Shit people say to spouses of people who use wheelchairs:
My favorite “I”m so sorry” experience was in my first trial as a young lawyer, when Tim — who was an associate at the same fancy-pants DC law firm that I was — came to watch. On a break, our loathsome opposing counsel came up to me and said, out of the blue, “I’m so sorry.” Given the quantity of serious litigation bullshit he had engaged in, I was glad he saw fit to apologize, but thought it was better directed to the senior partner. I was starting to say something about that when he added, “about your husband…” Honestly, I still didn’t understand: Tim wasn’t assigned to the case; what could this dude possibly mean? He had to stumble on to say something about “injury” and “wheelchair” before it finally dawned on me. Needless to say, I was speechless.
Years later, I actually wrote and submitted a “Modern Love” column to the New York Times after some lady walked up to us at a baseball game and said something about me being a good caretaker. How can you explain in a sentence how ordinary life is? How care is given and taken in equal measure? Unfortunately, my column couldn’t compete with other important dispatches from the front lines of human relationships, for example, looking for a date on Craigslist or overthinking your boyfriend’s slippers.
That’s the great thing about the blog: the only thing standing between my thoughts and publication is my own good judgment. Such as it is.