I have explained before that I have a wicked sense of humour….. This blog post shows this off perfectly.
Sitting yesterday with a friend having a much needed catch-up over a leisurely Sunday brunch at a popular Italian American restaurant, the following occurred.
As usual, my trusted guide dog was laid on my feet under the table waiting for any food to drop. Me and my friend had been talking about how life had been for me since seperating from my long term partner earlier in the year. She knew that I had struggled with others opinions about being a single parent, she also knew that I had taken the decision to end the relationship and that it had been a happy decision for me.
This led us to talking about dating and how after having been in a relationship for so long you would even start going about this. At this point, a couple were seated in the booth behind us. I remember this point as the woman in the couple was sneezing continually, so I passed a packet of ultra-balm pocket tissues behind me to her partner.
Me and my friend continued talking about dating, she commented on how I could try internet dating or speed dating. This tickled me, so I made a joke of how she was fundamentally suggesting that I went on a ‘blind date’ as I went on to say, my days of catching someones eye across a crowded pub were behind me, I would be lucky to even catch the eye of someone stood right beside me. The irony of ‘blind dating’ continued and she by this point was looking on her phone and discovered that there were dating sites just for disabled people. I made a joke of how a guide dog had a great pulling power, but how to train them to seak out single guys for blind people would take real indepth training…..
At this point I was aware of uncomfortable mummbles from the couple in the booth behind us. Me and my friend continued to speak about how a blind person would go about dating, when the ‘gentleman’ in the booth behind me turned around and commented, (these words have stayed with me….
“You really are being quite rude and insensitive, talking about poor blind people who can’t possible have as enjoyable and free life as you ((me))”
To which I was shocked, so I said all I could which was, “I beg your pardon?”
“Well, you two are sat her enjoying a nice leisurely breakfast, probably off to do some shopping laughing about those less fortunate than you who have a horrible disability and can’t even think of coming out for treats like this. Whilst you both sit here poking fun at them for not being able to date, you both have such freedom, people like you make me sick.”
At this point my blood was boiling and I’m sure my friend could sense this too, as she reached across the table and asked me if I wanted to leave, which no I did not.
I was not going to be accused of being insensitive, rude and worst of all being called a ‘poor blind person’.
I kept my cool (dog knows how!) and out came the sarcasm……
“I’m sorry sir if my ‘private’ conversation with my friend has upset and sickened you, I am so very sorry that you feel that ‘poor blind people’ don’t have such freedoms as to go out for a long breakfast or enjoy shopping. I am so very sorry that you feel that I was insulting those with horrible disabilities. I was in fact talking about myself and how ‘ironic’ it was to use the word ‘blind date’ you see because for me now that is what it would be, I am sorry for that.”
At this point he stood up and called over the waitress, he said “I can’t believe the nerve of you ((me)) now pretending to be blind, while you clearly aren’t to justify and make excuses for your terrible behaviour, I wish to be moved. (Directed at the waitress)”
I was close to tears at the point and the waitress was about to speak, the very same waitress that had seated me and my friend and made a fuss of Vicky before she had curled up under the table.
I myself now stood up and turned to the gentleman, a term I use very loosely as he was about the same age as me, and definite not gentle!
“It’s ok, no need for you to move, we were just finishing up and off to enjoy some carefree shopping, I will even go to the till to settle up my bill as to not upset you a moment further, if you would just be so kind as to give me a minute to get my guide dog in her harness?”
He sniggered at this, but he soon stopped when I woke up a sleeping Vicky and got her out from under the table….
In fact his face was so red with embarrassment, even I could see it!
I finished putting her harness on and walked toward the till. My friend was talking behind me to the man and his girlfriend, but At this point I just wanted to leave.
She came and joined me a moment later to tell me that on the girlfriends insistence her boyfriend would be paying our bill for us, he hadn’t spoken another word apparently, just stood there shocked and embarrassed.
My friend said that she had explained that I was clearly upset by his insults and assumptions of ‘poor blind people’ and that it was incredibly rude to earwig on others conversations.
His girlfriend was very apologetic, but still he said nothing.
As we left the restaurant, my friend said she could see through the window that his girlfriend was clearly shouting at him.
To be honest I didn’t care…. I was using every muscle in my body to stop me from breaking down in tears, I was so shaken by it that we didn’t go shopping, without a word spoken, we got in her car and we went straight to the nearest pub for a large whiskey (for me anyway)
We had been having such an enjoyable time and only a true friend would laugh with me while we spoke of blind dates and meeting someone new. She knew instantly that I had been upset by those cruel words, but that I wouldn’t scream and shout, but calmly and with sarcasm allow that horrid man to be left thinking about what he had said and done.
I am not a ‘poor blind person’ with a ‘horrible disability’, I am me Tee, with a visual impairment…. I have plenty of freedom to go shopping and enjoy long breakfasts with friends, I am also privileged to have such wonderful friends that won’t talk over me, but know me well enough to know that I am fully capable of speaking my own mind. Also just like on that day, also know when I need a stiff drink and a huge hug.
And to answer the question you may be thinking by now…. No, I haven’t and nor will I be signing up to an iNternet dating of any kind !!!