Because my moods have given me a short fuse of late (mainly turning my hyper-aggressive, it’s a symptom of high functioning depression) and Guide Dogs’ party line involves a frankly spineless response to dealing with unwanted human, I suggested our little group try passive-aggression instead. This mean we can be snide but not rude and express our annoyance without using the f word (which is a huge no no).
It also might prevent me from throttling half of Norwich.
See people annoy me; they talk to me as the non-blind communicator. Don’t ask me about a dog which is clearly connected to my friend. He’s obviously blind and known for sarcasm but he’s neither deaf not stupid. Oh and they like to barge into our conversations ad nauseam. Because apparently we need the non-blind to invade our privacy or we just cease existing.
What’s worse is that this happens All. The. Time.
Take out the guide dog and you’d never randomly insert yourself into another person’s conversation. EVER. It’s the hight of rudeness. But not when there’s a dog. That nulls and voids everything. Thus is it apparently okay for non-disabled people to do that to blind folk.
No it’s fucking not. Stop it.
Paul and I were in Waterstones having a cheeky coffee (actually cold drinks) while we waited for our respective buses to come in. I did the till run and got our drinks while Paul bonded sub-atomically with one of the rather comfy chairs. He does that. It’s okay. As the differently-blind, it’s sometimes easier for me to stand in queues or grab drinks and it was my turn to pay. Yay loyalty stamps!
Now it is widely accepted that all guide dogs are beautiful. Fun fact: there’s never been an ugly one. Even Labradoodles are pretty in their own kind of special way. So this gets commented on a lot.
Yes, we know, we live with them. No you can’t touch them, they’re working. Yes, even while we’re trying to chat.
Aka: piss the fuck off and let us drink our beverages and continue conversing.
So Paul starts dealing with Husband, an elderly chap with issues of his own walking, who seems determined to pet Gismo. I’m in the middle of paying so I only hear about this later. Husband wants and tries to pet Gismo and Paul puts a stop to it.
They’re sitting next to us, so painfully close it feels more like sharing a table though there’s a clear partition. I return with our drinks and Wife is trying to get to pet Gismo, who just wants love but is otherwise sitting quietly as he’s supposed to. He’s in harness but he’s already had some affection today so he’s after it if opportunities and people present.
Wife is given a firm: No.
Subtext: Not going to happen. Leave us alone. No asking six times in various ways will not change the answer.
She sits next to us and tells her husband off for petting the dog whilst occasionally throwing questions at us, depsite the fact we’re mid-way a conversation of her own. The hypocrisy is real: he can’t but it’s okay for her, apparently. Paul is fielding because has more patience than me. Oh it must be so hard, they’re so pretty. How old is he? Is he good? Paul replies like a star and I try to move back into our conversation bubble. I think we were discussing how to, realistically, ensure his next dog is called Karma. Because GDO jokes are awesome.
Then Cute Scottish Girl turns up. This is totally left field for me and it’s a welcome distraction as I am beginning to get pissed off with Wife and it’s been ages since we ran into each other. CSG loves guide dogs, Gismo leaps on her and it’s fine. I say the magic nickname to Paul and he knows just who I mean. Cough. CSG loves Uni, was one of the people who got me through losing her. That’s essentially been all her guide dog exposure though, except maybe meeting Brams once, I think. Obviously, it’s not a great example but CSG apologises and Paul gives her the okay.
Gismo purrs like a kitten.
Wife sees an opening.
The pair of them stand to go and suddenly she’s there, next to CSG and I’m like ‘CSG is Mars, you’re Pluto, bitch’. Because we have rungs and strangers don’t rank anywhere near people we like. Also you already tried this.
Cue, to Gismo: I mustn’t pet you.
Meaning: cat butt face It’s not fair that she can pet you and I can’t. Why can’t I pet you?
Because Wife is grasping for him, Paul starts petting Gismo to pull him back into the safe zone. Gissy collapses into a fur puddle and dog rug mode. I think he was hoping this would make her lose interest. Husband was obviously getting impatient and I was trying to converse with CSG, or at least bring her into our little chat group.
And then Paul finds that nerve, the one which makes him go silly. I gently chide Paul for tormenting him in public, Gissy’s back leg is going and then, it comes:
Wife: Oh you found his G Spot.
I’m sorry? All the WHAT?
My brain: WTF????!!!!! Did she just?
I start at CSG and then at Paul, who is giving me his ‘I might be blind but WTF?’ stare. I’m sure I misheard but then, oh it continues:
Wife: I suppose it’s easier with bitches.
I stare at CSG, whom I have shamelessly flirted with. I like girls and she’s called CSG for a reason (Scottish is apparently a turn on for me; I blame Outlander). Wife might have said something else but I’m mentally trying not to piss myself laughing and Wife mercifully goes away.
The three of us howl so hard, I’m pretty sure books fell off the shelves downstairs. We all check each other to ensure this wasn’t a shared hallucination. Nope, Wife genuinely didn’t know what she’d meant. As we all have very, ehrm, adult minds and I’m known for my flexible sexuality, we all start assuming this very crazy lady was either genuinely unaware of what she said or really didn’t engage her brain.
Regardless, we don’t do THAT to dogs. Ew.
But, oh, friends, it was hilarious. A true moment I wish I’d had the foresight to record and put on YouTube. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages.
Definitely beats passive-aggression though.
But, seriously, people, leave a guide dog in harness alone. Leave their humans alone too.