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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Idiocy Exists Even in Syracuse

I had my first negative social interaction here in Syracuse.  It pretty much ruined my Sunday routine. I leave my home early in the morning and drive to Syracuse. I get in at lunch time and my first stop is Wegmans. My brother John told me this is one of the best super market chains in the country. He is right, Wegmans is awesome. Great prices, excellent food, wonderful produce, and spotlessly clean. Believe it or not, I look forward to going to Wegmans. So there I am entering the store thinking food when a short heavy woman accosts me. "Hey, you got out of your car on the wrong side. Why are you out by yourself?" I put my head down and move as quickly as possible away from this woman. This effort fails as the store is crowded. "I am speaking to you. Where is your care taker? You cannot shop by yourself. You need to be care for and supervised". I am desperate at this point to get away. I quietly but firmly say "Please leave me alone. I use a deep tone of voice that I hope has a level of animosity.  Not a single person shopping or going by is paying attention. Shit, what can I do? If I raise my voice and say what I want I will look like a jerk. No one raises their voice when confronted with a  heavy woman about 60 years old. But from past experience I know I have two choices: a direct confrontation where I must assert authority or figure out an escape route. As these options are going through my head I realize this woman thinks I have somehow escaped or snuck out of the local group home. Yes this is far fetched. I mean how many people in a group home drive an Audi and get out of their car on the wrong side. Regardless of her background, she clearly has a very strong opinion people like me, a person that uses a wheelchair, needs a "care taker".  I figure I am screwed but am suddenly saved from having to establish my personhood: a sea of shopping carts part. I scramble through the narrowest of spaces, two mothers looks at me in mild annoyance, and I make a sharp turn into the crowded produce section. I am free. The woman cannot follow me. She is as wide as I am in my wheelchair and I am much faster.

Driving to the motel I thought what a unique life I lead. In many ways I am grateful. Living with a disability is the perfect cure for a big ego. Every time I think I am too good or too smart I have an experience such as the one I just described. Perhaps we should have Tea Party types and various elected politicians use a wheelchair. Afterall, they are playing a dangerous game of political suicide from which they are immune from harm. Perhaps having their most basic rights questioned, simply to go shopping, might put things in perspective. Hey, it works for me.


A said...

Really creepy/spooky. She should have waited for Halloween.

william Peace said...

A. I have encounters like this on a regular basis. This is just my life.

rh said...

Why are the most ignorant folks in society also the most eager to demonstrate their ignorance to everyone they encounter? That woman needs a caretaker...or a muzzle. Perhaps both.

Along similar lines, the intake nurse/admitting clerk referenced in an adjacent should be fired immediately. That sort of behavior falls under a zero-tolerance standard in hospitals. I am going to share that story with my hospital administrator friends as an educational cautionary tale.