Let me preface this post by saying, I got explicit permission via text message from my friend, Annah, who it involves. The whole ordeal is something that enraged me, made me audibly gasp and then made me fume Lewis Black style for about 15 minutes. There is no time I wanna write more than when I am full of piss and vinegar! When I told her I wanted to blog about it, but felt it would be weird for her, she countered:
[Tangent: At a mere 18 years of age, she is already markedly more mature than I am at 31. I would have been crying and eating ice cream under a blanket while watching Trading Spaces to mellow out. That's where I was at that age.]
OK, so now I am being completely awash in a sea of vague, so I will break it down for you. Recently my friend was the object of something very weird and kind of upsetting. While walking around town with her boyfriend, someone took this picture of her, her fella and her service dog and posted it to social media. [Tangent: Note I have cropped out his name because that really isn't important...I mean I am not here to blast anyone's character for one VERY misguided comment on Facebook. All that is important is that she doesn't know this person, and that it was brought to her attention by a third party.]
Immediately it brought to mind this blog post where another friend's family got turned into a meme without her knowledge. Only unlike that example where it was a professional photo stolen from a blog, this is literally a through the bushes paparazzi-style operation. Also, that caption is THE WORST! [Tangent: And I am not just talking about the "ppl". That is fodder for another blog altogether. In the year 2014, do we not need vowels?!?!]
Sure, I can understand where seeing Annah might bring a smile to one's face. I mean she is alarmingly intelligent, she is always color coordinated, and somehow is in on an unleveled playing field when it comes to eyeshadow blending. However, none of those attributes are evident from this weird stalker-esque camera angle. I mean, yeah, I could maybe in a very twisted way see that maybe this person saw Annah out and being bubbly and happy and it inspired their happiness, but that pipe dream gets completely plunged with that caption. Two words: LESS FORTUNATE. Blegh. I cannot even pretend that is OK.
Today I was talking to my boss about advocacy for the disabled and how I consider myself a "lazy advocate" like I don't want to be the know all, be all for wheelchair folks. [Tangent: THAT IS A LOT OF PRESSURE, GUYS! Also, a lot of the nitpicky stuff, I really don't care, because I choose my battles carefully. Example being, I said wheelchair folks and not folks in wheeelchairs. I know that goes against people first language, which I usually abide by, but if I don't once in a while, I am not the antichrist. Pump your breaks.] In the words of the Different Strokes theme song, "The world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some..." but I do know that these kind of shenanigans are not alright to anyone in a wheelchair that I know. And as Annah says, we should all be made conscious of their "not okay-ness."