Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'm so sorry that you're blind.

Sunday evening, I went to dinner with my family. I usually ask whoever I’m with to read the menu at whatever restaurant we’re at. But because I had already eaten at this restaurant and liked what I had, I decided to just have that again.

Well, the waitress came to take our order. When she got to me, I looked up at her (turned to face her) and placed my order. She asked me what side I would like with that. I hadn’t considered what side I wanted for my dinner. I asked her what sides they had. Well, she picked the menu up off the table, opened it up, and said, “Here’s a list of our sides.” I thought she was going to read them off. But I quickly realized that she wanted me to review the list and give her an answer. So, I said to the lady, “Oh, I’m blind. Can you please tell me what sides you have?”

Well, the lady acted like she had seen a ghost. I startled her with my news. She started stuttering, and then she started apologizing to me. She apologized over and over. I smiled and told her it was okay. She read the list. I told her which one I wanted, and I thought it was over.

Well, she apologized again. But this time, I could tell that she was not apologizing for not realizing I was blind. She was apologizing for me being blind. She had that sound of pity and compassion in her voice. I could tell that she felt like my pitiful excuse for an existence was so sad.

“You poor little blind lady… How do you live without sight? Life has to be terrible for you. That’s so nice for your family to take time out with you. I bet you like getting out of the house, don’t you? You have such a positive attitude to have such a sucky life.”

I’m so used to that kind of response. I wish that I could simply go out into the community and have a nice outing, without stares, comments, and assessments made by folks that lives our more wacked out than mine.

But I guess that’s just the way it is. No matter what I do, I can’t change what people think about me. But the one thing I can change is what I think about them and their assessment of me. It’s taking me a long time to get to this point. But I’m finally starting to shed off the sensitive skin that I’ve had so long. I’m starting to not give a care about what others think.
I have this little motto that I started living by. If your assessment of me does not translate into the gain or loss of money and influence, then your opinion of me is completely and utterly invalid.

I hate to sum it up to money and power. But it is what it is. Too often we give people that can’t change our lives in any way too much power. And trust me, it is power that they certainly don’t deserve.

Well, you folks have a terrific week. I’ll check back in here in a few days.

Peace and love,

Angela

9 comments:

Kizzie said...

I'm linking you, you became a quick favorite.

Angie said...

Thanks Kizzie! I don't take it lightly.

Asabagna said...

"If your assessment of me does not translate into the gain or loss of money and influence, then your opinion of me is completely and utterly invalid."

Trudat! This statement made me laugh!

Angie said...

Hey Asa!

Reading that statement was a trip for me. It sounded a little harsh when I just read it. But Brotha, it is what it is. It's the setting you free truth that I've decided to live by.

Thanks for dropping by. I'm always glad to see Brotha Asa in the house.

Angela

The Angry Independent said...

Angie,

I know this kind of situation has to be annoying to you... This is partly due to a general ignorance about people with disabilities, and also due to the fact that people just don't know how to react and they end up letting their assumptions go too far. This leads to misplaced pity, as you mentioned.

But in this case, I suspect that it had to do with a waitress providing bad service. You clearly asked her to tell you what the sides were. And it seems to me that she was either lazy or not up on her waitressing duties....

When you go to a restaurant, the waiter or waitress should be able to provide that information upon request, without relying on a menu.

I have had my fair share of bad service like this....including going out to dinner with my family many years ago and not being asked at all what I was having. The waitress skipped me (for some reason).

There is a general lack of public education about people with disabilities... so running into people like this waitress is just part of the culture unfortunately.

But I like how you are able to deal with it.

Interesting post...

Enjoy reading your experiences and life lessons.

Angie said...

Thanks AI for stopping by and commenting. I love getting your feedback.

samax said...

i get a lot of people trying to "fix" me... telling me that if i just did this or that, that i'd be good"... i just put my hand up and say
"there's nothing wrong with me." no matter what THEY may think or feel about me, i have chosen to be happy and fulfilled right now.

i'm glad that you continue to make that same choice, angela!

Angie said...

Hey Samax!

I love you so much! You might not believe it. But I really do.

Thanks for dropping by. You made my day.

Hugs,

Angela

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey Angie,

The next time somebody comes at you with the whole "pity" thing going on... just whisper to them,

"Don't feel sorry for me. I actually feel sorry for YOU. You can see those shoes that you're wearing." Then shutter and just walk away.