A couple of years ago I had a frayed meniscus that made going up and down stairs painful and kinda dangerous when they're crowded as I had to go slowly. I'd take the elevator and wonder what kinds of judgment people were making about me. I know that at least some of them were simply based on the fact that people make comments about this kind of thing to me all the time when they think I'm able-bodied. Just think about the comments one sees about people preferring the drive thru at Starbucks over going inside. Or people who try to get the closest parking spot to the entrance of the store.
Sure, there very well may be a lot of lazy people out there. But who cares? You worry about you. Let other people worry about themselves.
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Every Time I Use an Elevator
Today I got on the elevator in one of our main classroom buildings, one of the largest on campus (aka Huge Classroom Building/HCB). I got on the elevator with a professor and two other students. While on this elevator, we find ourselves talking about elevators and how this professor taught at a university where the only people who could use the campus elevators were people with keys, including faculty and handicapped students.
A fellow student in the elevator with us got off on the second floor, and before the door even finished closing, the professor makes a comment to me and the other guy in with us about how she didn’t “look handicapped enough to take the elevator up one floor” and how this was his “biggest pet peeve.”
For the record, I’ve had a really painful day. Emphasis on really. So of course, I looked at him and said “well to be fair, I have arthritis and I take the elevators up one floor, and nothing sucks more than when someone has the nerve to make that comment while you’re in the elevator with them.” I think I shocked him, because he then followed up with “well she didn’t look handicapped.” So to make it worse, I said “Yeah, but neither do I. You never know what someone’s dealing with.” He was jaw-on-the-floor caught off guard, mumbled something about how what I said was true and how I “do look young,” and I proceeded to get off on the third floor more than slightly irritated. The guy with us in the elevator said nothing.
Now I am sitting outside of these elevator doors writing this. There is nothing more infuriating than this notion that all disabilities have to be visible. There is nothing more annoying than a constant reminder that whenever I take the elevator up one floor, people in it are judging me and/or making comments the second the door closes behind me.
So if you’re one of those people who finds yourself in that sort of thought process, please stop.
You never know what someone’s dealing with or going through by a 40-second interaction in an elevator. Maybe it was leg day yesterday, maybe they have arthritis, maybe they’re just tired.
Keep your judgments to yourself.http://chroniccurve.tumblr.com/post/128049916821/every-time-i-use-an-elevator