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Author Topic: "You're so lucky!" How about no.  (Read 16380 times)

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mmswm

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"You're so lucky!" How about no.
« on: September 26, 2015, 09:22:40 PM »
My family went to a street fair today.  It was really fun, but a few people trying to make conversation earned an icy glare and complete silence.  Telling a wheelchair bound child that he's lucky that he "gets a ride" is jaw-droppingly insensitive.  Trust me when I tell you he'd love to have sore feet if that meant his hips and knees cooperated enough to allow him to walk more than a few steps.  I am just in complete disbelief that even one person would say something like that, let alone several. On the positive side, at least one person saw the look on my face and back peddled quickly.  The others I'm not so sure.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Nemesis

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2015, 01:24:10 AM »
Wow, that's really insensitive! I am amazed you kept your composure!

Drunken Housewife

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2015, 01:54:31 AM »
I hate it when people say "you're so lucky" about someone who actually has been dealt an unfair situation.  How profoundly insensitive those people were.  If they so crave riding, they could get wheelchairs or scooters.  Sorry you have to deal with this kind of ridiculousness.
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Dazi

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2015, 06:29:02 AM »
Wow. You're a lot nicer than I would have been. I'm assuming their brain to mouth filter was removed because I can't imagine anyone saying that to an adult, let alone a kid.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





Runningstar

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2015, 07:19:05 AM »
I really hope that it was just their clumsy attempt at not ignoring your child and trying to say something positive to them.  Wouldn't it be nice if people thought it out before opening their mouths!  I'm not sure what I'd have said back to them, if anything. 

Oh Joy

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2015, 08:36:16 AM »
I'm sorry you were frustrated.  But it does sound like these people were well-meaning and trying to have a positive interaction with your son.  Can you perhaps have a stock phrase that directs them to something that's better to say to a child in a wheelchair?   Perhaps a smile and a "It's OK to just say 'hi,' would help everyone next time.

camlan

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2015, 09:44:26 AM »
Having spent considerable time out and about with my nephew who uses a power chair--when another kid says "You're lucky; you get to ride everywhere," it's usually clear the kid is just thinking about the advantages of not having to do a lot of walking and standing about. The child is seeing short-term, in-the-moment, advantages to having a wheelchair. And my nephew will often show off some of the features of his chair--the seat goes up, the back reclines.

When an adult says the same thing, it does not come across the same way at all. And if that's the best thing the adult can thing of to say, it might be best not to say anything. It really does come across as massively insensitive.

When faced with this situation, my nephew replies, "Well, I'm lucky to have a wheelchair or I'd be stuck at home all the time. But I'm not lucky to be in a wheelchair. Want to trade legs?"

(((Hugs))), mmswm, it must be difficult having to deal with that.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Semperviren

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2015, 10:51:12 AM »
Guh. I can totally picture my MIL saying something like this.

That kind of well-meaning-but-clueless armor is hard to pierce. By definition, insensitive people don't grasp that they're being insensitive. Of course you don't want to be rude in return, so the icy-look-followed-by-silence, as you did, is one option. Another is the did-they-actually-just-say-that-raised-eyebrow and disbelieving expression.

mmswm

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2015, 12:23:26 PM »
The only time that phrase was uttered and I considered it acceptable was shortly  after he got his new chair, and another kid who also uses a chair was admiring the features of the new one. I would also be more forgiving of any kid because as camlan pointed out, kids just haven't learned any better.

To be honest, I was just gobsmacked. Adults should know better. Sometimes I'm in a mood to educate, but not always. I'm afraid in some situations if I try to say anything it would come off as snarky, so silence is a much better option.

And thanks for the kind words. DS3 is a great kid and we have fun in spite of limitations.

Edited because once again autocorrect is not my friend.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 01:26:24 PM by mmswm »
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Semperviren

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2015, 01:15:01 PM »
Sometimes I'm in a mood to educate, but not always.

This is important. If you're willing to gently educate folks sometimes, that's kind of you but it's not your burden to do it all the time.

dani321

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2015, 12:26:07 PM »
Wow.....I admire your ability to keep silent! I get that adults could say this and be well-meaning, but they are still clueless at best, and by the time you reach adult-hood, I don't think there's much excuse for being so insensitive. I think that when you are in the mood to educate, that could be a wonderful opportunity, but also agree that you shouldn't have to. I think it's safe to say that anyone in a wheelchair would rather not be, and when kids in particular make comments, hopefully there is an adult around that can educate and enlighten them.

I love the kid who says he's lucky to have a wheelchair, but would rather not be! What a sweet and positive attitude. And very true; there are many people around the world who cannot afford a wheelchair and are bed-bound or have to have someone carry them around. I know of a local organization where I live that collects them and distributes them.

To the OP, I think that Complete Silence and and Icy Glare are your best, etiquette approved, bets, unless you are willing and able in that moment to calmly address the offender. It would be really difficult to stay calm in that scenario. Asking the offender if they would like for you to disable their legs so they can be "so lucky" is probably not e-hell approved..... >:D

Klein Bottle

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2015, 03:10:11 PM »
My cousin had ALS, and about a year prior to her death, the regional foundation helped her get a customized power chair. It really was laid out, and eventually became "her body", as she had no movement, and spent all her time in that chair. True to her personality, she named it "Hell On Wheels", and took great pleasure in showing off her tricked out wheels.

So, from time to time, I would kid her about being able just to kick back in it all the time, but, and this is the important part, that's the type of relationship we had. She let it be known to those closest to her that joking around was what kept her sane, ( and there were some terrible days on which that would have been inappropriate and unwelcome.)

I cannot even imagine the mindset involved in making a joke like that to a complete stranger, nor can I think of a *polite* response, so, Complete Silence is probably a good way of handling that.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2015, 03:14:02 PM »
mmswm, I have a question for you.

I've occasionally seen a young person out and about in a particularly decked out chair - artistic modifications, mostly, though not to the extent of the MadMax costume I've seen online.  I've been tempted to say, 'Cool wheels'.  Yay or nay?
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
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mmswm

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2015, 03:23:12 PM »
mmswm, I have a question for you.

I've occasionally seen a young person out and about in a particularly decked out chair - artistic modifications, mostly, though not to the extent of the MadMax costume I've seen online.  I've been tempted to say, 'Cool wheels'.  Yay or nay?

That would be fine, and even welcome!  Think of that like complimenting somebody's shoes or hat or some other accessory.  That person put a lot of effort into decorating his/her chair, so you're complementing that, which is entirely different than this weekend's situation.

Actually, one year we took an old, beat up chair and turned it into the cab of a semi truck and he went as a truck driver.  I went to a junk yard got hubcaps and welded them to the grab bar part of the wheels, then got mirrors off a 60 something pick up truck and welded those on, and painted PVC pipe silver and attached them to the back for smoke stacks. He got tons of compliments that year on his costume, and those were very much appreciated.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2015, 04:57:22 PM »
Thanks!
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario