The other day a woman took a selfie with me without my permission. I was sitting outside the supermarket waiting for Damion, minding my own business, when a woman ran up to me (nearly knocking me over), snapped a selfie and ran back to her friends giggling. It pissed me off but I said nothing.
I chose to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was just really into walls and the blank white one that I was standing in front of was particularly alluring to her. We all have our fetishes…
Then there was the older gentleman at a party I attended recently. He came up to me and shook my hand for no other reason than because he admired me. I thought that was weird.
Then, he came over for a chat and spoke to me so slowly, that at first I thought he must have been having a stroke. Alas, he was not. This too pissed me off but again I said nothing.
And why not? Because I did not want to seem rude and ironically, I didn’t want to hurt their feelings or embarrass them. This pissed me off even more.
I went to the football a few weeks ago. The match was between Fremantle and Collingwood at Domain Stadium and took place just days after the bombing at the Arianna Grande concert in Manchester. Security was tight and we were told that we had to present our belongings for inspection before entering. Fair enough.
As we approached the front of the line a security guard approached us and asked if he could inspect my handbag. The problem was he asked Damion not me. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how this made me feel…
I have thousands of stories like this and each time I recount them, people try to placate me with phrases like, “they’ve just never seen anyone like you before, they didn’t know what to say/do” or “they probably just thought it would be easier for you if they spoke to me.” This is not good enough!
Sometimes my disability exhausts me. The fact that people are either overwhelmingly inspired by my presence (this is possibly an exaggeration) or constantly in need of being taught how to be good humans is a lot to take on. I feel as though I am either walking around in a spotlight or completely made of cellophane.
It is very simple not to be a jerk. Billions of people do it every day so stop it, now! Your jerkish tendencies put me in a very awkward position. I was not put on this planet to teach you manners. And, I am just as entitled to feel comfortable anywhere as you are.
On the other hand, if it wasn’t for jerks I would have never started this blog in the first place (see Inner Musings of a Funny Looking Kid: the origin story).
After all, its people like this that make the rest of us look awesome!