Monday, 10 June 2013

Weird things you notice when you're disabled

I thought I'd do a bit of a funny blog post today. There's lots of stuff to get down about when you're ill and spend a lot of time in a wheelchair but it's good to laugh at it all. I swear I'd go mad if I didn't.

So, I'm going to list all the weird things people do when they see someone in a wheelchair. I like to call them 'social quirks'.

- Firstly, people eyeing you carefully when you drive into a disabled parking bay. It's the most satisfying thing when your carer pulls the wheelchair out of the boot and they sort of nod or look away satisfied as if they've assessed you as handicapped enough to park right outside a building.

- People who try to hide their astonishment when you stand up to reach something or try a jumper on in topshop. They always seem really confused. Like a person can't be in a wheelchair unless their completely paralysed. Strange when you think I'm in the same position as a toddler in a pram. But no one looks strangely at them when they get up to run around a cafè.

- People in supermarkets (usually women actually) who try and pull their trolleys or pushchairs out of your way whilst pretending they haven't noticed you by staring blankly at the shelves. This is a really odd one. Men are usually only too happy to let you notice that they've helped you out by getting out of the way, always smiling, rather pleased with themselves, when you thank them.

- This one does actually annoy me a bit. And it's children who stare, open-mouthed at you. And worse, their parents who pretend it isn't happening. I don't mind that children stare, it's natural to be interested or intrigued by something that's new or different but their parents really need to teach them that it's rude to stare. That probably isn't something they're going to say in front of me but they could at least spare my feelings by getting the child interested in something else.

- This is my favourite one - when disabled people meet other disabled people. We usually exchange an appreciative nod. Like when you catch eyes with someone who has the same dress on as you. But sometimes I even get excited waves and greeting, which is rather nice I think.

- Women who smile kindly at you in shops, like you're a cute little baby in a pram! It's not patronising though and I find it quite sweet. Especially from little old ladies.

This is probably going to be one of those blog posts I'm going to be adding to over the next few days because I'm sure there's more funny things people do when they see a disabled person.

On the whole people are only too happy to help or get out of the way for you, which is nice. Though my boyfriend once rammed the wheelchair into a man who tried to push past us in a theatre once. He looked so affronted afterwards but he was a bit rude to get in our way. A woman was quite rude to my gran when she accidentally bumped the wheelchair into her but to be fair she hit her with the metal footplates right in the ankle so it must have hurt quite a bit! But I have much more good experiences than bad and even the bad ones are funny as long as you're in a good mood.

The best thing, probably, is how easy it is going to the theatre or events because the ushers are always really nice and do everything they can to help you. I've been moved to the front of a theatre and got to jump the queue for the signing when I went to see J.K.Rowling.

So everyone might think that being in a wheelchair is completely horrid and yes it's annoying, but there are some good points too and it's always good to have a laugh about it.

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