Disability Humor Life Writing

I Don’t Sleep With My Colleagues

5th December 2011

Sarge and I still date. Each other. It’s allowed. And also important. When he’s working late, and I’m not working enough, dating is a way for us to remember what the other one looks like without tired eyes (his) or PMS (mine). These days, our dates are weekend trips to the movies after having coffee that Sarge doesn’t have to make for me. And I promise, these dates do differ from our nights in with fish and chips and a box-set (Northern Exposure, The Sopranos, Spaced, Black Books.)

And so yesterday, high on holiday mochas with whip, we rolled into the cinema to see Hugo. We asked for our tickets and there was a pause.

The wheelchair space needed to be ‘released’ and this required approval from the manager. The manager comes over and eyeballs me, possibly waiting to see if I’ll leap up and proclaim that I only use the chair to get the not-really discounted seats.

‘We have to make sure that the space isn’t booked by someone who doesn’t need it, you see.’ He said this to Sarge, not me. ‘And there’s your ticket. So you can sit next to your colleague.’

‘She’s my girlfriend.’

‘Oh. Enjoy the show.’ He went away. Leaving us with the girl at the counter.

‘Are we colleagues?’ I asked Sarge. ‘Because, you should know, I don’t sleep with my colleagues. And if we did work together, we’d never get any work done.’

‘No’, he said.

And with that we went into the movie. Where I transferred into a seat and Sarge parked the chair into its designated space.

‘Can I hold your hand? Or is that not allowed? Since we’re colleagues?’

‘That’s okay, I think it’s in the contract somewhere,’ I said.

I have CP. I hire a PA to do all the things Sarge, as my boyfriend, shouldn’t have to do. Nor would I want him to. I have been on friendly terms with all my PAs; we have a laugh on the way to my office building. Where I work. With my colleagues. Sarge is not one of them.

Saturday was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and this is also Disability History Month in Scotland. I’ve been trying to think of something to say about these important days. On Saturday, I wrote words that had nothing to do with my CP, and then I spoke to my Dad. When Sarge got home from an afternoon spent playing ancient geek games, we had the aforementioned fish and chips and shared our evening with the Sopranos.

And yesterday I went on a date. With my boyfriend. Because I could. I can celebrate Saturday, and any other day, by just being here. Living my life, changing the things I can and hoping for the rest. Because that’s all anyone can do.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to say something important and worthwhile within my ramble, I guess my two c(p)ents is this. Every disabled person out there has family and friends, people who care for them and support them, without being paid to do so. Some have partners and jobs. We even go to the movies.

After Hugo, Sarge and I came home, where we weren’t colleagues. Sometime in the future we might be, if I break my own rule and we ever open that bookshop we talk about.  But that’s another post.

Us. And I don’t take these kinds of photos with my colleagues.

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  • Reply becomingcliche 5th December 2011 at 3:29 pm

    What a weird thing for them to say. I was a PA for four years, and we weren’t colleagues. She was my friend. Still is.

    Glad you don’t play footsies with your colleagues. Some of them are funny about that.

    • Reply LKD 5th December 2011 at 6:37 pm

      I’m still friends with some of my old PAs. I’m glad you had a positive experience, and that you understand boundaries, ha! 🙂

  • Reply broadsideblog 5th December 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Nice post.

    Great photo! Any man who wears a skirt and keeps a knife in his knee-socks seems like a keeper to me!

    • Reply LKD 5th December 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks!

      And the man does indeed wear it well, I agree!

  • Reply poetprodigy7 5th December 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Don’t you love the way that works?
    What makes me even crazier is the people who’d look at my significant other and make comments along the lines of “You’re such a good person,” implying that he was doing something saintly because he was dating a blind woman–you know, the castoff bargain item on the dating market.
    He was doing something saintly actually, but the reward he will receive in a next life for his ability to put up with me has nothing to do with the fact that I can’t see, believe me.

    • Reply LKD 5th December 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Yep, mine has to put up with my sappy country music, and everything.

  • Reply limebirdbeth 5th December 2011 at 3:59 pm

    What a great post Lorna!

