Thursday, April 21, 2005

Handicapped?

Not since my senior year of high school have I gotten a phone call like this one:

"Hi! Is Erica there?"
"This is she."
"Hi, Erica. Do you recall talking to an Army recruiter recently?"
"No." (In my mind, I'm thinking "why would I talk to an Army recruiter?")
"Have you given any thought to joining the Army?"
"Not unless they've started accepting handicapped people."
No response.
"I was born with clubbed feet," I continued, "and I've had 17 surgeries on my feet."
"Seventeen surgeries, huh? Well, good luck. It sounds pretty painful."
"Yeah, it really is. I mean, I've not gone through childbirth yet, but I'd bet it's more painful that that by far."
"Wow. Well, you take care now!"

I mean, come on. Did someone give him my phone number and not realize that I can't be recruited by any branch of the military? They'd never take me! Even if I begged, which I'm not about to do. I'd never pass a physical! They'd look at my feet one time and say, "What the he**?!" And I'd be outta there!

A few of years ago, when I was walking to one of my classes on campus (this was before I got my BA, by the way), there were some guys on campus from the Army National Guard with a climbing wall, and they were challenging students to climb it and then asking them to sign up. I was wearing braces on my feet and ankles at the time, because it was the last alternative before surgery at that time. When I started my trek past their set-up, a guy asked if I was interested in signing up, and I said no. He asked why, and I pulled up my pantleg to expose my brace. He hung his head down like he was sarcastically sad.

His buddy wasn't as kind. He hadn't noticed the braces and asked me to try the climbing wall, and I told him no, that my ankles were too weak and that I had to wear braces in order to walk. He wouldn't let it die, though! I really wanted to sock him! But he got distracted by some other ladies walking by and left me alone long enough that I could get away.

I'm not sure who gave the Army my name and phone number, but if I find out, I might just launch one of those braces at them that I can't wear anymore! (Not really.) It's kinda fun to ask the military guys if they've started accepting handicapped people, especially if they see me standing or walking right in front of them. They have no idea something's wrong with me until and unless I let them see my feet. And I'll gladly take my shoes and socks off for them, if they want me to! ;)

4 comments:

TKls2myhrt said...

Well, there's one bright side to that call: the army recruiter only calls YOUNG people, Erica. May we all have your great sense of humor. It must be fun to "hear" the recruiter squirm in his/her chair.

Seriously, though, those lists are so impersonal. I clean for an elderly pastor a couple of times a week and he gets phone calls from telemarketers. I fight the urge to just grab the phone from him and scream into the receiver: He's an old man, you idiot!!! I have to admit that he handles the calls patiently and wisely.

Mrs. T. Swede said...

So, I guess I just have to wait until I get older so I don't receive those calls...

I graduated from high school six years ago, and the last time a recruiter called, my dad told them that I was born handicapped, and that seemed to stop the calls. Why would they be calling again? Are they hoping I'm not handicapped anymore?

Nick said...

Don't feel bad. Recruiters will try and recruit anyone with a heartbeat, especially Army recruiters. I have been in for over 4.5 years and am still getting calls from recruiters. I tell them that I am already in but they keep calling.

Mrs. T. Swede said...

I don't feel bad at all. In fact, I posted about that because I got a laugh out of it! What military branch would honestly try to recruit a cripple? Maybe in the future if they get really desperate, they might hire some of us for non-combat or food service or office positions like the rest of the world, but I don't forsee it.