Setting The Wheels Of Comeuppance Into Motion

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 23, 2019

(I require a wheelchair to get around, so I need to use the handicapped-accessible stalls when using the bathroom. On this particular day, I am visiting a building to drop off some paperwork when I feel the need to go, and I am pleasantly surprised to discover that the restrooms in the building have a generously-sized handicapped-accessible stall, giving me plenty of room to wheel in and get myself settled as I transfer over to the toilet. Right after I’ve gotten myself situated, there is a sudden banging on the stall door.)

Me: “Occupied, sorry!”

(I hear the lady on the other side scoff.)

Lady: “This is handicapped only!”

Me: *trying to be a bit jovial* “Yep. That’s me.”

Lady: “No! You can’t just take the stall from those who need it. People with actual handicaps need that stall; you can’t just take it because you want more space!”

Me: “I’m not. I—”

(She cuts me off to shout some more, so I simply settle in to do my business and ignore her, as I’m certainly not going to transfer back over to my chair and open the door just to prove that I actually “deserve”  the stall. After a bit, she stomps out, and I think that is the end of it. However, right as I am finishing up, I hear her come back in, talking to someone else.)

Lady: “–do something. Those of us with actual disabilities need those stalls! You see, right there. Some brat’s in there, taking up the stall.”

(I’m forty-nine, but I guess I should be flattered that my voice apparently sounds so young.)

Other Lady: “Ma’am, I’m not in charge of the restrooms. I just—”

(At that point, I’d gotten myself settled back into my chair, so I gave the toilet a good flush and then opened the stall door. The look on that lady’s face when she saw me in my chair was priceless. She gaped for a few moments and then just spun and scurried out of the restroom. The other lady, who I think was a secretary for one of the offices nearby, just looked confused, like maybe she was being pranked. I suppose that maybe the woman did have an invisible disability that requires the use of a handicapped stall. However, if that was the case, I’d hope that she’d be more sympathetic to the need to not judge people on whether they need assistance or not.)

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Wanna (Ti)Bet That You’re Wrong?

, , , , | Friendly | November 22, 2019

(My sister-in-law has some of the oddest friends, but none odder than this one. She is one of those people that knows everything about everything whether she is familiar with the subject or not. My brother has inherited an upholstered chair from my great aunt, with designs carved into its wooden trim and legs. The designs are of monkeys and camels. According to my aunt, it was a “soap chair” — her reference, not mine. All that means is that one of the relatives, as a child, had gotten the chair by selling so much soap for some company. If you sold a specific number of bars, one of the prizes you could choose from the company catalog was this chair. It was selected by–  I THINK — her younger brother as a gift for their mother. It’s not valuable by a long shot. One night, my sister-in-law and her friends are visiting and this friend sees the chair.)

Sister-In-Law’s Friend: *to my sister-in-law* “That chair is very valuable; where did you get it? I am sure it’s a Tibetan chair, probably from the temple of the Dalai Lama.”

Sister-In-Law: “What makes you say that?”

Sister-In-Law’s Friend: *indicates the camels carved into the trim and the monkeys carved into the legs* “They would have carved the animals from their country into the chair. This material on the cushions is very oriental-looking.”

(I have had enough; my father reupholstered the chair using material purchased at a local fabric store. I wait for her to take a breath, and I explain the story of my aunt and her brother selling soap and getting enough points to get the chair.)

Me: “In 1907, according to my aunt, monkeys and camels were a very popular motif on furniture. And Dad reupholstered the chair for her five years ago, remember, [Sister-In-Law]? It’s not from Tibet.”

(The whole assemblage stared at me as if I had just suggested we go strangle animals then turned back to my sister-in-law’s friend and asked more questions about the Dalai Lama. They started going on about how she was so much smarter than everyone else and wasn’t it wonderful that she was able to advise my sister-in-law about the chair so it could be evaluated by an antiques dealer. That was when I excused myself and walked back to my parents’ house where I told them all about the valuable Tibetan Temple Chair that my father had apparently never reupholstered. My father just shook his head and said something about people who thought a great deal of themselves and how stupid they really were. It was kind of a relief when my brother and his wife divorced and we were able to get rid of [Sister-In-Law’s Friend], too.)

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The Language(s) Of The Underworld

, , , , , | Friendly | November 22, 2019

(My friend and I are discussing music. I enjoy a number of non-English songs and have been humming all day, alternating between a Spanish song and a Celtic song.)

