I thought of this last night while at Olive Garden. This is not the first time is has happened either. It’s by far the number one thing that will turn me from happy go lucky to angry and pissed off in the matter of seconds.
Before I go any further, this post is from my perspective…so if you find something that is not correct, awesome…good for you, it might not be correct but it is the way I see it.
That being said many times people can relate to another perspective due to the fact that they share similar life experiences.
For those of who are in wheelchairs, we carry a perspective that many people don’t even look for. Most able bodied people don’t see life the same way I do, and the other side of that is true too. I can’t relate to an able bodied person, I can act like I can; but in all reality I can’t.
I don’t enjoy the freedom of going to my car, driving to the store, running inside the store to buy a beer (or whatever), and running back to my car to drive home.
Instead I have to go to the back of my car and open my trunk to put my wheelchair in, which honestly takes anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Then we I shut my trunk I have to use the side of my car for assistance to walk to the drivers door, once I get in the car I can drive to the store but once I’m at the store I need to do it all in reverse just so I can go into the store.
When I’m done in the store I need to put my wheelchair back in the car just to drive home to take my wheelchair back out of my car to go in the house.
So, a simple trip that might take you 10 minutes just took me about 30 minutes.
And most people can’t relate to that. Most able bodied people do not know someone who is in a wheelchair for the simple fact that there are more of you that there are of us. At least I know able bodied people, so I don’t know what it is like to walk normal, but I can see the struggles that you don’t have to deal with.
I really enjoy it when someone who is able bodies has to end up in a wheelchair…I know, ending up in a wheelchair is bad and I don’t wish that upon anyone. To be totally honest, if you are only stuck in the wheelchair for a short period of time I don’t really feel bad for you, I’m more excited to talk to you.
If you end up in the wheelchair for the rest of your life…that sucks and all, and I feel bad that it happened, but in all reality complaining to me that you can’t walk anymore is like MC Hammer telling a poor person that he is poor and can’t afford a car payment of $450 a mouth anymore.
But either way you will become a great friend now, why? Because you get to see what I have to deal with on a daily basis. I really do enjoy when people say, “I get it now, how do you guys deal with this.”
I thought of this last night at Olive Garden and I felt like it was time for me to share my perspective with you, because honestly most of you don’t see it, you don’t get it, and I’m not blaming you for not understanding. But you might like to see something that you never see, not because you don’t want to, but simply because you can’t see something when you haven’t been in those shoes.
My fiance and I have been dating for 5 years today, last night was one of her only nights off considering the fact that she works 2 jobs. So last night we went out to dinner, we got a gift card from my parents, so we went to the Olive Garden.
And it was Friday, a busy night. By the time we got into the front door I see close to 25 people standing inn an area that was no bigger than 10 feet by 12 feet, minus the people that were sitting in every seat available. It was so packed in there that some people were even standing in the empty spaces next to the seat.
These spots are normally where I like to park, mainly so I’m out of everyone’s way. But those spots were already taken by people that were standing there waiting for their name to be called. So here I come, picture it as a box, if you’re good at geometry like I am I’ll explain it this way.
Lets say you have a box that is 10×12, giving you a volume of 120 cubic feet, inside of this box you have 4 boxes that take up 5×2 and 3 feet tall. Fuck, forget about height right now, that room that hold 120 square feet is now reduced to 80 square feet. inside of that 80 square feet you have eight boxes that remain planted next to those boxes that are 5×2, these 8 boxes and 1×1 and reduce the open area to 72 square feet. Inside of that remaining 72 square feet you have close to 40 boxes that are all 1×1 which reduces that back down to 32 square feet, but don’t forget about the front counter that sits in a 3×5 box which again reduces that to 17 square feet.
And I set in a box that is 3×2 which takes that remaining 17 squre feet down to 11. And most of these boxes are able to change shape and move around the floor in an unorganized pattern, so that 11 squre feet is really not 11 squre feet, it turns into a few hundred smaller boxes that are only a few inches squared.
Point being, I’m in a wheelchair and I take up more space than you do, I can’t move around as freely as you can. And you only give me a limited area of space to moved around. Which honestly makes me feel like I can’t move.
And I only sit at 4 feet tall when most of you sit anywhere from 5 to 6 feet tall. If I’m surrounded by boxes that are all that two feet taller than me and I can’t see anything but your ass and I feel like I can’t move anywhere, I am quick to turn into a steaming ball of anger.
Don’t get me wrong I love looking at asses, but not in that situation. And when I move anywhere I hit people, not like I mean to, but I do mainly because I have no other options. And even if I were hit you with the intention of doing so you all say, “I’m sorry.”
Do you have any idea how annoying that is? When I feel trapped and you say, “I’m sorry,” all I hear is, “I’m sorry I’m not paying attention to where the fuck I’m going.” I understand that you feel bad for being in my way, even if I hit you on purpose. But in that intense you just seem like someone who only cares about themselves, and most of the time I won’t even acknowledge the fact that you apologized for being an asshole.
I remember my fiance looking at me and saying something to the effect of, “Let’s go over there.” She knows me well enough at this point to know that I had red gas coming out of both ears as I said, “I don’t care, I just don’t care anymore.”
I was at the point of doing one of two things, both of them based out of anger. I was either going to let go of my wheels and sit in the middle of the box giving up all control of going anywhere or doing anything independent and just saying “No, I’m not going to try to get out of your way; it’s your responsibility to fucking get around me because I can’t move.”
Either that or I was just going to start running motherfuckers over because they seem to be trapped into their own would enough that they don’t think I’m even there, I’m just some kind of object, I’m not a fucking person. The funny thing about that is everyone would have turned around and said, “I’m so sorry”.
Look bitch, if you were really sorry you would have fucking saw that I was trying to move somewhere in the first place and not blocked my path because you were trying to get out of someone else’s way while you just quickly looked at me like I was some sort of stationary object.
I’m pissed now.
And there is no sort of traffic system when it comes to people walking in a tight area. They just go wherever the fuck they want, whenever the fuck they want to.
Just please, if you end up in that situation please understand that someone in a wheelchair is a person too. We want to get out of your way, but if you don’t fucking acknowledge us and you continue to act as if we are just some kind of stationary obstacle, you might piss of off and we might run into you.
I don’t want to run into people. I love people. But I’m in a wheelchair, you’re not, I will lightly tap you if I need to. And don’t fucking say, “I’m sorry,” because I don’t really care.