People always say, aren’t you patient.
Truth is – I have no patience at all.
I get so mad when I can’t get my mum and her wheelchair in to a shop or restaurant, making my feelings known out loud, huffing and puffing and tutting. In this day and age is it really too much to ask for a ramp, or even some assistance? When shops place A-Frames on the pavement, I physically move them and make a big song and dance about it. I refuse to push my mum’s wheelchair in to the road to get by!
And clothes shopping…..well, this does not please me either. My mums in a wheelchair that’s all, she still likes to shop but shops are all about revenue and floor space. Which I understand, of course I do, but it doesn’t help me when I’m trying to push my way through thousands of trousers and tops, hangers getting hitched on me and the chair – urgh! I tend to stick to the same places that have given assistance previously and move rails for me or even provide an assistant to hold the basket when wheelchair trolleys are not provided. But then I lose patience about that, too! Why should my mum only be able to visit certain stores and not be able to just browse anywhere she likes?
Paying for something is another minefield. I know that extra wide tills can’t be left open for wheelchair users, but we cannot go through any other till and often after we’ve struggled with the wonky wheelchair trolley or basket rested on my mums lap (which gets dropped several times) I really have no patience to wait for the wheelchair-less shoppers in front of me – I tut and huff and puff again.
Using a wheelchair and all that that encompasses is not easy. And we are not yet a country which embraces accessibility. A ramp can cost as little as thirty pounds. Surely shop and cafe owners would want to open their doors to everyone?
My mum is forever telling me to calm down, stop getting moody. Be more patient, she says.
Actually when I think about it, I have no patience with many things, at all.
Is it anger for my mum being in a chair, frustration at having to deal with stupid people, or the lack of empathy from businesses? Or is it simply that I have always been this way, in which case shops and stupid people of the UK beware!
Kate Grant. Impatient carer