>Things You Should Know About Me

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  • I don’t use the food bank. I’m glad it’s there for people who need it, but I’m not one of them. So if you see me walking downtown, I’m not looking for it. You don’t have to ask me that question now.
  • I’m not looking for the Salvation army either. Glad they’re there, but unless I’m real close to the door, why would you automatically think I’m going there?
  • And, I don’t live in a nursing home! Just because I’m getting on a bus route which has St. Joseph’s in the name doesn’t mean I live at St. Joseph’s rehabilitation centre! It is a full loop, you know.

I am sick and tired of being treated like I’m helpless. Sometimes I ask for a little help. I don’t think that gives people license to treat me like I’m completely incapable of getting around or doing anything on my own. And sometimes I don’t even ask for help, and people are already assuming I can’t go anywhere safely. A lady offered me help getting home one night, I said I was fine, and she tailed me home anyway! I think I scared her though, because I phoned home and said, “I hope those footsteps belong to the lady who offered to help me, otherwise I don’t know who’s following me home!” Then she spoke up and sorta apologized. But gees! What is it about me that makes people think I’m either stupid or helpless or both? And would you walk up to anyone else walking down the street and randomly ask them, “Are you looking for the food bank?” How about, “Are you looking for the Salvation Army van?” Like, I’m walking past the Bank of Montreal, several stores, and you’d think my destination must be the food bank or the Salvation Army? Why? Ug it makes me bristle.

Today was the kicker, though, and it’s what made me right this post. I headed down to catch my bus. But apparently, there was some Christmas lights display on, and since our buses don’t have a proper terminal, arg, they got redirected to another location so the Christmas lights display could have the square. I discovered this by smacking into a wall of people! A man was nice enough to offer to give me a hand to where the buses were. Then he did the good old “What would you have ever done if I didn’t come along? trick. Oy yoy yoy that makes me mad. I appreciate your help, but I would have made it there, it just would have taken a bit longer. You are not a hero. You’re a nice person, and you’re appreciated, but you don’t need a medal and I don’t need your pity.

About halfway there, he said, hmmmI don’t see any buses down there. That would be, chief, because it’s not quite bus time! But he still wouldn’t believe me. He had to not listen to me, as I explained where the buses pull in, and he had to go ask some random traffic-directing police officer. Of course, he had no idea. Then I said what bus I wanted. He’s like, “Oh St. Joseph’s. Do you live at St. Joseph’s?” Again, why would you assume I lived there? I wouldn’t have even minded, “Do you work at St. Joseph’s?” But to assume I must be a patient is, well, bizarre.

Sorry to seem kind of bitter. I hate sounding like a whiner, so I hope that’s not how it comes off, but it probably does. I don’t mean to sound like you have to tread carefully when you’re talking to me. But like the song says, All I’m asking is for a little respect. Is that too much to ask?

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