Comments on: You Don’t Have to Thank Me For Doing the Right Thing Changing the Cultural Conversation Sat, 10 Aug 2013 15:43:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg Mon, 29 Jul 2013 19:47:23 +0000 Hi Lauri,

As in any other area, people’s experiences vary widely. I’ve only been in Santa Cruz a few months, so my experience of New England is still fairly recent. When I lived in southern VT (in a small rural town) and western MA (way out in the sticks), I did not find myself competing for space in the way I do here. It may just be that I was living in particularly quiet rural areas where people give each other lots of space, disabled or not.

By: Lauri Schaffer Lauri Schaffer Mon, 29 Jul 2013 19:08:14 +0000 I imagine it has been a while since you were in New England. There is no longer a wide berth given. My boyfriend has CP and up until recently walked with a cane (he now has a service dog). We live in CT and spend a lot of time in MA. No one ever gets out of our way. It is even worse now that we have the dog, sadly. This is particularly bad in doorways as neither my boyfriend or the dog are very good in reverse.
We do get everyone trying to open doors for him and he doesn’t like that at all. There has been many a stand-off because he likes to be a gentleman and hold open doors.
That said, we do find ourselves so grateful when people do step aside or makes room in some way. And you are right, we probably shouldn’t be because it is an action that should come naturally to people. Just yesterday he and I were having a small bicker about how he leaves crumbs on the cutting board every morning and he said that I never even notice when he cleans it up and thank him. I said, EXACTLY, that is shouldn’t notice because the cutting board should be clean. Your post reminded me of that. Expected, proper behavior should not be rewarded.
Of course, though, I will still thank people. Kindness and gratitude is too short in supply in any event so I will spread it wherever I can.
If you have time please visit our new blog:
We are hoping to amuse and raise disability awareness from our dog’s point of view.