Posts Tagged ‘funny’
It’s hard to enter into a group of people you’ve never met before and let them know that even though you are in a wheelchair, there is no need for them to see you as any different than the rest of them, especially when you are becoming an adult and trying to settle for certain on what kind of person you are and how you want to be received by others.
When I moved away to college I roomed with three guys I had never met before. We were all just kinda thrown in together. I was the only one in a wheelchair and in the first week, I began to sense the others were a little nervous about how to approach me. One night, we got on the subject of our experiences in high school; friends, parties, getting stupid-drunk and falling down. You know, the usual. I didn’t have much experience there because I only loaded up on pop with my friends back then. But I wanted to fit in with my new roomies. I wanted to break the ice. So the first chance I got, when the conversation stalled, I delivered my line:
“One time, I was so drunk I got up and walked.”
The other three looked at each other, none sure what to say. Was I joking? Was this physically possible? They had no experience with a para before. They had no idea. Finally a grin broke upon my face, and from then on I had them all. We were no longer three guys and the guy in the chair. We were four.
Now, like I said, I just wanted to fit in and I felt that was the coolest way to do so, at the time. But substituting anything else in place of “drunk” would work out too. For instance, you could say something like “It was so cold that I got up and walked around just to get warm.” Not really the same effect, but something. And it’s true that all you really need to do is be yourself, but, anyone else have any lines they’ve used effectively?
I am not sure if this video was meant to be, but is, a very clever way to illustrate exactly how many of us in wheelchairs often feel when kids run away when they see the chair coming (most don’t, most ask really good questions) or, more often, when a parents grabs their kid by the arm and yanks them away, like they think I am going to just plow right into the kid. Or they think it will cause a scene if there kid speaks to me, and by God, offends me.
I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t really feel discriminated against as a disabled man, but I’ll go on record here and say that this really can be offensive when parents do this, for two reasons. First, I am perfectly well under control of my wheelchair, and second…
Note To Parents: It’s Okay If Your Child Asks Me A Question About Being In A Wheelchair. Kids Are Curious. It’s Natural. It’s Healthy!
PS: Your Kids Are Smarter Than You Think They Are!