Blind Ignorance

| Santa Clara, CA, USA | Friendly | July 14, 2016

(It is a hot and sunny spring day. I’m on my way across the state to visit my parents for Passover. I stop halfway there for a meal. I have a mild form of Muscular Dystrophy and sometimes use a cane to help me get around easier. It is a simple black metal cane and nothing like the red and white guide sticks and canes for the visually impaired. Since it is so bright out and my eyes are more sensitive to light, I wear my sunglasses while driving and keep them on until I sit down at the bar to order. As soon as I sit down, I hang up my cane on the bar and place my sunglasses down in front of me and begin reading the menu. I have never had any visual problems. While I am studying the menu and drinking my water, the woman sitting next to me keeps looking over at me. I try to ignore it, but she seems to be studying me more and more intently, even leaning over to try to “subtly” look closer at my face. Eventually, I can’t ignore it anymore.)

Me: “Can I help you, lady?”

Woman: “Oh… you can see?”

Me: “What?! Yes, I can see! What are you talking about?”

Woman: “You have sun glasses and a cane…”

Me: “This is not a red and white guide cane, I am not wearing my sunglasses, and I am obviously reading this menu.”

Woman: “I don’t know… It looked like you were blind.”

(She trailed off and left me alone the rest of my time there.)

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