my friend

It’s a lot of work to be friends with me.

Now I’m not saying I’m not lots of fun and totally worth it, but it IS A LOT OF WORK TO BE MY FRIEND.

People have to walk slower when they’re with me. It’s just part of the wheelchair gig.

The staring is a phenomenon that you just have to get used to, but it happens. A lot. It was part of the reason I wore dark sunglasses in NYC. It’s better to get an occasional look for being the douchebag who wears sunglasses indoors than to deal with the stares and freaked out kids looking at my zombie-eye on top of the effects of the strokes.

I suck at being in crowds. I’m much better one-on-one or in small groups where I can hear you. My speech pattern means I speak slower and softer than most so I’m often silent in large groups.  My wheelchair means I’m so much shorter than others and I already have vision issues. I’m 50% deaf and about 50% blind (right now), so that adds up to me being 100% awesome!

When I go out places I try not to be extra work. I hate to ask anyone to cut my food. I feel 3yo. I’ll order what I can eat, not always what I want.

I feel I’m always apologizing and thanking people. They don’t know why.

I’m not sorry about the strokes or the effects. They’re not my fault and I do my best regardless. I’m sorry for the inconveniences people suffer on my behalf.

I’m always grateful when someone knows it won’t be easy or simple, but choose to be my friend anyway.

It makes me BE a better friend because I know what they have undertaken.

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16 Responses to my friend

  1. Leila August 15, 2012 at 11:51 PM #

    There are no good reasons NOT to be your friend. You are not what HAPPENED to you. If people have to slow down, or be patient while you speak, or help you through a door or even CUT YOUR DAMN FOOD, well then fuck it, that’s what it takes.

    Me, it’s hard to be friends with because I’m just crazy, irritable, and a bitch. That’s far less tolerable. I am however, loyal like a dog…so I’ll be your friend and bite anyone who thinks that somehow it’s a chore. WTF? We all SHOULD slow down sometimes. And allow others time to SPEAK. (I am admittedly TERRIBLE at this not because I don’t want to hear what others are saying but because my mouth apparently was fitted with its own motor).

    I’m sorry I missed you at BlogHer. I missed everyone because I was in one of my depressive episodes where I think, no one will pay me any attention and I’ll leave feeling worse than when I got there, so…I just won’t go. Self-sabotage – it’s what I do best. But wherever you are that I am, I’m gonna find you, and I’m gonna cut the hell out of that food and LISTEN MY ASS OFF and walk slowly with you…no, wait, call that SAUNTER cuz it sounds sexier. I will SAUNTER and you will GLIDE into a room and we will just be AWESOME.

    Leila´s last post…Kicking and Screaming All the Way

  2. Faiqa August 14, 2012 at 11:16 PM #

    Omg, you almost made me cry. Damn, you’re a pain in my ass.

    Favorite moment at a BlogHer party with you…

    Someone: “Hey, Anissa, why are you wearing sunglasses?”
    You: “I’m Cory Hart.”

    No, love, it’s EASY being friends with that kind of awesome.

    Faiqa´s last post…Covered Heads

  3. Malia August 14, 2012 at 5:05 PM #

    If I find out you asked other bloggers to help you with your name tag at BlogHer I may have to go a little Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction on you! That’s my gig! ;-)

  4. defendUSA August 14, 2012 at 9:42 AM #

    You know, my Gram was paralyzed from having two strokes before she was 45. Her left side was lame for my whole life. I never thought of her as extra work and I was glad to do it. If people think of you as work, cross them off your list and keep moving forward. They’re selfish dumb asses who don’t deserve you, anyway.

  5. Susan in the Boonies August 13, 2012 at 5:49 PM #

    Pish posh. It’s a privilege to get to hang with you.

    Susan in the Boonies´s last post…A Tale of Four Cities, Three Friends, Two Tires, and A Dog

  6. Adriennevh August 13, 2012 at 2:16 PM #

    You’re so vain. I bet you thought everyone was staring at you. LOL How do you know they weren’t staring at Julia? I’ve heard she is rather hot.


