story helps people understand ‘our’ point of view a little more.
I was sitting opposite a friend from uni, sipping coffee and concentrating really hard on lifting the coffee cup up to my mouth. I was wearing one of my favourite dresses today and I’d be damned if I spilt it all over myself while I was out. We had just finished eating a delicious lunch at one of my local cafes and now we were catching up over coffee.
I’d forgotten how well I got on with this particular friend and I had just finished laughing like a lunatic when we were interrupted by a random middle-aged man.
The man knelt on one knee next to me and got right up close to me in my face. He looked at me through his square glasses with concerned eyes. ‘Darling, what’s happened to you then?’
Fucking hell! Every time I felt a little bit like a regular person, you know not someone defined by their disability, some dickhead liked to come and remind me. It was almost like society was giving me the rude-finger every time it happened, laughing at me and telling me in a mocking voice that I would never fit in or be considered normal. I was really enjoying catching up with my friend before this idiot came along and reminded me of my crippled body. But even as pissed off as I was I knew he was only trying to be nice and talk to me (because apparently no one ever did). There was a part of me that just wanted to tell this guy to fuck off and watch him back away from me like I was radioactive, but I wasn’t raised to be impolite to most people and more importantly I knew that by yelling at him he would never know how I felt. Sometimes being different means you have to deal with a few ignorant dickheads. At least it would make for a good story to tell friends who actually knew how annoying it was for me having random people come up and ask about my condition when I was busy.
I felt myself blushing, I really didn’t want to do this here – I knew exactly how he’d react with his sympathetic eyes and demeaning pats on the head which made me feel like a little kid not the adult I was. I raised my brows at Bec and she hid a smile with her coffee cup. ‘I have a genetic neuromuscular disorder.’
Glasses blinked slowly at me. ‘So… You were born with it?’
I really felt like laughing when I saw how confused he was. ‘Well I suppose I was, but I wasn’t diagnosed until age 11. ‘
He looked really sad now, but I really didn’t care – it wasn’t his life we were talking about. ‘That is such a shame, sweetie.’ He patted me on the head. ‘You are so beautiful, sweetie.’ He pulled out all the usual moves, telling me what a nice person I was and all that bullshit. Telling me how beautiful I was over and over, like he’d never seen a good-looking disabled person before (I’ve seen plenty, don’t worry they’re out there). Finally telling me he would leave me in the company of my friend, all the while looking at her with sympathy, like she was doing charity work by being there with me. He walked away muttering to himself the whole time about what a shame my disability was.
So all in all I felt great once he’d left, just loving the fact that he told me over and over what a shame my life was.
Thanks for the pep talk, Glasses I hope you feel better about yourself now. Good on you for spending time with a cripple. But if you’re done now, I would like to go on living my life.