Last night was a holiday party with my graduate cohort and our families; I brought my grandmother visiting from Mississippi. I wore heels because they were hot (candy apple red mary janes- oh yes), and because wearing heels actually hurts my knees less in the short term (something about the angle of muscles or tendons or something… damnit readers, I’m a party-goer, not a doctor!). Despite precautions including, but not limited to, tylenol (because please don’t take advil and then drink- know your drugs!), heels, and then drinkypoos, I hurt during the party. Being on my feet and walking around and just having a good time was no bueno, and I ended up sitting when I could- I sat down and sang karaoke (save a horse, ride a cowboy, and others). All my friends totally understood, and I got no looks or snide questions from anyone I know.
In fact, I don’t really catch flak from my generation. Just like when I had my first job working at Potbelly Sandwich Shop, it’s not the teenagers and younger adults that will give you a hard time, it’s middle-aged people. These are the people who can’t believe you accidentally forgot tomatoes and waiting two minutes will ruin their day and “young lady, I would like to speak to your manager”. You know them. These are also the people who will glare at you when you park in handicapped spots and get out of your car, who will ask you why you’re taking the elevator instead of the stairs. For some reason, some people think they own pain- that someone younger than them cannot possibly have physical issues that merit their attention.
Just be kind to these people. They’re a little closed-minded and locked in their own world, and that’s okay- maybe their little world needs all their attention, and there’s no room for Things That Should Not Happen. When someone once said “wow, you don’t look disabled” as I was getting out of my car, I just smiled at him and said “thank you!” Charm and disarm, people.
As for people your own age, I have never really had a problem from them. Your friends, people who know you, other students or coworkers- don’t feel bad at all for needing to sit down or take the elevator. There is zero reason to feel self-conscious. People always ask questions, but it’s because they’re surprised and curious, and are always super understanding and pretty much leave me to it. So do what you need to do, and don’t hurt yourself because you think it makes you look bad- me sitting down was definitely not the biggest spectacle or most interesting thing at that party… Though my karaoke may have made the top ten.