Monday, April 16, 2012

An Open Letter

Dear Everyone in the Front Section of the #10 Bobcat Stadium Tram at approximately 3:30pm CST on 4/16/12:

Go fuck yourselves.  Seriously.

I realize you've all had a long day of classes and studying, as have I.  I sympathize with the tired look in your eyes, knowing that the end of the semester is less than a month away.

What I can't sympathize with is your refusal to recognize that (in a full to capacity tram) I might need to sit down.  Sure, the three or so miles between the campus bus stop and the commuter parking lot don't seem far.  But to someone with shooting pains throughout their leg - and carrying TCOA btw - three or so miles might as well be three hundred.

I don't want special treatment.  I'm not saying TCOA gives me a special pass to tram seating.  What I am saying is that one day you will be in my situation.  Maybe not the exact situation...but a similar one.  And I can only hope that, when that day comes, the people around you will show more compassion to you than you showed toward me today.

P.S. Seriously.  Go fuck yourselves.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Princess Cutie Utie's journey continues...

Yesterday, I ventured out to a couple of local shops to see if I can find a carrying apparatus so Cutie Utie could accompany me both to the Bowl-A-Thon and the War on Women rally on April 28.  I found something perfect, and it was on sale for $5!!!  I should have thought to get some glue and glitter to make the "YES" and "NO" more visible.  Cutie Utie may be carrying her own protest signs in the future!!

[image description] Pink knit uterus with eyes and a smile wearing a tiara with purple stones "lounging" in a small denim bag with the English word "YES" in large print surrounded by the word "yes" in foreign languages in smaller print.  The denim bag has a silk-ish strap in various shades of blue. [end image description]

[image description] Pink knit uterus with eyes and a smile wearing a tiara with purple stones now "modeling" the opposite side of the small denim bag.  This side of the bag has the English word "NO" in large print surrounded by the word "no" in foreign languages in smaller print.  The denim bag has a silk-ish strap in various shades of blue. [end image description]

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent...

If you follow me on Twitter, you are probably aware both that I have fibromyalgia and that I purchased my first mobility aid last week, The Cane of Awesomeness (TCOA).

Behold, The Cane of Awesomeness!
[image description] An offset walking cane with pink roses on it and a very comfy black handle is propped up against a black leather loveseat.  Caption reads: "Behold, The Cane of Awesomeness!" [end image description]

Based on things I'd heard and other blogs I read (primarily the awesome Renee over at Womanist Musings) I attempted to mentally prepare myself for all the strange looks, nasty comments, and general nosiness that comes with an otherwise seemingly healthy relatively young (age 31) person gets when they start using mobility aids.

What motivated me to get TCOA was the Texas State University-San Marcos Campus.  There are so many hills, inclines, and stairs on that campus that, even with the few railings available, I was in excruciating pain by the time I got home after class each Monday and Wednesday.  I had a particularly dreadful Monday last week, and by Wednesday I had TCOA.

Now, I prepared myself for curious questions from my classmates.  After all, they had just seen me on Monday with no cane.  Many of them were genuinely concerned for my health and wanted to assist me in any way possible, so I was happy to answer their questions openly and honestly.  A simple "My fibromyalgia is really acting up," followed by a brief explanation of fibro if necessary, was more than enough to explain.

Today, I was in search of some sort of carrying apparatus for Princess Cutie Utie that could possibly attach to TCOA.  I wanted to make sure she could represent her fellow uteri both at the Bowl-A-Thon this weekend (donate here if you want) and at the War on Women Rally on April 28.  My first stop was at the Paper Bear, which usually has very interesting and unique items.

As I was looking around, a lady said "I like your cane."

Me (kind of surprised): "Oh thank you."

Lady: "It's much nicer than mine.  That's why mine is out in the car."

Me: "Oh really?  I just got this one at the CVS over by Wal-mart."

Lady: "Really??  It looks so comfortable for something you'd get at CVS!"

Me: "I know, right?  The handle is super comfy."

Lady: "It is just so cute...I might go check those out!"

So that was a nice, positive exchange I had with a total stranger about my cane.  I thought maybe having TCOA wouldn't be so bad.

And then, after finding a super cute carrying apparatus for Cutie Utie at Bada Bling, I was walking back to my car.  The sidewalk between Bada Bling and my car was angling downward, which is generally easier for me to walk anyway.  I still used TCOA but I was able to walk faster than I had going the other way.  About halfway to my car, I noticed a lady walking diagonally across the street towards me.

As she reached my side of the street, she said (in a condescending tone): "Wow, you sure can move fast with that thing!"

Me: ...

Like, what do you even say to that?  "Thanks"?  "Yeah, that's what I use it for"?  "Downhill is easier than uphill"?  "Shut the fuck up, you condescending douche"?  I basically just mumbled something or other and continued to my car, but what she said really rubbed me the wrong way.

I had hoped to be somewhat prepared for comments like these based on other's experiences, but I guess usus est optimus magister (experience is the best teacher - hey I learned that in my Medieval European history class!)