Day 222: I Would Like to Say a Few Things

Pollyanna (1960 film)
Pollyanna (1960 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can be a very cynical person. A certain percentage of able-bodied people expect those with disabilities to have a Pollyanna attitude all the time. Pollyanna has not lived in my house on a regular basis since about the fifth grade ask my mother if you don’t believe me. Where the able-bodied community got the idea that we are perfect angels all the time I have no clue. Personally I have been known to swear and drink alcohol on occasion. Yes I am perfectly capable of sex you can ask either one of the two people standing behind me. Yes I realize that there is both a man and woman standing behind me and I’m so glad you’re smart enough to know the difference between the two. Not all disabled people choose to date others with disabilities even though you obviously think we should. Do you also think interracial marriages should still be illegal?

Why do you think it necessary to speak extra slowly to me? I promise you there is nothing wrong with my hearing or comprehension though I am beginning to wonder about yours. Please do not hurry your children away from me when they have a question. I am not a leper and treating me as such it is very hurtful. I have no intention of harming your child and they cannot catch my disorder I promise. The only thing that will result from there talking to me is a smile, an age-appropriate answer to the question, and permission to pet my Golden Retriever sidekick if they wish, nothing more.

If you see me in a store, restaurant etc. I would appreciate it if you would not address questions about me to whoever happens to be with me. Rest assured I am perfectly capable of understanding English. I am also perfectly capable of answering for myself. I realize that some people in wheelchairs often cannot do one or the other but it is impolite and presumptuous to assume. Please be advised that such an assumption is likely to elicit a smart ass, sarcastic, and/ or just plain rude response from me.

To parents shopping with children: I realize my service dog has more charm than should be legal. I also realized that he and children attract each other like magnets. Most of the time I do not mind stopping and chatting with you and your kids about him, it really does brighten my day. I do however request that you not let your children touch him without asking my permission first. He doesn’t bite and children on his favorite things in the world but I view the area that he occupies beside me as an extension of my personal space bubble and would greatly appreciate you and your children asking permission before entering it. I thank you for your consideration and politeness and taking the time to read this.

2 thoughts on “Day 222: I Would Like to Say a Few Things

Add yours

  1. So sorry some people are ignorant. I must tell you this. I work with some attorneys (I am a receptionist) and I am not disabled. But one of them likes to come to my desk and talk is SLOW MOTION as if I can’t understand him asking for a DIET COKE. I kid you not. He does this often and it infuriates me. He equates my job with my intelligence I guess. He hasn’t been with the firm that many years (like myself) and has never taken the time to even get to know me. I am sorry you deal with this ignorance. I am glad you gave advice about your service dog. Many people think petting is ok, but they don’t realize they are working and need to be left alone. Awesome article!

  2. I think I would have to spill the Coke on him by “accident” at least once! Thanks so much for reading.

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