I have an amazing friend named The Golden-Haired Girl. She has Usher Syndrome and is an unbelievable person. She is also very kind and The Titian-Haired Goddess and I enjoyed a wonderful Shabbat meal at her house on Saturday.
She informed us that on a recent trip to Ireland with her friend Charlene (I adore the name Charlene. I adore all those names spelled 'Ch' and pronounced 'Sh' so that you have Shar-lotte, Shar-lene. It's so pretty to me) they flew BMI.
"Never fly BMI," The Golden-Haired Girl instructed.
"Why?" questioned I, not comprehending.
"Well, we found out that you are only allowed to have one piece of luggage per person," The Golden-Haired Girl replied.
"And we had all these pots and pans and tons of food in order to keep kosher in Ireland," Charlene added.
"So we had to pay 400 euros for our overbaggage. That is equivalent to 600 dollars."
"Oh my God," I said, my jaw dropping.
"Yeah, she had a fit," Charlene explained, nodding in The Golden-Haired Girl's direction. "I was quite calm. But on the way back we were flying out of England. That meant we were going to have to pay for overbaggage in pounds. It was going to come out to be well over a thousand dollars. So we were sitting in the airport and lamenting this and The Golden-Haired Girl suddenly exclaimed, 'Dammit, I'm going to be deaf and blind.'"
"So I took out my walking stick," The Golden-Haired Girl explained, smiling hugely.
"And she turned off her cochlear implants," Charlene added.
"No, no, I didn't," The Golden-Haired Girl explained. "I just pretended like I didn't have them on."
"So then I went to the lady checking us in and said, 'I'm sorry. My friend is blind and deaf and I'm her facilitator," explained Charlene. "And the Golden-Haired Girl is pointing to her lips and motioning like, 'I need to read your lips.'"
"You did not," The Titian-Haired Goddess said, laughing uproariously.
"Okay, not really her facilitator, but the lady only spoke to me. And so I mimed everything while talking to The Golden-Haired Girl, like passport. I made huge exaggerated gestures and drew a passport in the air. And the lady at the booth only talked to me, not to her."
At this point in time I am dying of laughter. To me, this is like a scene out of a movie.
"And she let us through," The Golden-Haired Girl stated merrily.
"And the thousand dollars?" I questioned.
"Well, I was standing there waiting to be busted," Charlene stated, "but the lady just let us through and even though we had huge signs marked 'overbaggage' on our luggage we didn't have to pay a cent."
"No way," I breathed. "That's hilarious!"
"I knew we weren't going to be busted," The Golden-Haired Girl stated. "After all, I am legally blind and deaf. I could prove it to her if you asked. And you only get walking sticks from the Comission for the Blind so it's not like you can just use one as a prop."
"Wow," I said. "It's such a fantastic story. You took something which is normally viewed as a disability, where people pity you and you turned it into a complete advantage."
"That's my revenge on society," she laughed alongside me. "If people want to pity me, I'll just take advantage of them. I don't want anybody's pity."
I shook my head, amazed by her sheer cheek, pluck and wit. "The part I like best is the 'Dammit, I'm going to be deaf and blind,'" I stated. "This is just the kind of scene you would see in a movie. It's the kind of thing the whole audience would be laughing at, because of how you've turned the suppposed disability on its head. It's totally brilliant. Can I write it up?"
"Sure," she said. "This story is all yours."
So thank you, dear Golden-Haired Girl, for showing me that you can have the last laugh in a world that does not favor you. This makes me happy.