This morning was my partner’s birthday, and we went out to celebrate. Toward the end of our meal, a woman walks up to our table, sets her arm on my fiancé’s shoulder and says, “I’ve just got to tell you how impressed I am with you two.” At this point, as two wheelchair users, we give each other a knowing look and brace ourselves for whatever inappropriate comment this woman is about to make.
Then she says, “So many young people are always on their phones, but I’ve been watching you, and you two haven’t touched your phones once. You’ve just been so into your conversation with each other. I’m very impressed! You don’t see that these days.”
We get inappropriate disability-related comments veiled as “compliments” all the time when we’re out, but we’ve never actually gotten a genuine comment like that. I was stunned. While the birthday man sat speechless and in shock, I sputtered, “Oh thanks. We just really like each other.”
As she walked away, we started laughing so hard that we were actually crying at our table. I wanted to take a picture, but my stunned partner told me I couldn’t touch my phone after what she just said. So we sat there with tears streaming down our faces.
—The future Mr. and Mrs. E. Namerd