You're always so happy!

I was in Sainsburys once and a lady at the till who I recognise waves. Naturally I wave back. I shout hello and we have a mutual nod, as you do. Then she suddenly shouts “you’re always happy aren’t you love, always got a lovely smile on your face!” pleased as punch as if she’s giving a good ole compliment. I looked at my mum who had a look of “oh dear, Gem’s gonna love this…”.

I reply with a straight face “no one is happy all the time”

When I look back I laugh at this because if there was a way to kill a mood, this was it. The lady didn’t reply…

Because I’m not always happy. No one is. I admit I try and look at the opportunities I have, what I’m grateful for and the silver linings wherever I can. But sometimes I’m absolutely bloody fumin at life. And sometimes it’s because of my disability, my aches and pains and sometimes it’s purely because it’s raining and I’ve straightened my hair.

This week another lady approached me and said “I love to hear people like you laughing”. I mean let’s ignore the ‘people like you’ bit because I hope people reading this will understand why this is just wrong on so many levels, whoever you are or identify as.

What I’m trying to say is I find it so strange that people have to label that I’m ‘ok’ and not sad. Do people expect me to never smile, enjoy myself or god forbid laugh? The bit that makes me feel uncomfortable is I feel like some people almost get a kick out of seeing a little disabled lass happy. Oh bless her heart she’s got all that going on and she’s still smiling. When actually one of the main barriers I have is dealing with attitudes like that.

So for all the people out there that love to see people like me having a laugh, av a load of this picture

Gem in wheelchair laughing