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  • July 27, 2016, 05:03:29 AM

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Author Topic: "You're so lucky!" How about no.  (Read 9447 times)

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JoW

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2015, 08:52:09 PM »
Crutches and wheelchairs look like great fun when you don't need them.  A few days with either one will teach a person how unpleasant they are.  I think the glare of death is fine for an adult who tells you that they are fun.  That glare is also acceptable for someone who asks you why you are using them and for anyone who is in a position to hold a door open for you but doesn't. 

(I spent 3 months on crutches in 1985.  Hated every minute of it.)

camlan

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2015, 08:53:51 PM »
I came back to address the general issue of what to say to a person who uses a wheelchair. Or has a service dog. Or uses a cane or walker.

Try to say something that doesn't involve the disability or the special equipment. Look at the person--what would you say to them if they were able-bodied? Say that.

The OP and her sons were at a street fair. Appropriate comments might have been: "Have you tried the deep-fried Snickers bars yet? They're yummy!" or "Two blocks down, there's a bagpiper who has bagpipes that shoot fire! Don't miss him!" or "Are you staying for the fireworks tonight?"

If the kid has on apparel with a sports team's logo, feel free to ask, "How about them Sox?" Or if they play video games or what their favorite subject in school is or what's their favorite flavor of ice cream or if they think it will rain or are they hoping for a lot of snow this winter.

There are a gazillion conversation topics out there. To focus attention on just the person's disabilities--well, that makes them feel as if they are different. And they might be feeling a whole lot different anyway. Ignore the walker, the braces, the cane, the wheelchair, the dog. Assume, unless you find out otherwise, that the person is just an ordinary person who has likes and dislikes and favorite topics of conversation.

To you, the chair or the dog or the cane are new and interesting. To the person using them, they are very familiar. They are probably more interested in talking about other things.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


MOM21SON

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2015, 06:41:53 PM »
I'm ashamed to admit, I did this once to an adult.  Thankfully we are really good friends and still are and so offense was taken.

My friends husband was sick and was using a wheelchair that day.  He can walk for short trips but we were at a theme park and at the end of the very long line for a ride.  A ride worker came right up and took our whole group to the front of the line.  We tried to decline but they would have none of it.

We we got off the ride I said something like "Thanks friend, that was cool."  He said, "Yay me way to go and have (his disease)".  I felt like a idiot even though he was laughing and so was his wife.

I'm sure the people meant no offense.

Kimberami

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2016, 11:57:51 AM »
My DH is wheelchair bound when we are out and about.  He can walk for short distances, but more than that is too much for him.   We have made joking comments about "awesome wheelchair seating" at different venues.  I would never make those comments to anyone else.  I have made "nice ride!" comments to other people in wheelchairs.  My take away from dealing with wheelchair issues is when I talk to people in a wheelchair, I talk to them.  I try hard to address both the pusher and the rider.  Two separate people.  It feels like some people treat us as a large mechanical unit. 
On a side note: My biggest pet peeve is people who dart in front of a wheelchair or stop suddenly for no reason in front of a wheelchair.  It is hard to stop a moving wheelchair.  It is harder to stop on a grade.  Adults can be just as bad about this as children. 
Oh Rocky!

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2016, 09:48:30 AM »
Our store is used as a field trip/learning experience for the kids in the disabled classes from the hight school and jr. high. I will compliment a new or hi-tech wheel chair. The kids love it. One Christmas, there was a teacher in with 2 or 3 boys, in wheel chairs, looking for underwear.

One of the boys was looking at the silky christmas boxers.  Teacher says you are not getting those,  I said I don't think he wants them for him, I think he wants them for the hot girls. He started laughing, and she told him he was terrible, while laughing.

I like to engage with them, because so often they are just ignored, looked down on, and sometimes that look of disgust some people will give them.

Bert

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2016, 11:55:50 AM »
I came back to address the general issue of what to say to a person who uses a wheelchair. Or has a service dog. Or uses a cane or walker.

Try to say something that doesn't involve the disability or the special equipment. Look at the person--what would you say to them if they were able-bodied? Say that.

The OP and her sons were at a street fair. Appropriate comments might have been: "Have you tried the deep-fried Snickers bars yet? They're yummy!" or "Two blocks down, there's a bagpiper who has bagpipes that shoot fire! Don't miss him!" or "Are you staying for the fireworks tonight?"

If the kid has on apparel with a sports team's logo, feel free to ask, "How about them Sox?" Or if they play video games or what their favorite subject in school is or what's their favorite flavor of ice cream or if they think it will rain or are they hoping for a lot of snow this winter.

There are a gazillion conversation topics out there. To focus attention on just the person's disabilities--well, that makes them feel as if they are different. And they might be feeling a whole lot different anyway. Ignore the walker, the braces, the cane, the wheelchair, the dog. Assume, unless you find out otherwise, that the person is just an ordinary person who has likes and dislikes and favorite topics of conversation.

To you, the chair or the dog or the cane are new and interesting. To the person using them, they are very familiar. They are probably more interested in talking about other things.

I agree with this so much.  People don't need other's commentary on situations that they have to deal with every day.  An adult should be able to see a person in a wheelchair or with some other disability or condition, and not address it.  That person is well aware of whatever their condition is, they don't need random strangers commenting on it.

My Aunt worked in the same office that I do.  Until she retired, she had a very noticeable health condition.  The amount of people who would ask questions about it, suggest remedies (snake oils) for it, or talk to her like she was a young child astounded me.  It wouldn't occur to me in a million years to encounter someone with a condition like that and just start talking about it, and it blows my mind that other people can't just stifle that instinct.

siamesecat2965

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2016, 02:30:11 PM »
Wow, how very insensitive. My mom uses a wheelchair, and she and I can joke about how its better when we go somewhere together as we can get the "good" parking, but she's my mom. And she usually initiates it. But anyone else. Definitley not.

mmswm

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2016, 02:37:16 PM »
Wow, how very insensitive. My mom uses a wheelchair, and she and I can joke about how its better when we go somewhere together as we can get the "good" parking, but she's my mom. And she usually initiates it. But anyone else. Definitley not.

