I Don’t Sleep With My Colleagues

Sarge and I still date. Each other. It’s allowed. And also important. When he’s working late, and I’m not working enough, dating is a way for us to remember what the other one looks like without tired eyes (his) or PMS (mine). These days, our dates are weekend trips to the movies after having coffee that Sarge doesn’t have to make for me. And I promise, these dates do differ from our nights in with fish and chips and a box-set (Northern Exposure, The Sopranos, Spaced, Black Books.)

And so yesterday, high on holiday mochas with whip, we rolled into the cinema to see Hugo. We asked for our tickets and there was a pause.

The wheelchair space needed to be ‘released’ and this required approval from the manager. The manager comes over and eyeballs me, possibly waiting to see if I’ll leap up and proclaim that I only use the chair to get the not-really discounted seats.

‘We have to make sure that the space isn’t booked by someone who doesn’t need it, you see.’ He said this to Sarge, not me. ‘And there’s your ticket. So you can sit next to your colleague.’

‘She’s my girlfriend.’

‘Oh. Enjoy the show.’ He went away. Leaving us with the girl at the counter.

‘Are we colleagues?’ I asked Sarge. ‘Because, you should know, I don’t sleep with my colleagues. And if we did work together, we’d never get any work done.’

‘No’, he said.

And with that we went into the movie. Where I transferred into a seat and Sarge parked the chair into its designated space.

‘Can I hold your hand? Or is that not allowed? Since we’re colleagues?’

‘That’s okay, I think it’s in the contract somewhere,’ I said.

I have CP. I hire a PA to do all the things Sarge, as my boyfriend, shouldn’t have to do. Nor would I want him to. I have been on friendly terms with all my PAs; we have a laugh on the way to my office building. Where I work. With my colleagues. Sarge is not one of them.

Saturday was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and this is also Disability History Month in Scotland. I’ve been trying to think of something to say about these important days. On Saturday, I wrote words that had nothing to do with my CP, and then I spoke to my Dad. When Sarge got home from an afternoon spent playing ancient geek games, we had the aforementioned fish and chips and shared our evening with the Sopranos.

And yesterday I went on a date. With my boyfriend. Because I could. I can celebrate Saturday, and any other day, by just being here. Living my life, changing the things I can and hoping for the rest. Because that’s all anyone can do.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to say something important and worthwhile within my ramble, I guess my two c(p)ents is this. Every disabled person out there has family and friends, people who care for them and support them, without being paid to do so. Some have partners and jobs. We even go to the movies.

After Hugo, Sarge and I came home, where we weren’t colleagues. Sometime in the future we might be, if I break my own rule and we ever open that bookshop we talk about.  But that’s another post.

Us. And I don’t take these kinds of photos with my colleagues.

32 thoughts on “I Don’t Sleep With My Colleagues

  1. What a weird thing for them to say. I was a PA for four years, and we weren’t colleagues. She was my friend. Still is.

    Glad you don’t play footsies with your colleagues. Some of them are funny about that.

  2. Don’t you love the way that works?
    What makes me even crazier is the people who’d look at my significant other and make comments along the lines of “You’re such a good person,” implying that he was doing something saintly because he was dating a blind woman–you know, the castoff bargain item on the dating market.
    He was doing something saintly actually, but the reward he will receive in a next life for his ability to put up with me has nothing to do with the fact that I can’t see, believe me.

  3. What a great post Lorna!

    I can’t believe that the manager came around to ‘check’ if you could have the seat you wanted, how ridiculous. When you say ‘released’, do you mean like with a key, or just approved?

    Also, what’s with the colleague comment?! What a random assumption. If you don’t know, why not say friend?

    What was the film like? Haha.

  4. That manager certainly tangled himself up, didn’t he? “Colleague” was just one expression of that cluelessness.

    Sarge is lucky to have you in his life, just as you are lucky to have him.

  5. Um, It’s nice they’ve got special seating available, but to make assumptions…

    Okay, I *think* I’m over my mind being blown. I totally agree with you about dates being important, esp. when you’re comfortable with someone. It’s a reminder to have a good time and try hard for the person you care most about!! Speaking of which, me and my honey should make some date plans soon…

  6. That is just dumb. Sometimes that stuff just drives me nuts. People get so g.d. focused on differences that it makes then act like total douches.

    I’m glad you had a wonderful evening after all the silliness.

    Man, MacGvyer and I could use a date!

  7. Excellent post. I absolutely dig your attitude. I agree with all the other posters about the audacity and ignorance of that man. And I have to say, what a guy for Sarge to tell him off. Good for him. I love LOVE–you make me smile, Lorna.

  8. I know your Dad from high school, in fact we just got back in touch on face book. He’s a good man you got there. -Steve Long

  9. My grandmother had homecare for the last decade or so of her life (due to stroke/mobility issues) and even the people who were there to do homecare were just friends to my grandparents! I think a lot of people go on auto-pilot and don’t think before speaking :/

  10. I so enjoy your humor and light touch with what can be heavy topics. Your writing voice is a joy.

  11. I really like the way you drove home your point with this encounter. Also, I love the title! Ha! I probably would have let the movie man’s comment get under my skin, but I think you’ve turned into something more valuable: a lesson to share with others. And like Angela said above, you do so with a humor and wit. 🙂

  12. Excellent post!

    It is a really strange thing to say! Who goes to the cinema with a colleague anyway! If they wanted to assume, they should have at least gone with “friends.” Silly todgers.

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