Caught Off Guard

There have been several occasions when my disability has caught people off guard. Here are the occasions, in no particular order. The first, deals with a phone call I get from some gentleman from a branch of the military. He introduces himself, and says that he would like to meet with me the next day in the counselor’s office at school, to discuss a possible career for me in the service. I wait patiently for him to stop talking so that I can bring up the fact of my condition…so he finishes his speech, and I say, “I appreciate your call, but I am disabled.” I expected him to hang up, but he goes right on, as if he didn’t hear what I had just said. He continues by saying, “That’s alright, you just drop by the counselor’s office tomorrow, and we’ll discuss some things.” I hang up and look at my Mother, and say that he must have been desperate for recruits. Mom asked me if I told him of my condition, and I said yes, but that he just kept going and going…like the Energizer bunny. The next time this happened was with a UPS man…I am the only one home, and was expecting something in the mail. So the doorbell rings, and I answer it, and the man looks confused…because you see, I crawl around my house, so obviously I’m on my knees. I see his reaction, and almost start to laugh, because I’m sure this looked way too odd for him. I open the door to take the package, and sign for it…and he says, “Oh, you’re on your knees”…and I think to myself, “No shit, Sherlock.” The last time this happened is quite possibly the funniest, and the most embarrassing. I was visiting my sister and her husband in South Carolina, and they lived on a military base. We were coming home from eating or something, and we had to show ID to get through the gate…so the guard checks my sister and her husband, and then he looks in the back where I’m sitting, and he says…”Sir, I’m afraid you’re going to have to step out of the vehicle.” My brother-in-law said..”Uhh, he can’t walk, he’s disabled”… The look on the guards face went from total joy, because he had a good joke going….to a look of total embarrassment. He kept apologizing to us….I hope he didn’t feel like crap the rest of the day!!

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