A somewhat rant-y, definitely wallow-y, slightly self-indulgent letter to Asda Groceries delivery, who keep turning up early to deliver our food shop:
“It shouldn’t be a big deal. It isn’t a big deal… to you. Just unload a few crates of tins, vegetables, cartons of juice, some milk… Easy.
Not for me. Not every day; not most days, in fact.
Your drivers, when I point out that they are too early, always say “you could always ask us to come back”. But that is after they have unloaded at least a couple of the crates and stacked them at the doorstep. Have you ever tried to ask a busy, cold, probably tired delivery driver to remove boxes of groceries from your doorstep and then return in just 15 or 20 minutes? Try it. It will be an interesting experiment for you, and an insight into my life and the lives of others like me.
On an average day, I make myriad apologies, explanations, excuses and adaptations.
“Walk a little slower honey”, to my daughter, keen to walk with her friends up ahead.
“Could you just reach up and turn on the extractor fan?”, to my husband, who stretches with ease to a point near the ceiling that is out of my range without me balancing precariously on a stool – something I don’t trust my deceptive feet and weak legs to do.
“I hope to be able to come, but I will see how I am on the day”, to a friend issuing an invitation for a night out, watching a band. Standing.
The grab rail in the shower. The flat shoes as standard. The job that I don’t work at today because I am now only part time, and feeling the pinch financially, socially, intellectually, as a result.
My life is adapted as we go along. Arrangements, and tools, are in place; agreements are set; routines are established, to ensure that my MS has as little impact as possible on our lives. Yet I still find myself apologising for these, sometimes out loud, often just inwardly, ashamed of the inconvenience that I know I constantly bring to those around me.
So I have already made my excuses for that day, by arranging for my shopping to come when my husband will be home, so that he can add “unload the shopping” to the plethora of chores that are already assumed to be his responsibility, because he has given up expecting me to help with them. I don’t want to have to explain myself once again to your driver on the doorstep. I don’t want to disappoint someone else today. I have more than my share of frustration and disappointment from others, and I had already tried to mitigate against this by arranging a time slot with you that prevented this.
All I ask, please, is that you ask your drivers to adhere to this. To save their frustration, to save my embarrassment, when they look me up and down to check whether I am, visibly, disabled as I am claiming, and to save me needing to ask again.