I often wonder what people think when they see me out in public. I've done posts before about others staring at me and whispering amongst each other. I have talked about people being afraid of the unknown; afraid of things they don't understand. I've also said how I feel when situations of curiosity come about. Along with witnessing these encounters and events, I want to know what people are actually thinking. Are they confused about how I'm driving? Do they wonder why I'm in a wheelchair?
The other day I was at target checking out. My nurse was directly in front of the cashier and I was back a little ways. The woman was looking at me and then looking down and then looking at me and looking down. She must've done it about four or five times before she leaned over to my nurse and very quietly said "was she in…" Then she stopped midsentence and looked over at me again. She then looked back at my nurse and said again, "was she in…" Before she could get the rest of her sentence out I said, "I was in a car accident." She softly nodded her head up and down, and then said "oh okay, that's what I thought." I explained a few more things and she listened and then she told me that she hopes everything goes well and that I have a nice day.
It was very interesting. She was very curious and wanted to know what happened but was afraid to ask me. That's the opposite of what I want. I want people, especially children, to be able to come up and ask their questions to me directly. That would be much better than staring, whispering, or asking someone else. I know not everyone in a wheelchair prefers someone to ask them what happened or how they got where they are, but I do. It's not annoying or a nuisance or rude to me; it's just curiosity that's talking and I'm happy to answer anything.