Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Wrong Buttons... (a tale of mistaken identity)

Come with me back to the week before last, while I was attending the American Council for the Blind conference and AZ. Many tales remain untold, but be reassured that I will get to them. At least the ones worth repeating. Some fall well short of what I deem worth your time, and others, such as this one, are hopefully good for a smile. *crosses fingers*

* Before you read further, let me make note that I do not find people who are blind, or otherwise handicap funny unless they're cracking a joke. I am not making fun of them in any way, and I spent a lot of my time helping people I didn't know find elevators, bathrooms, stores, restaurants and various other places/things while I was there. However, I always ask if they need help with anything before aiding them. Some do need help, others just ask directions. Everyone is different. But I have to admit, I was not expecting to find myself in this situation. ;)

On the last evening before heading back home, I found myself in the lobby of the hotel. This is the new downtown Sheraton which hasn't even been open for a year. Which means its shiny new, and lacks the general homey-ness of an older hotel. The lobby there is huge, and it echoes harshly back just about every sound made in there. Thus the small crowd of people I was with were making a huge racket as we waited for the last few stragglers to show up before we headed out for dinner. Because everyone I was with was blind we had to be very specific about where we were meeting. This time it was the front doors, which we were partially blocking, so I was standing slightly away from everyone and near the door so I could warn people who couldn't see, who were entering the building, wouldn't crash into the group.

We were just about ready to head out when two older ladies came in from outside. Both are blind, and have guide dogs. They came in through the doors, and one immediately heads to her left, and the other heads to her right. I'm watching with some amusement as they figure out they've lost each other and do abrupt about faces and meet back up. Then they head straight at me. Full speed. I back up, and shout, "Someones here!" No reaction. Shouting again, gets no reaction and I see that they have hearing aides. Ah. With all the noise, they can't hear me either. Taking evasive measures, I stepped to the side to allow the dogs to lead them past me.

The dogs followed me. My every move to the side, or backwards, was followed by two furry guide dog missiles. Did I mention they were fast? They had me backed up against a pillar in under 15 seconds. And then came the first lady with her hands straight out. Hands that were heading straight for my boobs.

"HEY!! There's someone here!" I shouted, and the lady has her hands on my boobs. I'm too surprised to say anything, and am making fish out of water noises.

The lady pauses for a few seconds as I tried to formulate a coherent sentence, and then squeezes.. once... twice... I'm still blinking in shock, and coming to grips with a full understanding of Molly Ringwald's humiliation in Sixteen Candles as she gets felt up by her grandmother. At least she didn't tell me they were perky.

"This doesn't feel like the elevator" she says in confusion, squeezing yet again.

"How can you tell?" says her companion in an irritable tone.

And I shout right next to her ear,"You're nowhere NEAR the elevators! You need to go straight forward about 25 yards and to your right!"

"HUH?" she says in response.

"Can you get your hands off my boobs?" I shout trying to dislodge her hands.

She turns to her friend,"There's someone standing here. I'll get directions." No apologies. Just,"Where are the elevators?"

Despite the groping I did take them to the elevators and showed them the RIGHT BUTTONS, and then caught up with my friends who had already started out to the restaurant. I had to laugh.. My friend had warned me that I'd get whacked with canes, run over by guide dogs and other such things, but I hadn't expected the groping.

Still makes me laugh. ;)


lisa said...

Your Mom headed me in your direction and your story sure made me laugh!

Lorilee said...

That is too funny! I teach 4 year olds, and they have no qualms about where they tap on me to get my attention!

Knatolee said...

HILARIOUS story!! I'm glad it all ended well. :)