A couple of weeks ago I attended a wedding and as we were leaving the church, I noticed another woman a few rows back who was also in a chair. I smiled and thought nothing of it, but as soon as we got out the doors of the church I was asked, “Who’s that other girl in the wheelchair?”
“No idea, must be a friend of the bride and groom,” was my response and the subject was dropped. A little later in the evening I actually had the opportunity to meet the “other girl in the chair” and get to talk with her and her parents a little bit. It was a brief conversation and we spoke about driving and accessible vehicles among a few other things, but it wasn’t like we sat and talked for the rest of the evening.
The next day I was talking to someone who also attended the wedding when they asked me, “So, what’s the story of the other girl in the wheelchair from last night? I saw you talking to her for quite some time.” Once again I said, “I’m not really sure, we really didn’t talk that much.”
After the second inquisition, I was a little peeved so I’m going to let you guys in on a little something – I do not belong to some secret society where rolling on four wheels is a prerequisite and everyone knows everyone else. This is no sorority with a secret handshake or a frat that holds wheelie parties every night.
Now, I will have to say that although I don’t know everyone in a chair or what their story is, I know we’re connected. We share a unique characteristic…we stand out in crowds…we have a mutual respect for each other. We can relate to each other and perhaps that’s why there is this misconception, but I learned a long time ago that one should not assume anything and this is no exception.
As I step off my soap box here, I must say that even if there was some sort of secret society going on, I could probably never pass the requirements to get… with the finger movement I have, I’d fail the secret handshake in a heartbeat!