Useless Crap I Feel Bad About

1. Forced Game of Musical Chairs
I'm not the Queen of England, I wasn't even the Queen of the invisible monsters in my childhood closet. But when I need to get from one end of a crowded restaurant, venue, banquet, club, dance floor, or just any space jammed with people - I feel like I'm the Queen of the World. And it is awkward and ridiculous because suddenly, this kid who can just barely get the attention of the city bus drivers, has got people dressed to the nines standing up and pushing in chairs so that I can get through. There are muttered utterances of apologies, polite head nods in my direction as men in suits stand up and scoot out of the way, there are shuffles of feet and rearrangements of furniture and chairs, mothers with toddlers clinging to them like monkeys to a tree pull strollers out of the aisles, the manager of the establishment presents me my place: Is this okay for you Miss? What am I going to say? "No it's not sir. It's absolutely not okay, I need to be moved to the western side facing the bay windows just as the sun sets. Before the sky turns purple and right after it turns pinkish." I mean I'm not going to lie here, that line has crossed my mind before. However I have not been snarky enough for it to leave my brain cells and leap out of my mouth. Someday, I hope someday I will be able to speak those words.

2. Not Remembering People
All over the city people remember me, or some version of me I should say. I have been recognized by my middle school gym teacher at a Home Depot that I was never at. Apparently I was also seen at a gay night club doing donuts with a drag queen on the dance floor; well, I would like to experience that person's night life one evening. Another time I was seen crossing the street and heading towards the State House with armed guards, and contrary to popular belief that was also not me. I am disheartened by the fact that the wheelchair is an excuse for anything, but I think in this case it is. At least in part. People see a small woman with dark hair (or in some cases I've been mistaken for a friend with blonde hair), in a wheelchair (be it manual or power) and scream across college campuses: "SANDY SANDY SANDY SANDY!" Only to realize that it is in fact not me but instead the Department Chair for the Humanities Department. That woman reportedly turned around slowly in her chair and said in a steely voice, "I am NOT Sandy." Well sheesh -- if only she knew how lucky she was for being mistaken as a young and eager 20-something! There is a certain PRESTIGE in youth, dontchaknow?
The only reason why this makes me feel a little guilty is because while people recognize me all over the city, I never recognize them. I'm sorry -- but most of the bipedal folks in this city are just not stand-out enough for me to click in my mind, oh yes! I remember exactly who you are from 12 years ago at that one event I never went back to again! I should remember people better, that's all I'm saying.

3. Unintentionally Scaring People
There are never window panels in the doors of bathrooms and we all know why this is, let's not be perverts now and make me have to spell that one out. So when I'm on one side of the door and someone else is on the other side of the door -- that other woman may not always be expecting to see what she sees. A door shoved in the half-shocked and half-flinching face of a woman sitting in a wheelchair, and that other woman is so surprised at the sight that she screams. Not in a blood-curdling way, but in a huge-jumping-spider-landed-on-my-nose kind of way. She always gives a kind of astonished yelp that I later tell myself was a sound made out of fear of potentially hurting me, and fear of not expecting what was on the other side of the door. I don't mean to scare people, obviously. As someone who doesn't like horror flicks and scares a little too easily I always immediately give a small "I'm sorry.." even though it is not warranted or necessary. When I was telling my friend about these incidents she had recommended that next time I should scream back! And I should say "aaahh! Aren't you that girl who screamed at me the last time?"

What can I say? My friends are pretty hilariously brilliant, right? Don't worry I will most definitely give a report back on all the details of what occurs thereafter.

4. When People Get it All Wrong
"Mommy what happened to her?" 
"She broke her legs sweetie.. don't point that's not nice.." 
Surprisingly most of the time this comment is made I have in fact NOT broken my leg, and nor am I even in any other kind of cast. I'm just being regular ol' me in my wheelchair minding my own business.
"Was she born sitting like that?"
"Yes she was, people are born in all shapes and sizes.." 
I don't know what kind of birds & the bees story they tell the iGeneration of iKids now, but I've never heard the one where a human comes out of the mother "...sitting like that.."

I feel bad when I make no effort to correct people, but not like totally bad about these moments because dang it I'm old school and kids should still be listening to their parents --- and buying all the white lies/BS that their parents tell them. They can grow up and struggle to figure out the real truths later on in life just like I did; when their little worlds shatter and they realize everything is not so plain and simple or easy to swallow at first glance - they can do that on their own. Or on the off chance they bump into me in the future I'd be happy to explain to them when they ask for help themselves.

5. Making Them Look for that Other Way
Whether it's on a college campus tour, museum, concert hall, colonial building, historical structure, apartment building, office building.. or whatever have you - there is at least a 75% chance that when I show-up there will be a need to look for the accessible path and entrance inside.
"Uhhh I know that there's a wheelchair entrance but let me just go check with someone else and find out where exactly it is." And then the well-dressed official in his/her uniform has to go running off, trying to find the path to the treasure in the quickest time the world has ever seen. I certainly hope they are trying to accomplish this in the quickest time ever..
You can see the embarrassed and blanched look on their faces when they realize that they, the authorities of the place, in fact are not all that authoritative and look incredibly clueless in this moment. The look on their face says well d'uh of course I should know where the accessible entrance and paths are, let me go vanish and find where it is and then by the time I get back she will have forgotten about my brief state of cluelessness.

Okay the truth is I would be really uncomfortable if I were them. I like to know everything, so any moment of cluelessness is really unsettling to me. So that's that.

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