I won’t use his name here, but at work today I got asked something that made me laugh. For the sake of having a name I will just call him Bill. I like to use a name even if it’s fake. Bill asked me if I lived in a housing complex for blind people. It made me laugh to think people actually think we all just get lumped together and live in one area. I’ve heard this sort of thing before, and I think it’s why I started this blog. So many people just have no idea how we can survive or live being blind. It’s crazy to me, because I just live life, but I think the single hardest thing is for me to get over those misconceptions. It’s hindered my dating life, family, and friends. I told Bill I lived in a normal apartment, and there were no other blind people in my complex that I know of.
I’m in no way picking on this guy and welcome any question, because I feel you never know unless you ask something. In school it’s not like they have blind history. You may hear about a blind person once during some disability awareness week, but often times it’s again a lot of the stereotypical responses you’ll hear from a sighted teacher. It’s not like they’re going out and trying to figure out how we live. It never stops amazing me hearing how sighted people think we live or do things. Maybe I won’t change any of your opinions about blind people as a whole, but at least it’s out there.
To be fair I will talk about something I do struggle with buffets. I think they are something sighted people created to keep us in our place. I feel so uncomfortable visiting a buffet. Some blind people tell me they will take their finger and try and see what food it is, and then fork it on their plate. That grosses me out. I will just ask someone for assistance. Granted if you’re eating at a buffet it’s probably not the cleanest, but still I don’t want anyone’s finger touching my food. I went over to Erica’s on Sunday for a family dinner, and she actually got my plate. I didn’t mind that, because she didn’t make me feel weird about it. I think a lot of what I see as a weakness is only brought out if presented to me in that tone. If someone’s honestly being helpful then it’s not really going to bother me a whole lot. Back to Bill I know him pretty well, so what he said didn’t bother me he just didn’t know.
Last night I also had a weird thing happen. To be honest my apartment complex did email me back in March saying they were going to be doing some work to the water lines. They emailed me saying it was going to be off on April 1, but they canceled that date and said they would notify us later. Well later apparently was last night, because when I tried to wash my hands after eating I got nothing. Thankfully I was able to spend the night at Erica’s house, and have water. I didn’t realize how much I use water on a whole until I couldn’t it’s for sure something I take for granted. The office anyway said they stuck the notice in my mailbox, and I stated to them I can’t read print. They email me about everything else how I can pick up a donut in the office, or events going on around the facility, but they didn’t happen to think I wouldn’t notice the water being off?
One other thing I thought I’d mention is I remember in 2008 talking to my friend Dina about voting. She was so happy, because 2008 marked the first time in her life she could vote independently. They finally had a talking machine in her city. I never really had to go without this, but I think it’s pretty crazy before 2008 in most places blind people would have to either have someone help them vote, or be assigned 2 people one republican and one Democrat to keep things honest. As I said in one of my first few posts of this blog if I were going to be blind I’m glad to be born in this generation where technology has made things come a long way for us.