Recently Aaron Scheidies, my visually impaired friend / training partner, wrote about my daily routine, and what he â€œseesâ€ me doing everyday. Today, Iâ€™m retaliating with insight as to what Aaron sees on a daily basis. If youâ€™re short on time I can give away the ending: Aaron may be a little weird, but he is not disabled.
Aaron graduated from PT school at U of Washington last year, and now heâ€™s spending his time studying and training. In a normal week I can expect a call from Aaron on Tuesday morning. It goes like this:
Aaron: â€œHey dude, I was thinking of coming up for dinner tonight.â€
Ben: â€œalright, Iâ€™ll let my mom and dad know.â€
Aaron: â€œNo itâ€™s okay, I already talked to your mom.â€
Now, when I call my parents to let them know Iâ€™ll be home for dinner it rarely elicits a change in their behavior. Aaron, on the other hand, is able to decide when and what weâ€™ll be eating. So when I get home at 5:30 starving thereâ€™s nothing to eat, but when Aaron walks in at 7pm my parents have prepared a steak and salad because â€œthatâ€™s what Aaron requested.â€
Also, Aaron may show up a little late for dinner, but since he canâ€™t get home, heâ€™ll just stay the night… And the next night tooâ€¦ Actually, in my experience, asking to come over for dinner on Tuesday means heâ€™ll be there until the Michigan State football game on Saturday.
How does he get away with that? Simple – my parents like my guest better than me. Itâ€™s jacked up â€“ but Iâ€™m getting off topic. Back to Aaronâ€™s typical day.
When you spend time with Aaron, youâ€™ll notice that he volunteers for roles that are visually dependent. For example:
A few weeks back when the lane lines were messed up I couldnâ€™t see the clock from the end of the pool. No problem, Aaron had a watch, so he was able to keep us on sendoff. [insert long pause to give the reader enough time to see the irony in that I have a blind kid watching the clock for me because I canâ€™t see it.]
The limit to Aaronâ€™s visual abilities seems to end when he discovers an attractive girl to help him out. Actually, I think he spends his day finding women to sympathize with his â€œdisabilityâ€ and help him to accomplish tasks that would be hard for somebody that was actually blind. Some examples of this:
- When his phone rings he turns to the most attractive girl in the room, holds his phone out to her and says, â€œcan you tell me who this is?â€ Usually he ignores it if heâ€™s with a group of people, which further reinforces my theory that he is only doing it for the female attention.
- Aaron spends at least an hour or two in Carrieâ€™s office (sheâ€™s the fitness coordinator and the boss to both of us) asking for help with anything from burning a CD, to reading contracts to doing homework, to asking for advice in how to untangle his scattered life.
- When I have gone to parties with Aaron it goes something like this: We arrive to the party, we get a drink, I see somebody I know, he sees a bunch of people he knows, and ten minutes later he has a semi-circle of attractive women surrounding him, enthralled in his lengthy stories about nothing. I guess we can call it â€œcharmâ€. Iâ€™m not sure how this relates to his disability other than I canâ€™t seem to have that effect on women.
- Most afternoons Aaron heads to the Delta Gamma sorority house and has one of several women help him with studying for the Physical Therapy Boards. I think this is the highlight of Aaronâ€™s day. Never once have I heard him complain about having to study with the DG girls. Instead, he spends his morning planning whether to bring them homemade cookies (which I made) or a muffin from Great Harvest Bread Company. Iâ€™ve asked him why he doesnâ€™t ask out his tutor if he likes her so much, but his response seemed almost offended, â€œSheâ€™s doing community service to help me out! Iâ€™m not going to ask her out! That would make things awkward!â€
Poor guy, surrounded by beautiful women that love him, but completely lacking in guts.
I have a lot more. Enough to fill a novel, so instead Iâ€™m taking some video of how Aaron manages to be better at life than me, and Iâ€™ll continue this as a series of posts explaining why Iâ€™m so freakinâ€™ jealous of Aaron (I mean, besides the washboard abs).