I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now. I just haven't been sure how to approach it. It's going to be very anti-pc. Of course anyone who reads my blog knows about Taylor and that she is profoundly developmentally disabled. That's a pretty long title but it is the politically correct way to describe Taylor. However, we who love her call her something else. No it is not the dreaded "R" word but I will admit that it is a variation of that one. It's one we find endearing to us.
Now, I realize there are going to be a lot of people that might be upset or horrified that I would use this word in talking about my child, but she is my child and I would never call anyone else's child by this name. I'm sure it helps matters for me that Taylor has no clue about the meaning of this word or even the above phrase…profoundly developmentally disabled. I'm just going to go with PDD from now on. Anyway, Taylor knows tone of voice. You could say the vilest curse words to her and if they were said in a sweet loving voice, she'd smile and laugh.
I'm sure you are wondering by now, what word could her family possibly be using that might offend you. Well, just the other day, we told Taylor that she will be the most popular tardy in her class today. I'm sure some of you sent up a collective *gasp* after you read that. Yes, I do use that word with my child. Partly because of the origin, which is too long to share with you on this post, but also to thumb my nose at everyone expecting me to keep up with whatever the most pc word of the year is when it comes to kids/people like Taylor.
Also related to the above issue is that, as The Bossman says, I do know how to play the "gimp card". Now before you really get angry at me, let me explain. The Bossman and I have been together for over 3 years now. 25 years ago, The Bossman was a cop in California. Unfortunately, an off-duty diving accident made him a paraplegic. I've never known him without the chair. Our first travel trip together really opened my eyes to how inaccessible things really are. We booked a "wheelchair accessible" hotel room. Guess what? We got to the room and The Bossman couldn't get his chair through the door. I was told by the front desk that "most chairs" can. I think I stood there with my mouth hanging open. Most chair? Seriously? His chair is less than the ADA required 36''. They were nice enough (insert sarcasm here because they kept telling us how nice they were) to open the room beside it because it had a wider door and let us use both rooms.
Since that trip, I refuse to have to do some sort of awkward shit just to spend the night away with The Bossman. When we went to a casino here on the Oregon Coast…they actually expected me to wheel him down a ramp, in the dark, without railings to keep you from dropping off a short cliff onto the beach, leave him there, walk around, go upstairs, open the main door, go in the room, unlock the back sliding glass door, and let him get in that way. No, I'm not kidding.
When the hotel receptionist told me that, I just looked at her and pulled out the gimp card (The Bossman's term) and played it like a pro. Needless to say, they gave us a suite in the tower with an elevator and a ramp to get in the building.
For those that think that "hey, you got upgraded without having to pay the extra $$", you're damn right. The problem is that I shouldn't have to "play that card". No one should. If you work in a hotel and you get a call from someone who says they are in a wheelchair and CANNOT walk, think about that when assigning rooms. Some think wheelchair means just having trouble walking…not completely unable to walk. We've had some think he could just stand for a second. Yeah…that doesn't really work well with a severed spinal cord.
Look, I don't expect everyone or anyone to understand my use of the word tardy when I talk about Taylor with family members or even when I'm talking to her. But it's my choice, my word, and it's said with more love than you could ever imagine. No, I don't say that word in front of others. Not because I think it's wrong, but because I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable or awkward.
This is just my world and I thought I would give you a glimpse of my total un-politically correctness. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments section. I welcome all respectful dialogue.
Now I need to do my "Yes I Did" Friday post.