What I’ve learned being handicapped

/ posted in: Family

Today we went to a mall to see a movie. It is a big mall with many stairs. Usually when we go the husband makes at least one comment about the possibility of taking the elevators instead of the stairs but I tell him not to be lazy and then we take the stairs. But today there was no way we were taking the stairs. In fact I had him bring the wheelchair because using crutches wears me out.

We decided that we would approach this as an investigative report. The husband added that we could sue for anything we couldn’t do with the wheelchair.

First, the door from the parking garage to the mall has a handicapped button. But when you push it it opens very slowly. That is the first sign that you need to be a very patient person if you plan on getting around by wheelchair. In addition only one of the two doors meant to open when you push the button actually does.

Then we got to take the elevator instead of the stairs. More waiting but that was ok.

This mall has the best bathrooms ever. Every stall is huge and there is a sink in each stall. Each stall, it turns out, except the handicapped ones. I checked.

People stare at you if you are in a wheelchair. They are also very polite and get out of your way. That may be because of my lack of fine motor control in the wheelchair and/or the husband’s trick of giving me a good push on level ground so he didn’t need to push every step.

There was no problems negotiating the movie theaters because they have wheelchair accomodations. I was the only person there with a wheelchair so we weren’t taking anything away from real wheelchair people.

When we approached the elevators to get back to the parking garage there was a line. Not a line of wheelchairs or even strollers. There was a line of fat people. Now, I’m not a svelte person but these were people in danger of having their abdomens filmed for a news report on obesity in America. They were sort of milling around until I pulled up in the wheelchair. Then they formed a line and studiously did not look at the person in the wheelchair. When the elevator came and they piled on and there was no room for the person in the wheelchair, they all looked away. The doors closed and the husband yelled, “You all should take the stairs!” For some reason the elevator came back to our level and opened with the same people on it. I looked pitiful and the husband said that if they had taken the stairs they’d have been there by now.

I think that we should take turns from now on going to the mall with the wheelchair. Shaming lazy people is a blast.