The right and wrong way to pay a compliment to a disabled person.

I was in a local op shop today. This shop is in a wealthy district of town, usually has some good bargains. I found some shoes (I was not looking for shoes!) that were my size so I found a seat to sit on to try the right shoe on. Here’s what happened next.

Of course, there is absolutely no point whatsoever trying the left on (!) so I had my right root on my left knee and was taking my DM off.

One of the shop assistants looked over and said some pleasantries, then saw my left lower leg (and specifically my alleles limb cover) and came closer and said wow, thats cool, noticed my other leg was not the same and at that point realised I actually had an artificial leg. I referred to the fact that I decided to pimp my leg, just like you m,I got pimp your ride, and we both laughed.

She asked me what the cover was made of and could she touch it, continuing to say how amazing it looked, and how at first she thought I had stockings on, she wondered could they make me one legged stockings so my right leg looked the same!

At this point I did not mind the conversation at all. She did not make a deal of the fact that I had a false leg, she was merely admiring it, the same as you might admire someone’s lovely outfit.

She called the other shop assistant over to show her how cool the cover was.

Here’s where it all went wrong…

The other shop assistant asked what it was, her colleague explained it was an artificial leg. The very next words to come out of the newcomers mouth?

Oh my goodness, did you have an accident? What happened?

Shop assistant

No, you do NOT have the right to ask a disabled person this question. Like never ever. Specially if you are a complete stranger.

This flicked a switch in me and my niceties were gone in an instant.

No, I didn’t have an accident, it was a medical fuck up.

Melanie Magowan

Yep, she had no idea what to say or where to look look, and yep, that was the end of the conversation.

If you are not prepared to hear the answer, then do not ask the question.

One thought on “The right and wrong way to pay a compliment to a disabled person.

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