This is a little annoying thing that happened to me this past Saturday.
It begins with my girlfriend and I going to Old Navy in Lancaster because she wanted to check it out and I did too. I took a quick look but nothing really interested me but she was finding clothes for her so she kept looking and had to go try them on. I decided to go wait in the car. The problem is due to my poor vision I could not find the care in the parking lot even using my hand held monocular. No problem, I figured rather than wandering around the parking lot and getting in someones way I figured I would go wait by the door. The weather was beautiful so why not enjoy being out side. I continued off and on using my hand held monocular to try to locate the car because I felt like sitting down but just wasn’t seeing it. turns out an SUV was blocking it from my view.
I stood there for maybe 15 minutes then I heard her voice calling me from the parking lot so I was looking for you and next thing I know I sense two people walking towards me and one says “I want to talk to you!” I also sensed a third one walking up behind me and thought I was about to get robbed so I started walking away. When I turned towards the two I hear “We got a call saying your were using
binoculars to check people out” and they wanted to know why. or something similar to that. I was completely stunned that anyone would even question it.
That is when my girlfriend was there and said “He’s blind.” The one man said that’s a good reason.. Still having and attitude he asked who she was and she said my his girlfriend. They seemed ok with that but still having an attitude then wanted my address and phone number.. I asked do you really need my address and that’s when I realized they were police because I saw the police car right behind them.
It would have been nice if they would have identified them selves as a police officer when asking for the information, especially considering I had done absolutely nothing wrong.
I really truly appreciate the person calling the police and embarrassing me in front of a busy store for just trying to catch a glimpse of the world that they surely take for granted but I will never get to see and enjoy. I like to see the little things like the colors of cars that my be going past out on the street or the seagull I heard fly overhead or try to see an airplane that’s passing overhead. At one time I could see all of those things with the
monocular but my cornea transplant did not work out forever and I opted not to try another one to let someone else with better odds have a chance to see. I also can understand the police offficer’s attitude when they first got there but it certainly would have been nice to have them identify themselves as a police officer before asking for my address. I don’t typically give that to random strangers I couldn’t see them well enough to tell they were plus the three of them seemed to be dressed differently. An apology would have been nice and much appreciated as a confirmation I did nothing wrong even though I believe I didn’t.
Thank you for making me feel ashamed to go out in public. I am getting over it but it’s going to take time. Thank you for having the balls to ask me what I was doing yourself considering most people can tell right away that I am visually impaired.
When I am no longer embarrassed about this ordeal I guess I can add a parking lot to the places I am supposed second guess whether I should look around or not (even if that is to help me see cars coming to cros the street where people don’t pay attention to where they are driving.) Also on that list is the movie theater because I get harassed there during the movie that I paid to see about using a camera. I have been questioned by security at the mall too because they do not allow cameras yet thousands of people walk through a day with camera phones and are not bothered I told the Security guard in a nice way about that actually laughing at the irony of it. he was very appoletic and nice the whole time. The list could go on.
All I want to do is lead a normal life as independently as possible. I want to use the tools hat are available to me to be able to find things and see things with out having to ask someone for help.