“My parents worked really hard to take me out to the store regularly, but it was never really casual.” “I never really had the opportunity to go anywhere just for fun, so let’s start!” Most of us take everyday moments for granted. In this week’s brainstorming update to “The Story,” let’s consider how often Trishna (center) and John might go out to buy groceries or shop for new clothes, and how it could be normalized.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Major (brainstorming events after “The Scene”)
That conversation could happen a few weeks after “The Scene.”
After years of chatting online including a few phone calls, John is picked up three hours away after “The Scene” by Trishna’s dad, some siblings, and Trishna. John just has his backpack, containing his laptop and a gift for Trishna, and the clothing he was wearing. After receiving some hand-me-down clothes, and working to earn the trust of her family, Trishna convinces her parents to give them money so they can buy his own clothes.
John is humbled by this gesture of kindness and generosity.
They already developed a deep friendship before ever meeting, and in the few weeks between meeting and their first date, there is some sexual tension. Trishna’s curiosity accidentally takes the form of tempting John. He might be shocked, or overwhelmed with not wanting to screw up, so he might ask her parents for advice as he did over the years online and over the phone. After ironing that out, they go clothing shopping.
That’s one example of them casually going out shopping.
They might typically go to bigger stores or shopping locations for accessibility requirements. Between Trishna’s walking impairment and John’s right arm strength impairment, it might be difficult to get around, though they’re both willing to pick each other up if they get too self-conscious. Neither will let the other sit in a rut, feeling like staying home, just because it might take some effort to go out.
Their world isn’t much more accepting of impairments than our own.
While there are basic accommodations available, there isn’t much consideration from most, and certainly no sense of integration in society. Both John and Trishna stand out from the crowd. They might not get as much attention as someone with facial tattoos, though it’s close. So they end up going to stores where they can either blend in or are small enough where the store owners are accommodating and respectful.
Let me conclude with some thoughts about my overall motivations here:
I am an able-bodied person that’s never had to use a wheelchair. Up until last year, I hadn’t really thought too much about disabilities and impairments. There aren’t too many characters in popular culture with impairments, or if they’re there, they’re either glorified or hidden. Never normalized. I feel like I have this opportunity to write about characters that have impairments yet are not restricted or defined by them.
“The Story” isn’t about two physically impaired characters. It’s about two characters.