I left work at about 9:30PM on Monday. I caught the #70 right outside my building. A blind woman got on about two stops after I did. We both got off in Central Square*.
“Do you need a hand, ma’am?” I offered.
She did, as it happened. She didn’t take my arm, but I did offer directions at her request (“we’re on Mass Ave right now, with Harvard to your left and Boston to your right …”). When I told her we were near a Wendy’s she asked to be directed that way.
I was doing pretty well until I tried to get the door for her and accidentally opened it on her hand. Oops. Sorry.
The next morning, I started thinking about how I’d react to being blind. A lot of people dread blindness: groping around in the dark, getting lost, getting exploited by strangers.
I’m different. If I went blind, I’d worry about solicitous assholes.
No, you don’t need to yell at me. No, I don’t want to hear about your cousin who’s also blind. No, I don’t want you to hold my things. No, I don’t want to hear about how brave I am. No, don’t open the door to Wendy’s for me.
And don’t fucking grab at my fucking arm.
(get to about the 6:30 mark)
This explains part of my introverted nature – I’m always afraid of Helping Too Much. I linger in the back. I don’t want to smother anybody.
The reason behind that, of course, is that I never ask for help myself.
*. I want to suggest that the three people who shouldered past her to get off the bus first – despite her asking the driver several times to let her know when we hit Central – says something about Boston. But I imagine they do that shit in New York, too.