“Perfect”

Okay, folks, plug your ears if you want another kind and sweet blog post about love. Cause this ain’t it. Few things can really piss me off. One thing that is guaranteed to push my buttons every time? Cruelty and mockery towards disabled people, or anyone who can be viewed as vulnerable for that matter. You may need a little background on this to fully understand: I have two older brothers, both with developmental disorders. My oldest brother has Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, and a learning disability, all of which prevent him from leading a truly normal, independent life. My other brother is severely autistic and mentally retarded. Growing up, I saw quite a few kids pick on my brothers and kids like them. It never sat well with me, and while I’ve learned that it is not socially acceptable to hit the cowardly assholes who get their jollies out of tormenting those seen as “weaker” than them, sometimes I still feel a few of them deserve a good right hook. Last night for example.

I work at a country club as a waitress. It’s job filled with lots of hard work, long hours, and interesting clientele. Some of the members are the kindest people you would ever meet, and they’re a pleasure to serve. Others however, like the ones I’m contemplating ways to dropkick, deserve a special table in hell. Last night a table of about six sat down in the section next to mine. I know a lot of the members, but this one I knew personally. She directs many local community plays and other theatrical productions. I’ve been in a few plays with her. Her guest was the mother of a girl I went to high school with. The daughter was an unpleasant, entitled diva and the mother was the worst kind of snobby stage mother you could meet. I try not to hold grudges and believe in second chances, but this lady sure blew it.

I know you’re all so disappointed I’m not kicking ass and taking (or spilling) names here, but that would truly be cowardly (not to mention get me in all sorts of trouble). Instead, these people shall serve as a lesson in their anonymity. I digress. Towards the end of the night, my own six-top left, which was situated next to this charming group. As I was clearing, I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. You’d be surprised what waitresses hear. People seem to think we don’t have anything else in our heads but a desire to serve them, but the fact is, we do have other concerns besides making sure your V.O and water is extra heavy on the V.O. We hear what you say and *gasp* sometimes we even disagree! It’s as if the apron makes you invisible. Ninja waitress!

Again with the digression…

So, as I’m clearing, I hear laughter. La Director starts explaining to her guests.
“So we see the tents, and we thought it was a festival and so we went to shop. But the there were no stands or anything and a ton of people in wheel chairs or with Down Syndrome.” Nothing really offensive here. “So it turns out it was a Disabled Pride Parade!” Laughter. I don’t understand the funny, but whatever. “I mean, they’ve all these people in wheelchairs, an they’re having a parade. They can’t walk!” Hysterical, really. Your wit astounds us. But it gets better. Stage Mom chimes in.
” And on top of it, there’s some guy with obvious problems” she says this as if to be an imperfect being is somehow distasteful “trying to make a speech. And I mean, trying, I couldn’t understand him!” Laughter. Hardy har har. Of course both of them aid there droll humor with the offensive gesture of retardation. You know what I mean, the limp hand smacking against the chest. And to top it off? “And they weren’t even selling anything. I mean, you want me to help you, actually sell something, come on.” Whatever people. The conversation included other undoubtedly witty remarks, but at this point I was too busy keeping my back to them, as I could no longer keep on my happy waitress face. I would have dearly loved to give them what-for in front of all their peers, but alas, I seriously need this job. After a while, these bitches left and took their lack of empathy with them.

What really gets me about these people is the arrogance. They are rich, blessed semi-talented people (although not nearly as much the cat’s pajamas as they think they are. More like hairballs.) with well-provided for attractive, blessed and (for stage mom) decently talented children. They’ve never had to deal with a 21 year old son, having a meltdown in an airport, or have to explain to their oldest why he’s alone all the time. Instead of thanking their lucky stars, these people decide it’s something they deserve, that those people affected by something that makes them less than perfect in society’s superficial, overly made-up eyes are somehow beneath them. Part of me wonders if for La Director it’s a occupational hazard. You spend your life having people audition for you, bending over backwards for your approval, and maybe you start thinking that somehow you’re worth more than the average joe. If that is the case, sorry lady. What you are is a failed actress, director whatever, stuck doing community and high school theater. Being in a position of power doesn’t mean you deserve it, or have some divine right to it. And that goes for anyone. I remember her in these plays. She was not kind to kids like my oldest brother with Asperger’s. But I was young and thought she was just another neurotic, hard-ass director. Now I see bitch couldn’t handle something not “perfect” on her stage.

