Unnecessary comments from strangers seem to come in waves, nothing and then a torrent. This past week I’ve had to keep my tongue clenched between my teeth to remain civil. Yesterday, while waiting for an elevator, a man told me how strong I looked. I smiled. He then told me he could see through my shirt that I had arms like Popeye’s. I stopped smiling. To show that he meant no harm he said that he tried to work out but to no effect. I stared at the elevator refusing to let him off the hook.
In the Pantheon of misguided comments slung at me by passing strangers, my favorite remains: I know how you feel. I have a three-legged dog. This said by a carefully coiffed matron in a pink velour track suit as she sipped her coffee and I stopped enjoying mine.
I’ve been meaning to start a list of these well meant ditties* and today, after passing an actual three-legged dog, I decided it was time to start. Henceforth I intend to keep a running list and post them for your reading pleasure.
With any luck this space will remain empty for a good long while, but I doubt it (8/26/2014).
“Would you be offended if I pushed you?” – Catalina, California – 20 September 2014**
*For those of you non-whellchair users, consider this a list of what not to say to your rolling brothers and sisters.
**Sounds even wortse out of context. To the speaker’s credit, I was ascending a long and steep ramp.