Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Is he handicapped?" No. Are you?

Yesterday Brody and I went for Brody's first trip to Johnny Rockets, the 50's diner.

I was very excited because my mom used to take me out for lunch just the 2 of us when I was little. I still remember Coachlight restaurant, and how we'd order cabbage soup (I thought I was so very mature) and then I'd get grilled cheese, and stuff potato chips into the cheesy meltedness.

Brody was in a booster, because he is so very mature. And obviously, he still has casts on both arms. He was happily playing with the sugar packets, taking them in and out of the holder.

The waiter dropped off our drinks, and then asked me, after looking curiously at Brody, "Is he handicapped?" Just like that. And no, he wasn't some teenager either, which I might have forgiven. He was in his 40's. He may have just come from a correctional facility.

I just stared at him for a few moments, and carefully replied, "No."

But really, where the hell does a complete stranger, who is there to SERVE US, get off asking me a question regarding his medical status. It ruined the whole meal. And yes, the management team at Johnny Rockets will hear about this episode.

I wish I wish I wish I would have replied, No, are you? But I did not. But I will next time.


Rebecca Batey Fradin said...

Ouch! The H-word is what I call it and man does it sting. I wonder if some day it won't sting anymore.

I am a big dork about trying to think the best like maybe that waiter has a sister with missing thumbs or has a child with club feet or something and was genuinely interested. But, really, I mostly think, "What the HECK is wrong with some people?!"

I dunno about you, but I get so excited (I'm not sure if that's the right word) when I see someone with something - anything - that looks like something my son has had. The NG tube especially dorks me out. I have to really concentrate to stop myself from running over and saying something because I just don't know what to say..."Oh my god, is that an NG tube?! My kid had one, too! Will you be my friend?!" Haha.

Seriously, though, I'm still trying to figure out what to say in that situation - because I want to connect SO BADLY - but maybe it's not appropriate to say anything at all.

Way to keep your cool, girl. I don't know if I could have. I think I probably wouldn't have said much but then about 5-minutes later would have had TONS of things to say running through my head. Right now, the reply that comes to mind is, "No, he's not handicapped - he's faking. Shhhh! Don't tell! It's how we get the good parking spots and the quarters from the Kiwanas!"

Jacque said...

How rude! I can't imagine. I'm sorry someone would be so insensitive. (Not the same thing, but recently a woman at the store told my friend that her baby had big ears. Why in the world would you say that to someone??)

Robyn said...

WTF? I've never heard of someone so socially inept as to ask that question. Seriously. I would not have had the presence of mind to be as polite as you were.