Me: *singing the upbeat Celtic song* “Teir abhaile riu, teir abhaile riu, teir abhaile riu Mhearain—“

Friend: “It sounds like you’re summoning a demon!”

Me: *laughing* “It’s not even Latin!”


Me: *starts singing an Italian lullaby* “Tu sei il mio soldatino…”

Friend: “That is a seance if I’ve ever heard one.”

Me: “It’s Italian!”

Friend: “SEANCE!”

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Women Shouldn’t Have To Be Embarrassed By This, Period!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 21, 2019

I am seventeen, going out with some friends, old and new, for a night at a restaurant. I, unfortunately, get the unexpected visit of my period. I have not brought my purse with me tonight, and I did not plan to have hygiene products in my pockets. I try asking the only other female in the group but she says she has nothing.

I’m too shy to go from table to table and ask strangers around — the bathroom is a single, so it’s not like I can meet someone there and ask discreetly. I try to fix something out of the thin, see-through toilet paper but with poor results. I’m awfully uncomfortable; I can’t wait for this dinner to be over and go home.

Misfortune keeps coming; everyone insists that we go over to the home of one of the guys — a male-only house that won’t have anything to help my problem — and watch a movie. I try to decline but they won’t let me back out.

I’m then dragged with them to the video rental store. I manage to make some weird excuse to let them go choose a movie while I “wait for them outside.”

As soon as the door closes behind them, I make a run to a pharmacy we passed, buy whichever package of hygiene products I can find that will fit in my pants pocket, borrow their “staff-only” bathroom — all my gratitude to the cashier who understood the situation and graciously let me in; you’re a real sister! — and dash back to the video rental store just in time for my friends to come out. We go watch the movie, and the whole time, I’m crossing my fingers that my suddenly overstuffed pockets won’t explode or be too noticeable. 

I kind of forget about this bad evening until sometime later when some of my “older” friends mention the new guys that joined us that night. I haven’t seen them since, but my friends are talking like they have seen them recently, so I ask about them; I’m curious why I was not invited.

It turns out they believed I was not really friendly, like all I wanted was to go away. They said I was either saying strange things to withdraw or looking blank or worried, which they took offense to because it’s not like they were dangerous or about to do anything wrong. They decided that I must be some psycho-loner-paranoid-b****, so they’d rather not see me again. Because, sure, my whole night experience was about those guys. All points of view are required to understand what happened, and you may never know others’; don’t only stick to your side and judge too fast.

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The Happiest ID On Earth

, , , , | Friendly | November 21, 2019

(I go to Anaheim for a convention and then go to buy my annual ticket to Disneyland. Most, if not all hotels in Anaheim have a clerk available to sell tickets to Disneyland in the hotel lobby. After the clerk helps two customers in front of me, it’s my turn.)

Me: “I’d like one single-park ticket for Disneyland, please.”

Clerk: “Sure! What brings you out here?”

Me: “I came out here for Blizzcon and now I’m going to spend a day at Disneyland.”

Clerk: “Oh? Did you know Blizzcon attendees get a discount on their park ticket? I just need to see your badge, wristband, or ticket.”

Me: “Oh? I did not know that. Let me run up to my room and get my badge and wristband real quick.”

Clerk: “Of course!”

(I then make my way back to my room, get my badge and wristband, and come back downstairs. The clerk is helping another couple in front of me. They are buying one single park ticket. When it comes time for him to pay, I notice his ID card.)

Me: “Retired military? What branch?”

Man: “Air force.”

Me: “Nice. My father retired a few years ago. Army.”

Man: “Very nice!”

Clerk: “Oh? Sir, since you were military, you are entitled to a military discount.”

Man: “Really?”

Clerk: “Oh, yes! You actually qualify for a three-day pass and it costs two dollars less than the single day pass you just got. I just need to see your military ID.”

Man: “Okay! Let’s do that, then!” *looks to me* “Thanks for that!”

Me: “Oh, it’s not a problem.”

(She proceeds to refund the man his two dollars and print two new tickets, these for three days in Disneyland instead of his original single day. After they leave…)

Clerk: “How did you know he was military?”

Me: “My father was in the Army, so I easily recognize military ID cards.”

(So, not only did I get a discount for going to a convention, which was enough for me to get the photo pass, but I also inadvertently help a couple get a better deal at Disneyland: three days for the price of one. It was a good weekend all around.)

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