A few days ago, I was standing at the bus stop. It was cold, my hands were in my pockets, and I was staring at the ground, willing the bus to hurry up. Then this man walks by and exclaims “Wake up!”
I never know how I am going to react in the moment when people say things to me. In this case, I kind of gave him a half smile and didn’t say anything. I wish I could have seen my actual facial expression, but I am sure I looked annoyed. The man realized I was not amused, and walked away.
The bus arrived and I got on and started thinking about his comment. In my mind, I was like maybe I should have said “I was born with a rare genetic condition and my eyes always look this way.” But I just wasn’t in the mood to explain anything.
The other thing that annoyed me was that even if I had “normal” eyes, and someone told me to wake up, I would still not be happy about it. Obviously this man didn’t know I have BPES, and just thought I was tired. I would never say that to anyone, because I perceive it as rude. If someone is tired and their eyes are drooping, why is it your place to tell them to wake up?
I have been dealing with stares and random comments my whole life, but now that I have this blog, I am glad that it gives me a chance to document it. It is interesting to me how I always think I will politely explain my condition when people make comments, but when it actually happens my immediate reaction is to glare at them and say nothing.