Standing in front of me, or, as I often call it, butt in my face.
Many people don’t really think about the fact that my face is at butt level. That means, when you’re standing in front of me, your derriere is right in my face. This can be really awkward for me. And, unless you’re J. Lo, it should be awkward for you too.
I can’t tell you how many times, people will come and stand directly in front of me. This happens in public at the market or the mall, or it happens when I am at work in the courtroom by other lawyers.
The worst is when people bend over. One day, I was sitting in the court waiting for the judge to call my case. This female public defender came over, stood right in front of me, and then bent over to write something down. Now, there was nothing innately bad about what she did. She needed to write something down, and there was a table and she leaned down to write. But, what she didn’t take into consideration was that I was right there behind her as it was the only place where I could be out of the way in my wheelchair. And when she bent down, her butt was probably 8 inches from my face. I made eye contact with the bailiff as I was trying to turn my head and look anywhere else. The bailiff and I both laughed a little as we acknowledged the awkwardness of the whole scenario. That lawyer never even reacted or knew of the situation. It put me in a weird place of trying to get out of there, or to tap her and say “Excuse me. Could you please not put your butt in my face?” Those aren’t great options for me.
So please, when you find yourself in a situation of standing in front of a person in a wheelchair, please be cognizant of the fact that we probably don’t want your butt in our faces. And if the person in the wheelchair doesn’t mind your butt in their face, then you probably have a way creepier situation on your hands than you’d even want to know about.