    I can’t believe that the manager came around to ‘check’ if you could have the seat you wanted, how ridiculous. When you say ‘released’, do you mean like with a key, or just approved?

    Also, what’s with the colleague comment?! What a random assumption. If you don’t know, why not say friend?

    What was the film like? Haha.

    • Reply LKD 5th December 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Released on their system. But some seats can be unbolted and lifted out, too. I guess it depends on space.

      And the film was great!

  • Reply Marjory 5th December 2011 at 4:59 pm

    This is a keeper!

    Love you much!

    • Reply LKD 5th December 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Love you too, Marj!

  • Reply RuthG 5th December 2011 at 5:21 pm

    That manager certainly tangled himself up, didn’t he? “Colleague” was just one expression of that cluelessness.

    Sarge is lucky to have you in his life, just as you are lucky to have him.

    • Reply LKD 5th December 2011 at 6:21 pm

      Thank you, Ruth!

  • Reply Antigone's Clamor 5th December 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Um, It’s nice they’ve got special seating available, but to make assumptions…

    Okay, I *think* I’m over my mind being blown. I totally agree with you about dates being important, esp. when you’re comfortable with someone. It’s a reminder to have a good time and try hard for the person you care most about!! Speaking of which, me and my honey should make some date plans soon…

  • Reply Colleen 5th December 2011 at 10:33 pm

    That is just dumb. Sometimes that stuff just drives me nuts. People get so g.d. focused on differences that it makes then act like total douches.

    I’m glad you had a wonderful evening after all the silliness.

    Man, MacGvyer and I could use a date!

  • Reply lenleatherwood 5th December 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing. Great flow on your words and, of course, your title was compelling!

  • Reply Content Writers 5th December 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much. You have excellent content on your blog.

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  • Reply Karen 6th December 2011 at 12:42 am

    Your boyfriend has cute legs and I like your stockings! Great post!

  • Reply 4amWriter 6th December 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Excellent post. I absolutely dig your attitude. I agree with all the other posters about the audacity and ignorance of that man. And I have to say, what a guy for Sarge to tell him off. Good for him. I love LOVE–you make me smile, Lorna.

  • Reply Steve Long 7th December 2011 at 5:58 am

    I know your Dad from high school, in fact we just got back in touch on face book. He’s a good man you got there. -Steve Long

    • Reply LKD 9th December 2011 at 10:43 am

      Thanks, Steve. And thanks for the comment on the photo I took for Dad. Both Dad and Neil are excellent people. I’m very lucky.

  • Reply Sharon 7th December 2011 at 9:50 pm

    You’re so awesome, man.

    • Reply LKD 9th December 2011 at 10:54 am

      I’m just doing what I do. But it takes awesome to know awesome, my friend!

  • Reply Amber West 16th December 2011 at 5:17 pm

    That might be the cutest picture of footsies I’ve ever seen. Lovely post!

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  • Reply anhistorianabouttown 6th July 2017 at 12:32 pm

    My grandmother had homecare for the last decade or so of her life (due to stroke/mobility issues) and even the people who were there to do homecare were just friends to my grandparents! I think a lot of people go on auto-pilot and don’t think before speaking :/

  • Reply angelanoelauthor 6th July 2017 at 4:51 pm

    I so enjoy your humor and light touch with what can be heavy topics. Your writing voice is a joy.

    • Reply Lorna 6th July 2017 at 4:56 pm

      Careful, Angela. I might go all Sally Field on you. (Read: Thank you!) x

  • Reply Becca Barracuda 6th July 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I really like the way you drove home your point with this encounter. Also, I love the title! Ha! I probably would have let the movie man’s comment get under my skin, but I think you’ve turned into something more valuable: a lesson to share with others. And like Angela said above, you do so with a humor and wit. 🙂

  • Reply josypheen 6th July 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Excellent post!

    It is a really strange thing to say! Who goes to the cinema with a colleague anyway! If they wanted to assume, they should have at least gone with “friends.” Silly todgers.

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