Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Seeing Me Around

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.

Jenni

7 comments:

Rai said...

I think that some people are raised with the notion that it's rude to ask how it happened and all.

some people don't mind and some do but i think it has to do with your upbringing. also, some kids have no problem asking questions like that.

Cheryl said...

ANYTHING? Are you SURE? Someone once asked me if I could have sex. It wasn't a stranger on the street or at the mall, but someone I had known when we were 16 but hadn't seen in about 6 years. It was clear that he wanted to get laid.

My friends were outraged, but I actually didn't mind. I politely replied that I can but choose not to, and have never seen anything wrong or offensive about our conversation. I was actually glad to clear up the misconception.

I think though, that if it were a stranger I'd feel differently.

Anonymous said...

They very well could be thinking "Wow she's cute!" but too nervous to approach you. ;)

Anonymous said...

One thing you learn as you age is that you can never fully understand people. They do things that defy explanation. Sometimes all you can do is simply smile and move on.

quickyb said...

I feel exactly the same. I Don't mind sharing my story, in fact I enjoy sharing my story. I have/will answer any/every question that anyone is willing to ask. I'm not as reserved as I once was thanks to my disability.

Md. Tanbir Rahman said...

I think like almost these way.
People also should.

Anonymous said...

When little kids ask me what happened or why I'm in a chair, I tell them, "Santa Clause did this to me." You should see the looks on their faces....and their parents. Of course I laugh and tell them I'm kidding, then explain I broke my neck diving into shallow water. But not until I amuse myself first...