Volume 2, Number 5 - Oct 20 2011

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Sylvia Rivas

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Don’t Stall In The Stall

By Sylvia Rivas

If I were limping onto the set of Sesame Street, with my severe arthritis and other disabling conditions, I could be singing: “One of these toilets is not like the other ones. One of these stalls has handicapped rails. One of these johns is much, much higher. What do you think the reason is?”
It’s certainly not a private dressing room equipped with a slanted makeup mirror. It’s not an extension of your dermatologist’s office, where you’re not supposed to pick your pimples anyway. It’s kind of obscene for you to occupy it while you’re wearing stiletto heels.
It’s the handicapped bathroom stall on every floor of every building on Kendall Campus. Even though there may have been absolutely no one in the bathroom when you walked in, there are plenty of handicapped people on campus who just might walk, limp or roll in after you.
If you happen to be one of those able-bodied people who likes to stop and reflect on your image for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, oblivious to the possibility that someone else desperately needs the specially-equipped potty that you are hogging, then you are putting someone else through a huge, painful inconvenience.
Be a decent human being and get out of the handicapped stall if you don’t need it.  All disabled people really want to do is take care of their basic bodily functions and get on with their lives.
This trumps your costume change, your seven layers of makeup or your pimple-popping, any day of the week. Do it quickly, while I’m being polite, and maybe I won’t snarl at you.

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