WOTM Featuring BlindBeader
Perfection Doesn’t Make a Day Perfect
Editor’s Note: It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Women on the Move article. Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to a fabulous young woman. Among other things, she’s a wife, animal lover, athlete, bookworm, jewelry designer, musician, and writer. BlindBeader—as she likes to be called—gives us a glimpse into ‘a day in the life’ of one blind woman. Enjoy!
The Great Cell Phone Case Hunt
I’m curled up under blankets, snuggling with my guide dog and one of my cats. The two of them are besties, but it is uncommon for them to simply rest in shared space, so I’m thoroughly enjoying the moment.
It’s been a long day, but a good one, and I’m just resting in the knowledge that Perfect days do exist. It’s not that my day went without a hitch – in fact, I hit a couple of snags – but it was a day where my blindness was neither ignored or emphasized. This is rare, almost impossible.
Usually, even in small ways, I have to educate someone somewhere about providing good descriptions of items I’m looking to buy, or telling a well-meaning stranger not to grab my arm and “direct” me somewhere. Today, I was simply free to be me – blind, for sure, but respected all the same.
It started with the Great Cell Phone Case Hunt. I left my guide dog, Jenny, at home for the morning because she’s worked her butt off the past two weeks without a day off, and I figured she needed it. She disagreed, slowly and mournfully walking over to her bed just like I asked her to. My husband and I visited no fewer than six cell phone stores and kiosks in the mall, and only one had a cell phone case for our model of phones, and even that one case we didn’t like.
A Hockey Lover’s Dream Experience
On a whim, we stopped in at the Oilers store. My husband has an Oilers hockey jersey, and even Jenny has one. I LOVE hockey, so we decided it was my turn! From the moment we entered the store, items, sizes, and prices were described in a perfect amount of detail. (Down to the cut of the jerseys, the style of printing, the color scheme, and the manufacturer). I ended up choosing a really cool textured T-shirt with ribbing on the sleeves like a jersey, so in my mind, I got the best of both worlds!
It is SO rare to receive such amazing service without feeling like an inconvenience or having the “helpful” store associate get grabby. I commended him for his amazing descriptions and directions; I believe it’s just as important to point out what people do right as it is to give voice to what’s been done wrong.
After making it home, Jenny and I took off for the park. it was Jenn’s first chance to go for a good run in over a week, and I made a HUGE tactical error of putting on her “park bell” well in advance of arriving at the park. Picture an excited 3-year-old arriving at Disneyland and you’ve got a pretty good idea of Jenny’s reaction en route to the park. We met some friends there, and three dogs ran around, sniffed everywhere, and basically did their own individual dog park thing while my friend and I walked. Jenny did so much sniffing that we’re pretty sure her nose has either exponentially expanded or contracted. Since her nose is firmly planted in the blankets… I’ll let you all know later which it was!
A Crafter’s Delight
After the park, my friend dropped me off at one of my favourite bead shops. I’ve got a craft show coming up in a few weeks, and my fingers need to get busy beading bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, along with adding stocking stuffers to my inventory (key chains, dog collar charms, bookmarks). I’ve got one direct order to fill now and I need a few supplies.
The store was HOPPING! Sometimes I get a wonderful opportunity to browse for an hour and chat with the people working there. Today, no chatting! The crowded store was full of merchandise because it always is, but there were more people browsing, paying for purchases at the counter, or asking questions than I think I’ve ever noticed there at one time.
I was free to simply let my fingers do the walking, feeling the different sizes and textures of the beads hanging from strings on the wall. I found some gorgeous beads – at least gorgeous in texture – but the colour was more orange than is fashionable now, and I already have enough of these stones. My other purchases were more challenging to find, but the staff can usually find things quickly, even obscure products like what I was looking for. My purchase made using the debit machine with the Tap feature, Jenny and I strolled to the door and out onto the street.
The walk home was…cold. It was cloudy and threatening to rain, but I was so happy with life that I almost didn’t notice it. And then, almost as if to show me it felt the same way, I could feel and see (with my very limited vision) the tiniest hint of sunlight poking through the clouds. It felt like it was just for me, on that street, at that time, telling me that it’s the little things that often make or break a day. I tend to agree. Today was full of “little things” that were actually essential to my well-being (a snuggle under blankets, a great shopping experience). Maybe they weren’t so little after all.
BlindBeader Featured Image Description:
BlindBeader and her guide dog, Jenny at a pier in New York on a bright sunny day.