Sometimes I have to experience things differently to realize how hardened I've become to things. Case in point, shopping with Tim and Maggie at Costco last week. Tim was shocked at how often people stare at Maggie. I know they do, but I generally ignore it. With Tim there I was acutely aware of the staring from every corner.
The staring is nothing new. It has always been part of Maggie's life, and all of ours by extension. It may be a little worse now than before because the trach tube is jarring to people and Maggie's constant movements of her hands and face is off putting. Tim is just out of practice, He's been away at school for two year. He has certainly been home a fair amount in that time, but it is always a couple of days here and there and isn't too often that we are out in public with Maggie while he's home. He received a crash course while we were at Costco.
One woman was looking at Maggie like she had two heads and we kept running into her, which was awkward. The best, though was a family that we only encountered once. There were four of them and they were turning into an aisle just as we were going to exit that aisle. All four stared at Maggie open mouthed an blocked our way. It was just a moment where the three of us were facing the four of them, mouths agape. I said sweetly, "excuse us, please" and we went by. As we rounded the corner Tim said (just to me and Maggie), "Hey folks, strap up your chins and get the HELL out of our way. We all cracked up at that.
Lest you think everyone is as boorish as these people were, there was another woman who made our visit.
We paid for the ridiculous amount of items and I stopped at the desk to inquire about getting Tim a card of his own. Tim was next to me holding onto the cart and I was holding onto Maggie's chair, but my back was to her. Maggie was facing away from the counter. By this time Maggie had had ENOUGH of Costco and wanted to get out of there. She kept saying on her talker, "Mom, I want All the Single Ladies Put your hands up" which means, of course, that she wanted to listen to Beyonce. I absentmindedly answered Maggie while I completed a form for Tim. Maggie repeated her sentence again an again. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman approaching Maggie. I turned around and there was a woman just steps away from Maggie waving her hands in the air. She had on a muni bus drivers uniform, which made it even funnier. She said, "I'm a single lady, girl, My hands are UP." I told her that meant Maggie wanted to listen to her music and she said, "well, get goin, mom"
Maggie was delighted and Tim noted how one cool person can make up for so many idiots.