As I close down Week 2 of being pregnant and crippled–wait, is that a Lifetime movie? Because it totally should be–I find myself to be more and more empathetic toward the handicapped community. Which, considering I tend to have pretty non-existent sympathy/empathy/whichever one is better toward the majority of the population, is saying quite a bit.
I mean, I always got angry and perhaps occasionally called the police on cars illegally parked in the handicapped spaces. Or if I didn’t call the police, I’d shake my fist angrily AND menacingly at the offending car. Because how scary is that for that car?
But now Going Out has gone from “ooh! Maybe I’ll see something adorable I HAVE TO EAT at Target and buy it! Then EAT it!” to “Fuck, do I really have to leave?” And it’s not because it’s incredibly painful for me to walk, it’s a combination of other factors.
First, I look stupid. This I’m aware of. I go out, wearing this gigantic moon boot of doom, obviously pregnant, and lugging a 30 pound toddler–who is likely screaming in my face–through the store. I knew I looked stupid before I made 70% of the store patrons and staff stop and stare at me, but after making several small children cry (although that might have been because I told them that there was no Santa Claus after they called me a “retarded gimp”), I’m suddenly aware of how people who have real handicaps must feel on a daily basis.
Second, just because I am pregnant and crippled for the moment–and perhaps ugly for the rest of my life–doesn’t mean I am stupid. I mean, okay, okay, I’m kind of stupid, and perhaps even emotionally crippled but really, my IQ is not in the low 30’s. I don’t think. But people see a huge boot on a person and assume that I must be one of those Special People bussed in from an institution on my Big Day Out. Where the toddler and 7 year old with me come from is anyone’s guess.
They occasionally cluck sympathetically, raise their voices to speak to me slowly and loudly in small sentences, “Aaaarrreeee yooooouuuu reeeeaaadddyyy tooooo cccchhheeecckkk ooouutt?” I may look stupid, people, but I assure you that my mental facilities are as intact as they were before I injured my foot. Take that to mean whatever you’d like it to.
And my least favorite of the people that I come across on my brief ventures out into the Real World are the ones that walk behind me impatiently as I gimp along, muttering about how slow I am, practically touching my ass with their crotch, grumbling the whole way along. While I can relate that being frustrated by being behind someone slow is annoying, what I cannot understand is why on Earth they don’t go around me in the miles of space to my left. Slower traffic keep right, and all.
But then, just as I’m accepting that the person behind me really would like to be my hemorrhoid (mental picture is awesome), the minute I head toward a checkout, they speedily zip around me, practically knocking me over to get in front of me. Being slow at walking does not mean I’m slow at getting checked out.
Now, normally I let most anyone with less items go ahead of me, but now that my foot makes me gimpified, I honestly want to do nothing more than get the hell outta there so I can ice that puppy down. I’ll still let people with a couple of items in front of me, but the people who speedily zip past me ruthlessly cut in front of me always seem to be doing one of a couple things:
a) trying to write a check without proper identification (i.e. driver’s license)
b) trying to get the cashier to okay 4,595 expired coupons
c) arguing over a 2 cent price difference between “marked on shelf” cost and rung up cost
d) trying to use a declined credit card by arguing with the bored looking cashier
e) baffling the hell out of the cashier by whipping out food stamps
And I stand there, behind them, chanting “serenity now, serenity now” in my head as Alex attempts to scramble out the cart, shrieks when I dare detain him, as my foot throbs merrily.
I tell you, this whole “being injured” thing is getting more and more annoying. Especially since I have neither good drugs nor a handicapped sticker for my car. Perhaps I’ll get a cane and whack people with it just to make me feel better.
Misery loves company and all that, right?