When Disability Becomes Embarrassing – Part 1
There are many times my disability has been embarrassing or humiliating. However, this is one of those occasions where I was standing in front of a large room of people with a microphone shoved into my hand and all I could think was – “FARRRRKKKK” (you will forgive me for that shortly)
Then I was thinking, rather swiftly I might add. “What just happened? Who did that? Where did they go? Help! Now what? How do I get myself out of this situation?”
Now, to back up a second, I will put this situation into perspective. I was in Bendigo a few years ago at the ABIAW (Again: Acquired Brain Injury Awareness) week event. I had travelled to Bendigo from Melbourne with my mum, who had driven three and half hours to get to Melbourne, so she could carpool others around also from the ABI Group in Melbourne, I was part of.
So, mum was there also and we shared a room in the hotel we all stayed at.
The first day was a long one, lack of sleep and we went to sessions and heard people speak, we mingled, we ate, we collectively drank bad coffee and the first night we gathered at a dinner to mingle and socialize.
Now, mum and I retired to our room, like many others for a break before we went to the location for the dinner. Needless to say, my mum and I are both on a different page when it comes to tiredness.
I like to be early to be on time. My mum is much more lenient and we are both very stubborn on this.
By the time we arrived, the people we knew there from our group in Melbourne were spread over two big tables and there were NO SPARE SEATS and no one had thought to save us any.
The guy upon entering, suggested we could join another table to make some friends or sit at another empty table on one side and that table would likely fill up soon enough.
I dubbed it the single ‘girls table’. Oh, hell why not?
Here’s where mum and I differ. I was completely okay sitting there out in the bitter lonely cold, but mum wanted to join another table. Soon enough a younger ‘normal’ woman joined us and I enquired if she was single or not.
Sometimes, I can be such a Nona. Nona’s very prone to want to match you up with someone’s son/nephew, whoever.
She claimed to be single (turns out that was a lie), she soon decided to find secure and encourage us to abandon our single girls table and join another table with conveniently three empty seats. This table was front and centre.
I had already had a comment about the man facilitating and Master of Ceremonies. While it wasn’t bordering on sexual harassment, it might have been a bit wrong.
“Let’s give single girl a name, Stacey and let’s call him Fred. Again, Fred gets such a bashing, doesn’t he? So, Stacey spoke to Fred and as she returned to her seat Fred came up to me and…
Wait… Deep breathe,
He announced to the room there were single ladies at the front table and were there any men looking?
To be continued