Saturday, August 14, 2010

Be forewarned, I wrote this when I was still angry
and  I'm afraid my temper- which is an embarrassment to me,  is showing.

I nearly went ballistic in public yesterday as I waited for two beauticians to finish my daughters hair cuts. A retarded man was having trouble figuring out what a tip was and how long six weeks would be before his next  appointment. The cashier painstakingly explained both ideas to the man repeatedly as he began to sense a  lack of respect and tried to sound knowledgeable and salvage any remaining self respect he had left and as he turned his back and headed for the door the woman's assistant began to laugh.  I felt the rage well up with in me and fill my chest (The room grew dark as I began babbling in tongues and swaying back and forth, I may have been drooling at that point, I really don't know.) but then that voice (you know, the one that makes you do stuff) said,"Perhaps she was laughing at something else?" So I immediately calmed down -as not to b#tch slap an innocent woman clean into tomorrow and I said, "Ya know, (pausing to take a deep breath) nobody chooses to be that way, they don't like being that way. You have no idea how much pain these people are in and have to endure." (Me thinking - from witches like you.)

If I had been sure she was indeed making fun of him, I would have been asked to leave with her  over  processed ,crunchy, bleached blond hair in twined between the fingers of my fist.
As I left,  that voice (You know, the one that makes you do stuff.) reminded me of the personal pain she will have to endure when the vail of stupidity is lifted from her when she encounters her own personal -"Jesus moment."

FYI *These Jesus moments often occur in the "Labor and delivery" room as new moms struggle to come to terms with their disabled children. (Been there, done that.) 
I wish I would have told her, "We are all only a car wreck away from being retarded/disabled ourselves."

5 comments:

nazareth priest said...

dearest: I'm "retarded" every single God blessed day...I can't even order in a Country Fried Chicken/McDonald's/Burger King without seconds of wondering "What the h***?"...
and I live with the likewise.
Jesus is soo good...He calls "retards" like me (us?) to love and serve Him.
Oh, shoot...
did I really write this?
Love ya!

Adrienne said...

That would have NEVER happened in my beauty salon. NEVER!!!!

And when I was working as an optician we would often have to fit glasses and do pre-exams on severely handicapped folk. We're talking completely non-responsive (some in fetal position in the chair) but still frightened folks. It was hard, but it was worth it and we NEVER, EVER made fun of them.

Angela M. said...

My goodness, woman! You are on a roll here! You need to print these out and bind them into a book, one for each of your children.

Adoro said...

Amen.

I found myself working with severely developmentally disabled people (key word: PEOPLE) back in 1997-99. It was a humbling experience in every sense of the word.

I remember planning to walk off the job as it seemed all I was doing was TOILETING people. That's right...bringing them to the bathroom and either changing their diapers or preparing them to "go" and then cleaning them up afterward. That was the majority of my day.

I was quite indignant, although thankfully, only interiorly so. My charges never knew of this interior struggle I was having for, well, I have to admit...I loved them. Even when I didn't know it. I knew, fundamentally, that they shouldn't see the lack of respect I had not so much for them, but for the work of caring for them.

(That wasn't love, of course...read on...)

It was somewhere in the middle of a particularly horribly nasty diaper change that it hit me: I could be in that very same condition that very evening if a semi hit me on my way home. What's more, I'd be well deserving of such a condition.

These people weren't.

It was a moment of immediate conversion and although I never loved my job, I truly grew to love dearly the people I served.

I don't even remember "wiping butts." What I remember of that job and those dear souls, is their faces, their personalities, their smiles, and the twinkle in their eyes. If they ever left a mess for me to clean up..I honestly can't recall it.

I would not have had the restraint you did. I would have been over the counter strangling the women...best case scenario I would have found a reason to approach and compliment the man on his new haircut, even if my own head was in foil or dripping with shampoo.

Thanks for this post. I needed those memories tonight.

belinda said...

Yea, Miss Adoro is my new blogger buddy! (I think my long suffering blogger buddies may be growing tired of me ;)
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(You know- butt wipers are saints.)
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I didn't go after the woman because I second guessed what I thought I had heard and I'm sincerely trying to control my temper in a world that needs a smack down.