Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Amen (says the spiritual atheist)

Read this.

Dedicated to the woman at the Walnut Creek Whole Foods who approached CL and said, "Wow, you are SO LUCKY to be shopping in a wheelchair.  You don't have to carry anything, and walking won't make you tired.  Do you even realize how lucky you are?"

CL:  "Uh huh. Unfortunately, my chair is not a luxury item, like your BMW."

Or, the Safeway check-out clerk who asked CL's personal care attendant (Miss J), "are you this special lady's caregiver?  You are so brave to help her out.  I wish we had more people like you, to help those who are, um,  you know-- special."  Then, the check-out person turned to CL and said- very slowly and loudly-- "what a good girl you are, to do your very own shopping!"

(later)
Miss J:  What was that about?
CL: She thought I was slow.
Miss J:  Slow?
CL:  Mentally challenged, mentally handicapped.
Miss J:  What is that?
(pause)
CL:  Retarded.
Miss J:  WHAT?  Why did you not defend yourself?
CL:  Um, first time anyone in my life has ever assumed I was mentally handicapped, in some way.  I was speechless.
Miss J:  You need to go back, defend yourself, let her know that you are not retarded."
CL:  And say what?  She thought she was being nice, kind, open-minded. Asserting myself after-the-fact would embarrass her, and make me look even more mentally challenged.  Next time, though?  I'll find a delicate way to say, "hey, this chair does not make me mentally--"
Miss J:  --retarded?
(pause)
CL:  Um, yeah. Retarded.

Thanks, S.K., for your insights this week.

ZEN

6 comments:

Ashley (the mom), Dixie (the Catahoula) and sometimes Lola (the Pit Bull) said...

I always love the "you're so lucky" comments. To not have to walk, to always be sitting, to not have to work, to be home all day, to have a dog go with me everywhere, to get help with everything, etc.
Or the people who use me as some kind of moral lesson.
The blog entry you posted was excellent.
I agree, amen.

Wild Dingo said...

CL, i've been hungry for a post from you! each day i look and look and nada. and i think: what in the world is she up to now? who is on the receiving end of her witty sarcasm today? and, will they live to become a better person for it or will they shrivel up and crawl into a hole where they probably belong? these thoughts race through my mind when I'm scouring GR for one of your posts...

and now this gem.

how in the world did you let this golden opportunity pass you by? I wish I was there to kick start your mouth. oh how i wish i was there. but alas, i know those speechless moments. how many things have you published and achievements have you attained in your career and personal life and she's um, achieved what? making exact change for 763 people?

sigh...I like your new blog pal!

and um, yes, i would insist on cultural training for your Japan stint too, if I knew you! hahahaha! but only to drive you nuts! LOL...

miss ya and Sugar Plum
wags, wiggles and woos,
wild dingo and crew

brooke said...

people can be so stupid. Oi.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

WTF?!?

But then again, there are mice with human brains ready to make terror babies -

Or something like that -

Great post here and great post you shared!

Khyra says HI to her pal Sugar!

DeAnna said...

Since I am lucky enough to have a grandson with Down Syndrome, I understand exactly what you're saying. What I want to know is why people think that they have to speak loud and slow, even if someone is mentally challenged? It doesn't mean they're deaf and Torrey can hear just as fast as I can talk.

Miss you!

Mango said...

Well, you know, the humans get confused and scared even though they don't want to admit it. But that was a bit over the top if you ask me.

Momma tends to go right to the obvious and get it out of the way, "what's up with the wheelchair?" Our agilities teacher is in a wheel chair so mom's first thought is always it is somebody whose legs don't work, but is otherwise A-OK.

Slobbers,
Mango