1The Entitlement to Question–Everything About Me Part One

September 12, 2006 at 11:39 PM (Uncategorized) ()

Where do they get it? And has anyone else experienced this?

The idea that, *especially* since they don’t know me, they are not my friend, or family member, or counselor, or physician…

‘You don’t really need that [insert assistive device of choice]!”

“And you know this how? A nineteen year old Twinkie who barely made it out of high school alive has suddenly become a medical expert on what someone with ataxia/cerebral palsy/spastic paraplegia needs to move? Oh, why of course you have…between your Saturdays at the hair salon and the Wednesday afternoon lingerie/Tupperware affairs, no doubt.”

The sudden obtrusive questioning of body size, method of motion, or whether or not I can have what my grandmother used to call “relations.”

“Since you didn’t know me between 1985 and 1999, I’ll spare you even the short answer to that question, let alone the long one. The fact that I truly believe I’m paying my karma now for my wild years ( 1993-1999) by trying to remain a ‘cool person’, while choosing a kind of ‘enforced celibacy’ is also none of your beeswax.”

Or the interviewer that walked right past me, and asked his minions where his next interviewee was and then looked at me oddly and dismissed me in five minutes when he found out it was the fat chick on the scooter.

Insert favored curse gesture here.

Or the idea that I can be in the room, and they can talk at a perfectly normal volume, when I am right *there,* and then they get amazed when, not only can I hear them, but I have the unfortunate habit of remembering these conversations and then maliciously, purposefully using it against them later.

Another one of the real, honest, joys of impairment, I think. Many of us have not had to wait for the latest Harry Potter movie for a cool invisibility cloak. If they’re going to disrespect you and treat you as invisible and stupid, well then make ’em pay for the ‘privilege.’

I just realized about three years ago, that my wrestling with my weight was a subconscious shout of: “Christ! I’m right HERE! I’m a CUSTOMER/PATIENT/VOTING CONSTITUENT/HUMAN BEING! How big do I have to *GET* before someone pays attention!”

Most of the time, I can be truly polite or politically correct but the answers in italics above are often going through my head, when I hear such questions.

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Part 2

September 12, 2006 at 11:35 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

And, the two years that I spent in El Paso County seemed to carry the most annoying attitudes/questions….for those that don’t know much about Colorado geography it won’t make sense….I’ll be happy to explain in the comments…

Well… It’s a Sunday morning in November 1997 or so, and I’m settling in to my first apartment out West, and I’m handling my laundry…filling the basket and dragging it down the hall to the laundry room….I had just finished my nightwear and undergarments, and folded them as best I could, with the screaming purple satin undergarment and the matching purple tunic right at the top of this stack…All built to suit Extremely Plus Sized Me.

I was relieved because the local GodSquad, gentlemen dressed in Church suits and Brylconcrete in their hair had walked straight past the laundry room earlier…..

But it wasn’t my day…They came back and tried to have a conversation with me with the basket of my none too conservative lingerie right between us.

“Do you know Jesus?” they asked. I was so tempted to say “Just saw him. Went Thataway.” because this was during the period of my life when I was Having None To Do With Organized Religion.

Instead I played the former preachers wife card, hoping they would leave. But they kept at it…Fundamental Spiritual Laws cards passed to me right atop the decadent clothing. And further…and further. So I had to finally forcefully march them out of the laundryroom backwards and *down the hall,* before they’d hush up.

Then, when I upgraded to a better apartment in a better part of town.. there’s the housemate and myself… both disabled, both heavyset, both practically short haired….Stare. Stare. Stare….and not just a neutral one…full of suspect anger/fear/condemnation… Stare. By everyone going out to the megachurch to raise their hands and wait for healing in their matching SUV’s…but they’d stop and shoot us a look because, well…we had to be *those* kind of women…

Never assume… Once we got an hour north to Denver….the stares dropped to about 30% of the El Paso County level, and they are usually less inimical.

For both this and the last post, although I recognize that the current administration believes that nosiness has somehow now become a national duty, post 9/11… When did Americans begin to stop *minding their own business?* It’s Gawdawfull annoying, really it is.

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So, I managed to hit onto *this* little goldmine today

September 12, 2006 at 10:14 AM (Events) (, )

From my email box.

This is a kind of “everything but the kitchen sink” list for PWD’s, CIL’s, the medical profession, and I believe some disability studies things as well, of important meetings, conferences, programs across the fifty states, on a month by month basis.

Anything that ends up local to anybody with impairment: The more we show up, the less they can impose without our input.

That famous saying of course:

“Nothing about us, without us.”

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