    Miss you, been almost a year since I hugged you.

    Adriennevh´s last post…An Olympic Failure

  7. Karen August 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM #

    I really wish we could hang out in person. I walk really slow, although I have no balance so I might fall on you. It’ll be really fun if we go drinking. I can cut my own food, but I drop things a lot. I put a napkin in my lap but I have boobs so that doesn’t really help. I keep threatening to get one of those cute little bibs that my grandma used to wear but then I think … no, I don’t have a whole lot of dignity left, but I’ll keep that particular shred, thank you. But do you really apologize for things like that? You’re one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and you inspire me. (No, I am never going to let that go.)

    However, the zombie eye thing? That is a little much. What about a patch? You could totally rock the Moshe Dayan look. Tell people that you’re a pirate.

  8. Megan {{Millions of Miles}} August 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM #

    100% awesome is totally right!

    Megan {{Millions of Miles}}´s last post…Snapshots

  9. Becca Bernstein August 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM #

    You’re one of the funniest people I know. I should apologize for repeatedly snorting when I’m around you. It’s not a nasal issue. No, I didn’t step on a frog. The noise is coming from the coffee that went up my nose b/c you made me laugh when I was sipping. Forgive me.

    Becca Bernstein´s last post…Calling All Moms

  10. Julia Roberts August 13, 2012 at 11:58 AM #

    HEY! You aren’t trouble and you do not suck to be around. I HATE that you apologize for stuff. HATE.

    I love to be around you, walk slower, move in to talk to you, help you, hug your neck, cuddle up in bed with you. Spending time with you enriches me, it sure as shit isn’t a burden.

    I know you HATE asking for help, which is why I like to anticipate your needs before you have to ask, which you probably hate too. But next time we are together I will kick your ass if you don’t order food you want (have the chef cut it!). Like is too short to not eat what you want! :)

    Love you and your wonky eyes – sunglasses or not.

    • Ann at Mundane Magic August 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM #

      I have that apology affliction. I heard there was an outbreak among Southern women. I must have caught it. Men never apologize, it seems.

      Much love to you both!

  11. The Animated Woman August 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM #

    What a thoughtful and humble post…one of the things I noticed is that I felt like I wanted to sit in your lap the whole time I was with you, so I wouldn’t miss any of the clever/funny/meaningful things you said. Do they make double wheelchairs?

    I’m looking forward to hanging out in a quieter environment.

    The Animated Woman´s last post…Martha Stewart is TOON swag.

  12. Laurie August 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM #

    I like talking to you. Now I won’t feel as bad about yelling a little louder.

    I worked in senior services for a long time, and most of my clients were in wheelchairs. I learned a lot about the chair as the extension of a body, how to move so I was talking TO people in them, not AT them, or shouting behind them like some fool when it really doesn’t take much effort at all to scoot up and look at someone in the face so they can hear and be heard properly. I try to be really aware of that, still. It doesn’t take a whole lot, really. It’s just the right thing to do. Besides, who would want to miss your one-liners? That’s just stupid.

    You shouldn’t have to be the one to always adapt, but I know the urge to please and not inconvenience quite well. I hope you feel the desire of people in your blog community and at conferences to help, with no baggage.

    I know how much that restaurant in Charlotte stressed you out, the accessibility was a nightmare, but all I remember (from my privileged place, of course, because I wasn’t the one struggling, so there’s that) is how much fun it was to be with you and Tanis, how much better things are when people stick together to help. I would also gladly cut your meat, although to be quite honest I’m not that good at cutting my own.

    I am only sorry for your challenges in that they have caused you stress and pain. And really, there are plenty of things to be tolerated in able-bodied people that are worse. I’d much rather walk slowly with you than jog with an asshole. :)

    Laurie´s last post…32 Loosely Related Thoughts

  13. Robin Plemmons August 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM #

    Just being around you has given me a better perspective on everything. I am grateful. And I love ya.

    Robin Plemmons´s last post…6 Things That Make Me Happy


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