There are few things I enjoy more than a tasty meal out with friends. On my list of “Top Things that Begin with the Letter F,” food and friends lag only behind family.
Over 20 years, I’ve learned to live with many of the hassles that come with dining in my bulky power chair: inaccessible restaurants, cramped dining rooms, rude servers, a lack of tables I can roll under — and then there are the gawkers.
Gawkers are the people whose minds are apparently blown by seeing a wheel¬chair user out in public enjoying their life, and can only respond by staring. Some might think that on the eve of 2019 homo sapiens would have evolved beyond such behavior, but if you’ve spent any time in public in a wheelchair you probably know too well how far we have to go.
I know gawkers drive some people crazy, but not me. To be honest, I’m fascinated by them. In fact, I’ve developed a rough classification system to help differentiate between types of gawkers. It’s far from complete, but here are some of the predominant classes with details on how common and annoying they are on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being Highly Annoying:
Quick peekers, Common, 3: Known for their tendency to glance surreptitiously, quick peekers are often found in fancier settings where staring is considered rude.
Statues, Very Common, 6