It is no exaggeration to say that I rarely have the thought, "poor thing", in reference to a fellow human being. It is, I think, a descriptor that is (probably) oft and inappropriately applied to moi, by people who don't know me. If anyone who did know me did think of me as a "poor thing", I know that they would never tell me to my face -- not without risking injury.
So, it was with some surprise that I found myself applying this "poor thing" appellation to someone I saw a couple of weeks ago.
Setting the Scene
I was leaving work, still on Ivy West's campus, barrelling out of my building in my power wheelchair, on my way across campus to the train station. Where our building's path intersects with a more general path, I slowed to go around a pedestrian -- and thought, "poor thing".
I have since seen this woman again, which confirmed my thought that she is a fellow Ivy West employee, walking to her car at the end of the day. She and I are of an age -- somewhere between 50 and 60, at a wild ass guess.
She clearly was in discomfort, walking -- my guess is an arthritic hip or knee. Like I said, we're of an age.
But, I thought "poor thing" because she was moving slowly, clearly (to me) in pain. And I, more disabled by pretty much anyone's standards, was happily zipping along, not particularly in pain (I'm never completely discomfort free -- but who is?).
And then I thought,
I wonder if she is thinking the same thing -- i.e., "poor thing", about me.