Thursday, November 05, 2015
Four Things to Never Say to Someone In a Wheelchair
I just smiled and nodded.
But what I really wanted to do? The words I had to consciously hold back so they wouldn't just spill out of my mouth?
"Oh, how clever! I've never heard that one before!"
Yes, the sarcasm meter seems to run high for me when it comes to my disability sometimes. It's not that I'm bitter, really. It's just that, well, I have heard a lot of those sorts of remarks and comments before. So much so, in fact, that I thought I'd outline some of my personal favorites -- and by favorites, I really mean the ones that I'd be fine never, ever hearing again. Here are four things to never say to someone in a wheelchair...
1. You're so lucky: I've been lucky in life for a lot of reasons, like my wonderful family, my health and my career. And yes, I am very grateful that I have a wheelchair that allows me to be independent. But something tells me that's not what people mean when they tell me, "You're so lucky." They mean lucky, as in, "I wish I had something like that so I didn't have to walk around." My answer: No, you don't.
2. Hey, don't run me over: Well, I wasn't planning on it, but now that you mention it... no, but seriously, this one just isn't all that funny. I know people might be trying to be funny, but it just falls short.
3. Do you have a license for that?: Similar to #2, I've never really seen the humor in this. Maybe I just lack a tendency for the chuckles, but I'm still surprise that people never seem to tire of using this line. Now if a guy used it as a pick-up line? You know what, no, I'd still hate it.
4. Can I try it?: I'm not sure where or how this rumor ever got started, but my wheelchair -- along with guide dogs and walkers -- are not toys for everyone's amusement. They are adaptive devices that allow people with disabilities to be their own person, to live independent lives and to be contributing member of society.
I want to get to know yours. Don't you want to get to know mine?
[Photos via We Heart It]