As for Stage mom, her arrogance is just sick. I know her. She’s some kind of hairdresser, which means that whatever money she’s got, is money that her husband makes, not something she’s earned. I’m all for equality in a marriage. But don’t act like you’re better than someone because your hubby’s richer. She spends all her time pushing her daughters, giving them this idea that they are entitled to the lead in every play, the solo in every concert, the applause of every commoner they bless by sneezing on. Her girls are brats, but i can hardly blame them with that kind of upbringing. But seriously, she’s never had to deal with a child who isn’t an attractive, talented, smart, “normal” child. How dare she act like other’s hardship, god forbid the PRIDE they took in what that hardship has made them, is some kind of joke. Disabled people are not sideshows. Your are the true mutation, the real imperfection. Get over yourselves, and don’t let me run in to you when I’m not in my uniform, because ladies (and I use the term loosely) it’s GLOVES OFF.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed your meal.

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Collin Benson on July 25, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Hello, just wanted to let you know i read this and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, especially the last line. I was rather appalled the lack of empathy displayed by this woman you described, this article really speaks to that part of me that’s glad i don’t work there anymore. Still miss the good parts of it though like you and the others. Say hi for me.

    Reply

  2. Loved the post – and the graphic example of how some supposed Up Standing Community Types – Cheer leading Matrons and supposed yummy mummies are the biggest offenders when it comes to The Tolerance Stakes!

    I would love to know where to get service with your sort of smile. And if you need a pair of gloves with horseshoes in them, just let me know!

    So it’s 20 years of the ADA and some are still back in the stone ages. Are well – maybe they need reminding that them and their beloved family members are only ever “Temporarily Enabled” , cos when that wheel chair, walking stick, crutches or respirator with your name on it arrives, there is no going back – and only the ADA to rely upon!

    Reply

  3. Gee, you guys are making me blush! Keep it up! lol

    Reply

  4. Posted by Kim Deal on July 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Shannon….I LOVE YOU! I don’t know if I would have been able to hold my tongue so I’m proud that you were able to! really good blog!

    Reply

  5. Thank you m’dear.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Heather Egli on July 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I’m pretty sure you should have drop kicked them anyway.

    Reply

  7. […] Twenty years of driving minivans I guess explains his giddiness. I however, after another summer of ninja-waitressing, am pleased as punch to find myself the owner of any car, no matter how it affects my non-existent […]

    Reply

  8. […] this summer. The Daja’s been working hard at her country club waitress gig (you can check out the Ninja Waitress post on her blog if you like). And she’s saved up some scratch for books and other college […]

    Reply

  9. Shannon

    Awesome blog post. The maturity and restraint you displayed when dealing with those assholes is commendable. I would have lost my job.

    Yr writing ability is solid and so well devoloped. I wonder where you get that from? I reckon the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    Loved this post. Both heartbreaking and uplifting. Nice job. And I bet those bastards left you a shitty tip.

    Matt

    Reply

  10. Posted by Jeannie on September 14, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    What a fantastic, thought-provoking blog, Shannon! I am successfully avoiding homework by reading blogs I have not yet read, and this one topped the rest. You are a seriously talented writer. I have been studying all sorts of disorders, diseases, and differences in nursing school, and I am developing a great respect for people who live their lives with such conditions. I will probably be showing this to some friends here; what you are saying deserves to be spread!

    Reply

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