People Say the Darndest Things!

I often talk about how some people just feel the need to say something to me, either about  my wheelchair, my legs or something along the lines of “even though you’re in a wheelchair, you’re beautiful.” Take all these comments how you want, I have learned over these past four years to not take them so personal and offensively but sometimes if it’s just been one of those days, these comments do linger a bit longer in my mind than I’d like.

Particularly over the past weeks it seems as though I have been a magnet for comments. Out one evening and this woman shouts out to me, “God Bless you; perseverance!” Mind you, this came from an able-body. In terms of perseverance, I think a fellow wheelchair-user could truly relate to what it means to persevere.

Then a few weeks ago I am out on a date and as we are crossing the street, a guy shouts from his truck- I have much respect for you man, followed by something else that I missed, because I was so focused on that first statement. My date turns to me quizzically and says, “respects me for what?” Perhaps in the mind of the guy in the truck, he’s thinking oh how nice, the guy is taking out the girl in a wheelchair, in pity or empathy.  Not the case at all, however. 🙂

Last week, some guys that works at the restaurant I was eating at looks at my arms and says flex for me! How unattractive to ask a woman to flex her arms especially while out with someone!  What guy wants to see his date flex her arms (which are basically bigger than his)?

And lastly, I am getting out of the pool after a great swim and the head lifeguard who has seen me before and commented that I am the only one that uses the lift and how happy he is that I utilize the pool, all of which was really nice (and appropriate). But then the following comment I didn’t think I’d ever get from him. He say’s I feel kind of weird asking this, but I am going to ask anyway… (Note to all- if you start a sentence that way, do not continue.) He proceeds with what happened to your legs? How much can you use your legs when your swimming? So nonetheless that great feeling from my swim just went out the window! Err.

Etiquette, respect, thinking before you speak- whatever you want to call it- lots of folks out there are lacking. One thing I am reminded of is that it’s not going to end either…

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