Bridesmaids

Yesterday I nearly went all Bridesmaids on a kid.

You know the scene in the movies where Kristen Wigg is in the jewelry shop and the teen girl she is serving is being a right royal pain and she just loses it.

Yep, that was almost me.

The scene was this: Mum and I were doing some shopping at the markets down the road. It was a little too far to make it around on crutches so Mum was pushing me in the wheelchair.

I made eye contact with a kid who was staring at me. At first it was subtle glances as he played with a few Transformers at one of the stalls. Then it escalated and he simply openly stared. I know kids can’t help it, curiosity is part of their genetic make-up but he looked about 10 so he should have known a little better.

Then he shouted at the top of his lungs, “that girl has only one leg. Where is her other leg? Look Mum!” He pointed at me.

His Mum said nothing.

I could feel the frustration and anger build. I fixed him with a filthy look. He smirked.

Oh if only I had the guts to have said something. Kristen Wigg I know how you felt and oh I wanted to lose control.

Later that day at another stall a lady approached me with a warm smile.

“Do you like the water?” She asked me brightly and slightly condescendingly.

Slightly puzzled, I nodded.

“Oh you should have come surfing with us yesterday if you like the water,” she said bending down so she was eye level with me in the wheelchair.

My heart sunk. I instantly knew where this was going.

I had heard the ads on the radio all week.

Surfing for the Disabled at Terrigal Beach.

“Oh you would have had so much fun, you’ll have to come next time,” she continued.

I smiled even though I could feel tears of frustration threatening to spill forth.

I just wanted to do some shopping and not be hassled. I longed for the days when I could just blend into the crowd.

I knew she meant well and for others these sort of organizations are a fantastic way for people who are disabled to get out and meet others in similar situations and do some activities they might not normally be able to do.

But the people who usually attend such activities often have an intellectual disability as well as a physical one as wells as normally have a carer with them. I mean no disrespect when I say this, but that is not me. I refuse to be seen as disabled.

“I’m not normally like this,” I wanted to shout.

“I don’t normally need to be pushed around in the wheelchair. I can go to the beach by myself. I have a job, I go to the gym, I am fully independent.”

Instead I say nothing. I just smile. She meant well.

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