Oh, there's certainly times when we joke among ourselves, like during the holiday season when I tease the little one a bit, telling him he has to go with me because his parking permit gives me a better chance of finding reasonable parking.  He rolls his eyes at me and tells me that's cool, because now he'll know what I'm getting everybody for Christmas, so it's cool. 

On the what to say/what not to say topic:  I don't think you have to avoid mentioning the mobility equipment at all.  In the example one person gave, if a person has tricked out his chair, saying something about the work is equivalent to complimenting somebody on their hair, shoes, shirt, etc.  You're complimenting their sense of style, creativity, and things of that nature, and that's okay.  Making comments about the chair itself is a know your audience type of thing.  If somebody you know has just gotten a new chair mentioning it, just like you might mention if you noticed a friend has gotten a new haircut, is likely to be fine, but you need to know if that person is sensitive about such things first.  I hope that made sense.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Ponydoc

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2016, 06:03:26 PM »
My current supervisor, a man I've known for 10 years, is in an motorized wheelchair. we're close friends and we frequently joke about things related to his chair. For instance, he just got a new one and the old one had been modified to go a bit faster. I commented that his top speed seems to have suffered and I may have to take down the speed limit signs in our lab (placed after he almost ran down our student assistant).

I'm frequently appalled by the number of people who won't make eye contact with him or ignore his presence. Some people are very patronizing as well.

Kimblee

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2016, 08:22:50 PM »
Literally just dropped my jaw and did the simple dog head tilt.

I wish I could say it unbelievable, but people can be idiots. I'm not sure there is a polite response to that.

So yeah, complete silence. Maybe a "Bless your heart."

mmswm

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2016, 08:26:38 PM »
My current supervisor, a man I've known for 10 years, is in an motorized wheelchair. we're close friends and we frequently joke about things related to his chair. For instance, he just got a new one and the old one had been modified to go a bit faster. I commented that his top speed seems to have suffered and I may have to take down the speed limit signs in our lab (placed after he almost ran down our student assistant).

I'm frequently appalled by the number of people who won't make eye contact with him or ignore his presence. Some people are very patronizing as well.

The bolded made me giggle.  I'm constantly telling DS3 to slow down and that his wheelchair is not an off-road vehicle.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

PastryGoddess

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2016, 12:12:59 AM »
My current supervisor, a man I've known for 10 years, is in an motorized wheelchair. we're close friends and we frequently joke about things related to his chair. For instance, he just got a new one and the old one had been modified to go a bit faster. I commented that his top speed seems to have suffered and I may have to take down the speed limit signs in our lab (placed after he almost ran down our student assistant).

I'm frequently appalled by the number of people who won't make eye contact with him or ignore his presence. Some people are very patronizing as well.

The bolded made me giggle.  I'm constantly telling DS3 to slow down and that his wheelchair is not an off-road vehicle.

well it could be....https://youtu.be/ecP-g9FUwZg  ;D
Maryland

mmswm

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2016, 12:16:59 AM »
My current supervisor, a man I've known for 10 years, is in an motorized wheelchair. we're close friends and we frequently joke about things related to his chair. For instance, he just got a new one and the old one had been modified to go a bit faster. I commented that his top speed seems to have suffered and I may have to take down the speed limit signs in our lab (placed after he almost ran down our student assistant).

I'm frequently appalled by the number of people who won't make eye contact with him or ignore his presence. Some people are very patronizing as well.

The bolded made me giggle.  I'm constantly telling DS3 to slow down and that his wheelchair is not an off-road vehicle.

well it could be....https://youtu.be/ecP-g9FUwZg  ;D

Don't give the boy any ideas, now!

Seriously, he's turned into a speed demon since he got his new chair.  The old one was big, bulky, not very maneuverable, and very, very heavy (54 pounds).  The new one is a general sport chair.  The wheels are set for a little extra speed with less effort, it's extremely sensitive to even the smallest motions so it's extremely maneuverable, and it's only 21 pounds.  Oh, and it's got rubber wheels, so it stops better, grips pavement/floors better, and most importantly (to him), goes over uneven terrain better (though not as well as a specialty hiking chair...it's mostly for things like maintained dirt walking paths and things of that nature.)
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

siamesecat2965

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2016, 01:19:59 PM »
My current supervisor, a man I've known for 10 years, is in an motorized wheelchair. we're close friends and we frequently joke about things related to his chair. For instance, he just got a new one and the old one had been modified to go a bit faster. I commented that his top speed seems to have suffered and I may have to take down the speed limit signs in our lab (placed after he almost ran down our student assistant).

I'm frequently appalled by the number of people who won't make eye contact with him or ignore his presence. Some people are very patronizing as well.

The bolded made me giggle.  I'm constantly telling DS3 to slow down and that his wheelchair is not an off-road vehicle.


My mom recently moved, and while she normally uses her manual chair, she also has a power chair, since to get up to the main building, its a bit hilly, and she can't manage the manual one herself. its red, and as my mom likes to drive a bit fast, I joke I'm going to paint flames on her chair!

Aquamarine

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Re: "You're so lucky!" How about no.
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2016, 09:44:20 PM »
I'm in favor of calling people out on this sort of thing and making them squirm.  If someone makes a comment about getting a ride, I might say something like "I'm sure he would rather not have a ride and have the full use of his legs".  These people have earned being put on the spot and it might make them learn something.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.