Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the wheelchair card: know when to fold 'em

This week, I was having a chit chat [Tangent: "text exchange" would have been more appropriate, but I just really like that term...makes me feel British.] with a friend, and somehow we got on the topic of disabled people that abuse their disability and use it as their excuse for all the ills in their life.  I see these people in the fictional world and in real life. I get it, you're in a wheelchair, but the need to make things awkward every five seconds. Sending out invites to the pity party is aggravating for those trying valiantly to change people's perceptions, those of us who try to downplay the difference while playing up the similarity. [Tangent: Please don't call me out that my blog's title is That Girl in The Wheelchair.]

I have said before that being in a wheelchair grants you a wheelchair card at birth [Tangent: Its like black people get a black card. No that's not racist; my old roommate in college  happened to be African-American and made me an honorary black card once. It was trimmed in kente cloth, don't be jealous.]

this is all I could find when I googled "wheelchair card"...I think its a trading card. yep, that exists.
As stated before, the card is like a Willy Wonka golden ticket and will grant you special accommodation and privleges that some people get simply because you were born different.  Seems awesome, right? There's a catch- you don't walk....really ever. No big. [Tangent: If you know a disabled person, and they say this theoretical piece of plastic doesn't exist- they are lying or thinking it's a secret fraternity secret.]

Let me put this in nerd terms: I am like one of the X-Men...I was born different and sometimes get segregated because of it, but I try to harness the power and don't bitch about it all the time, nor do I try to act like I need a pat on the head for being so "rising above adversity." Professor Xavier just used his wheelchair to be a badass, just sayin'. I try to do the same.

The wheelchair card is like Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility." [Tangent: OK, that's all I got as far as comic references, considering I don't even read them...but I have made a select 3% of my friends and my boyfriend very proud.]

this guy knows what I'm talkin' about.
This gift must be used selectively, like obtaining choice parking spaces, getting outta parking tickets, helping you get your education paid for in full...or even getting people not to make you fill out surveys at the mall. [Tangent: Uprights/Walkies/Bipeds don't know how to approach wheelchair people sometimes and may assume they can't speak coherently or use their arms so they don't bother troubling our already inconvenient lives. I get upset for a millisecond and then realize it just saved me 10 minutes of inane question asking.]Don't waste this great power on facebook statuses and just general light conversation.  It will backfire and just get you the wrong attention, unless that's what your into.

Amid the knowing when to hold 'em...knowing when to fold 'em....knowing when to walk away...knowing when to run, Kenny Rogers has a pretty genius line in The Gambler.

 [Tangent: If you can indeed keep reading this and are not being currently pulled headlong into the vortex of the dual tone whiskers of the other Mr. Rogers.] Ignore the redneck phonetics and I think you will see that this line rings true to both poker and cripples:

Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep
'Cause ev'ry hand's a winner and ev'ry hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep

OK, the end is unnecessary and makes a happy song about card playing to a dark place, but I hope you get the idea.  Buck up, handicappeds! Learn to play your card right. You don't have to be inspirational all the time, nor do you have to be bitter. Just be yourself...and yourself is not a wheelchair. [Tangent: Stop staring at Kenny's Bi-color beard!]


  1. Walkies. Thats funny Kimmie. Thanks for the insight into the secret society. You can play your card on me anytime.

  2. And on playing that card I would play it on Blogger. I clicked on the wheelchair icon next to the captcha and it was magnitudes more difficult to decipher than typing. Try it. It sounds like when you were supposed to play a Beatles album backwards and it says "paul is dead"


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