Thursday, April 8, 2010

Top 10 Things that Annoy People in Wheelchairs

So The Christopher Reeve Foundation have a survey called Top 10 Things that Annoy People in Wheelchairs. I thought I should share because if you're not in a chair, you can learn what NOT to do when you see people in chairs. And well, if you're in a chair, then share your thoughts and even laugh about it if you think it's funny. You can find the survey here

Now personally, some of 'em do annoy me and at times, piss me more than usual. But some of 'em are actually pretty funny because of either how they worded 'em on the survey or how I handled the situation when it happened to me.

So, here's my take on this survey and kind of clear things up a bit for each of these 10 things. Hopefully it can make things clear for some of you not in chairs so you won't make stupid mistake that you'll get laugh at later on. (Trust me, we laugh at you all the time and call you "normal" people names too! Ha.)

Patting me on my head. Don't. (I do my hair every morning.)
This is one of the biggest pet peeves of mine. If you know me, I have a motto:

"Don't touch the hat.
Don't mess with the chair
and most definitely

And I mean it when I say that. I don't care how "cute" I look and how "sorry" you feel for me, don't pet me. (Or in a nicer way of saying it "patting") I'M NOT YOUR PET! SO DON'T PET ME! High fives, hugs, and hand shakes are cool. Petting/Patting, aren't. Got it? Good.

Speaking slowly to me because I'm in a wheelchair.
Sometimes this annoys me, other times, I just ignore it or speak slower than the person. By the time I start speaking slower than they are, they get the point. Like my good friend Tristan said, "Matt is a Cripplegic...That means he is legs retarded." And he's right, my legs are retarded, not my head. So seriously, don't speak slowly to me just because you see the chair. We'll probably and most likely run you over. And it WILL hurt.

Being asked, "So if I shot you in the leg, you wouldn't feel it?"
A freshman I didn't know ask me that one day. I asked in return, "If I shot you in the *$&%, you would feel it?" and he pretty much get the point.

Not inviting me to an event because you are protecting me from some frustration. (Let me figure it out.)
Ya this sometimes and a lot of times pisses me off. Don't think you're "protecting" me. It's not "protecting" at all when you avoid on inviting me cuz of my chair. I'm sure you would still invite someone if they had crutches or legs. Same thing. So really, if you want to invite me but worry about accessibility, tell me. I've use this chair long enough to know what I need to do or work around the situation if I need to. So yes, call me and invite me to parties. Don't just leave me hanging because of my chair. Or else, yes, I'd run you over for being stupid too.

Able-bodied people parking in handicapped spaces. (So what if you have the tag!)
I am kind of have with this one. Now I don't really mind the old grandma and grandpa's that need to park close to the store and that's why they have the tag/placards. That I'm okay with. I mean, I'm fair, right? So grandmas and grandpas, don't worry, if you're in my blue spot, I'll be glad to park in the back of the parking lot for you. But, if you're not a senior and you're just in that spot cuz either 1. You think you're only in there for "a minute" or 2. you're fat, then get the hell out of my spot.

Like this Mark Zupan commerial, "Just a minute is a minute too long."

And don't get me started on fat people in the blue spot. If you're fat then park far away and get some exercise. Don't park in the blue spot cuz you "need" it. And definitely don't go off and yell at me when I took "your" spot. America a favor and pack in the back. (Ok that'll be end of my fat people rant)

Holding onto the back of my chair so I can't move.
I don't really mind that people hold onto the back of my chair as much as I hate people cutting in front of me thinking that they can go "faster" than I can then just stop on a dime. Please people, be smart. Please know that I can't stop on a dime and if you stop on a dime in front of me, I WILL run into you and your ankles. So when I do, don't glare at me like it's my fault. Think, people, think. Don't stop on a dime in front of me and assume it's my fault.

Talking over my head as if I'm not here.
Sometimes that annoys me. But again, I just do the same back to the person doing this and they usually get the point. And if I'm having a bag week, I would most likely yell/rant at the person who is doing this. This tends to wake 'em right up and not do stupid things like this.

Accessible bathroom stalls being used by an able-bodied person.
Again, sometimes it annoys me and sometimes it doesn't. I mean I understand if the bathroom is full or something like that but if it's not, please, people don't make it a habit of using the accessible bathroom. But again, I am fair. I'm not going to yell at you if you take the accessible bathroom.

Congratulating me for things like going to the grocery store like it's worthy of an Olympic medal.
I found this one funny cuz it actually happened to me. I said thank you and asked for my price money. Yes, Olympic medal winners do get paid. question is, where's my money?

Strangers asking what happened to me.
I actually don't mind people asking me what happened. I would rather have strangers asking me what happened than asking someone else near me. Many of the people who do ask me what happened are kids and I mean kids in 1st or 2nd grade. I just don't like it when their parents tell 'em to hush and said that asking is a rude thing. Please, really, asking is not a rude thing and it is actually quite good. Curiosity is a great thing in us humans and there is nothing wrong with feeding the curiosity. So if you're a parent and your kid points at a person in a chair and ask questions, please don't pull 'em away and tell 'em "don't point, it's rude" or "don't ask too many questions, it's rude" It actually annoys me more when parents say that. Let the kid ask, really, it's fine.

Continuing to insist on helping me after I've said no thanks.
I'm sure this is the same with everyone. If you don't need help, you don't need help. Whether you're in a chair or not don't really make a difference.

Being asked if you want a shopping cart for your grocery bags. (How can I wheel my chair and push a shopping cart?)
I think this is funny too. Some times people just don't know what to say and they make a fool out of 'emselves. And well, this is one of those situations. So laugh it off and say "no thanks" nicely. But truly, laugh about it, ha!

A restaurant hostess asking if I want a booth.
Personally I actually like it when the hostess ask me if I want a booth. Sometimes, I feel ambitious and want to sit in a booth instead of in my chair. Really it'll happen when I don't feel like sitting in my chair. So I actually don't mind it if hostess ask me if I like a booth. It just gives me more options that fits my mood of the day.

So there's that guys. Please don't make stupid mistakes like that, ever!


HellcatBetty said...

*cuts you off, stops on a dime, turns around and glares when you run into my ankles, and pats you on the head before walking away to get into my car and go to the WalMart where I'll park in a handicap spot because I'm too fat to walk very far*

teehee ;)

silver star said...

My anger falls more with the "blue spots" and the ramps. When I came home from the hospital after I broke my femur, my neighbor had the only ramp blocked with his car and refused to move, my husband had to push my wheelchair over a railroad tie then push me up the grassy hill so I could get inside our home. Now that I can walk again, sometimes my boss has me enforce blue spots. While I can't kick anyone out of the spots with a permit, I know many of them don't need those spots, and the ones that need them can't always get one. Some of the handicap stalls at my job also have changing tables in them, I won't even get started on that one.

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

Great blog...learned some good things...

especially laughed at the fat rant, LOL

Sheree said...

Thanks for cluing us in. You get your point across very eloquently and in a way anyone can understand. I know each person has a different perspective but all in all I think your point is for us to just give you the respect you deserve. I will try to help get the word out about the blue spot.

RP said...

great post Matt! Loved the way in which you have weaved it :D

Knuckles said...

Count on Erica to do all those things to me, :P

Glad you guys found some things funny and learned a few things about what I wrote.

Alexandria Russell said...

People who park way over the sidewalks

Ella Collins said...

Me and my mum were going to the cinema to see a movie. There were no parking spaces but there was one man who had a boot filled with stuff and he wasn't walking. Oh no he was running back and forth to his car. Even worse he said he will be one minute and our movie was going to start soon

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