Saturday, October 28, 2006


Heading north with TheMIG for the sound gig and to visit his family is something I decided to skip. TheMIG is still going though, and he very graciously offered to go check out a couple of wheelchairs spotted on that area's Craigslist. I just got the call that he's found one that should suit me just fine.
I'm jumping up and down with happiness. Internally. I'm not a fan of hopping ;-)

With TheMIG gone and MyFK off for the weekend with his dad, I'm alone, and totally enjoying myself.

When I was a little kid, I really had a ball when I was alone. I had a tree fort and used to go there by myself and do arts and crafts. But in my 20's I would go to these bizarre lengths so as to never be alone. It was like I was almost afraid of it (probably afraid of myself), and I would disguise my jumpy behavior as my just being super-social. If I wasn't having friends over, you'd probably find me hanging out where I was likely to find other people I knew. Almost always.

I am =nothing like that now. I totally enjoy the company of others, and have a blast at a party, but at some point I developed the need for solitude, peace, and quiet. Now that I think about it, this more balanced perspective probably came right after becoming the mommy to a child that is never silent (and I mean never--not even in his sleep--he talks then, too).

I love a good hermit day, and I really must have one everyy once in awhile to order to maintain my sanity.

So this hermit will do some knitting weekend.
When I do a lot of knitting, I also do a lot of thinking.
While I do have some of my best "A-ha!" moments while I'm in the shower or driving, the repetitive loops of yarn over sticks seems to give me the space to ponder some of life's deeper questions.

What's on my needles this morning is: the redux of the oversized hat (I'm actually on Take 3,--grr).
And what's currently on my mind is: Why am I using being an amputee as a primary identifier?

Today is the Fall Festival at MyFk's school. His teacher is in charge of the Cake Walk. She asked if I would call the families of her students and ask for donations of baked goods. One of the calls was to Franny's house. I know the dad-half of this family on a "hello, how ya' doing" basis (he's the one that drops off and picks up the kids), and although I was pretty sure I had met the mom once, I wasn't sure.

When I called about the Cake Walk, it was the mom I got on the phone. I gave her the Fall Festival schpeel, she happily agreed to bake something, and then she said to me, "I'm trying to figure out if I've met you before."

I said, "I was just wondering that myself, and I think we may have met a couple of years ago at So-And-So's house for an Easter Egg hunt with the parents were there too...they lived across the street..." and just as I was adding, "I'm the one-legged lady..."

...she overlapped by exclaiming, "Oh, Yeah! You're the bellydancer!!!"

Now, why she is identifying me with her recollection of my being a dancer, and why I am identifying myself (first) as a gimp, is pretty damn interesting to me.

And it's not the first time I've asked myself why I do that. Because I think I might do it more often than I take note of.
And I will be reflecting upon this while I'm knitting this weekend.


Sara said...

Very, very happy to hear about the wheelchair.

I've been thinking about that last question, too, not so much as it relates to you, of course, because that would be presumptuous even for me. I've been thinking it's time I changed the subtitle on my blog.

Naturally, we can discuss this more during -- trumpet fanfare, please -- NaBloPoMo! This and everything else! Every single day! A HA HA HA HA

Gordon K said...

I've been thinking about that same question a lot recently, although it's less relevant now that my hair is a nice bright primary color ...

One possibility is that "amputee" is obvious. Everyone you meet in the flesh knows it (I assume, anyway), whereas the fact that you're a dancer is not so readily apparent. The woman you spoke to, on the other hand, may have specifically avoided referring to your disability because of the usual taboos.

Anecdote time, I think. A few summers ago I worked in the 'open floor plan' part of my office, so I was doing some receptionist-type things along with my primary job. A guy came in and said, "I'm looking for a woman who works here. A young woman with long blond hair?" The only young blond woman I could think of was another one of the interns there, but she was standing right next to me, so he obviously wasn't looking for her. After a brief pause while we tried to figure out who he was talking about, my boss, a not-so-young blond woman, came out of her office and it became apparent that she was the one he was looking for. It would've been less ambiguous if he'd described her as "the blond woman in the wheelchair", because that is her most unique identifying trait ... but that's something a lot of TABs just aren't comfortable with.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I always thought of you as that sassy brunette.

I still wrestle with my artistic identity: Am I a painter/dancer or a dancer/painter? And sometimes I feel a little schizophrenic/conflicted because of that (where do I channel my time and energy?).

I suspect that you might be identifying more as an amputee right now because of all the insurance issues you've been experiencing.

Karen the Lurker