Disability Humor Life Writing

Where Sweaters Go To Die

20th January 2011

A few months after I got my favourite pen, my Dad packed it and the rest of my life into the car and drove me down to University.  As The Dixie Chicks blasted out of the speakers and through the open windows, I was as excited as I’d ever been up to that point in my life.  Scared shitless, but excited.

Pretty much ever since then, I’ve employed Personal Assistants to help me do any of the stuff that can be done while I still have bed-head.  And then they help me tame the bed-head.

I’ve never had a fundamental problem with paying people to help me do things; it is a fact of my life.  And it helps me live it.  Some of my PAs have ended up friends after we stopped working together.  I wouldn’t have met these wonderful people if I hadn’t had to hire them first.

I do have an issue with the fact with every house-move I’ve made my hours/funding has been cut.  I will still have bed-head, whether I wake up in Glasgow or Edinburgh.  No matter where I am, I will always need help in the shower, will always poke myself in the eye while putting mascara on.  And really, who wants to do that?  My mascara would last a lot longer if Social Work Departments/Councils would let me keep all my hours.

While I wait to be re-assessed after every move I have to rely on assistance from the Council which I have no control over.  Any number of people can come into my house, do what they want and leave when they want.

A few years ago, while waiting for my Direct Payments to be re-instated after a move, Council help would come in at 6.45am in order to ensure that I’d be ready for work.  At 10.00.  It doesn’t take me that long to get ready, even with the bed-head.  But that was the time people were ‘available’ to do’ me.  I had to take it.

I will never forget this exchange, at 6.45 on a rainy morning:

Stranger Who Had To See Me Naked:  What’s wrong with you?

Me:  What?  Oh, I haven’t had my coffee yet.  I’m not a morning person.

SWHTSMN:  I meant the scars.  Were you shot?

Me:  What?  No.  If you’re looking for my medical diagnosis, which isn’t any of your damn business, I have CP.  Those are surgery scars.

SWHTSMN:  I know someone who has that.  He’s worse than you.  You can do more.

Me:  Shall I stand on my head and spit nickels as well?

I could write several very long books about working with a varied range of people over the years.  I won’t, because I have other books to write.  If I did I’d call it Shit My PA Says.  Stuff like:  Look UP, don’t blink!  Is that how your hair is supposed to look? And the famous catch-all phrase:  Uh-oh.  ‘Uh-oh’ can mean so many things.  I broke your favourite mug.  You’ve run out of coffee.  I accidently vacuumed the cat.

A few weeks ago I heard that ever-interesting ‘Uh-oh!’  I braced myself and followed the trail of mumblings.  I went into the kitchen, and there was my PA (a lovely lady from an agency I’m using until next week when two lovely new people start.  Employed directly by me.)

Back to the kitchen, and Lovely Lady is holding up one of the sweaters my Mom made for me.  It was decidedly smaller than I’d known it to be.

Lovely Lady:  It shrunk!

Me:  I put it in the hand-wash pile.  It wasn’t supposed to go in the machine.

LL:  It must have escaped!  Maybe it’ll stretch!

Me:  It won’t.

LL:  You can wear it as a belly-top!

Me:  You’ve seen my belly.  That ain’t gonna happen.  And I’m nearly 30 years old.  Even when I wore belly-tops, I never wore belly-tops.

That sweater is the latest of 3 hand-washers that have ‘escaped’ into the washing machine in recent times.

I consider myself a fair boss.  Fairer than most.  New people I work with should know a few things about me:

I am monosyllabic until I have my coffee.

I don’t carry on conversations while I’m brushing my teeth.

I know my hand-wash-only sweaters don’t put themselves in the washing machine.

If we cover those points early on, we’ll get along just fine.  And the new people are starting just in time; I’m running out of sweaters.

Sarge holing up a wayward sweater.

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No Comments

  • Reply broadsideblog 20th January 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Having to rely on/manage/direct a pile ‘o strangers must be a hell of a challenge. I’d go ballistic if someone ruined my clothes.

    • Reply LKD 20th January 2011 at 5:26 pm

      It’s interesting, and certainly never boring! ‘Ballistic’ is an wonderful word! The word of the day on my Facebook seems to be ‘Livid’…!

  • Reply Sarah 20th January 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Yeah, my dad shrunk two of my jumpers over Christmas. Difference is, he loves me and definitely didn’t do it just to be lazy on the handwashing!!

    • Reply LKD 21st January 2011 at 4:35 pm

      Dads are good people!

  • Reply bingsy baby 20th January 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Like! (The post not that your sweater was shrunk and that people are jerks.)

    • Reply LKD 21st January 2011 at 4:36 pm

      Glas you’re back around!

  • Reply The Edmonton Tourist 21st January 2011 at 7:19 am

    You had me at favourite pen 🙂 and the fact you spell favourite with a U the proper way 🙂
    I need to get me a PA, my iphone isn’t the same….

    • Reply LKD 21st January 2011 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks for seeing the humour in the situation! 🙂

    • Reply Jessica S 23rd January 2011 at 3:45 pm

      I believe “favorite” is the American English spelling, whereas “favourite” is the British English spelling. Has anyone else heard that rule? I like the British spelling better, but if I use it, it comes off as pretentious. 🙁

  • Reply Modern Funk 23rd January 2011 at 4:49 am

    You are hilarious! I love your smartass sense of humor!

    • Reply LKD 23rd January 2011 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you! I love your blog, and I say that without a hint of the smartass humour!

  • Reply Jessica S 23rd January 2011 at 3:39 pm

    My mom did that to one of my favorite (okay…my only) sucker tops that had a matching skirt. After it got out of the drier (it “escaped,” too), it fit my Gerber Baby! I would go completely bonkers if the disaster would have happened more than once. You should make them at least make you a quilt out of the mini-sweaters. 🙂

    • Reply LKD 26th January 2011 at 11:47 am

      My mother does quilts, too! Those are safer than the sweaters! 😉

  • Reply Nancy Vecchione 2nd February 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Ah! What you need to do is turn them into ‘vase warmers’. I kid you not! Saw them on a DIY blog. Take an old jar or glass that’s the right height and use the sweater sleeve as a ‘vase warmer’ I know, goofy BUT at least you have some use for the sleeves of the sweater! LOL

    • Reply LKD 2nd February 2011 at 6:48 pm

      I may just try that! Thanks, Nancy!

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