This I Believe

Rachel - Wylie, Texas
Entered on April 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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This I Believe

My aunt is thirty-five years old with the mind of a third-grader. She is mentally retarded. She lives with my nana, her mother, in Sachse, Texas. She has been working as a grocery sacker at Albertson’s for twelve years now. She is very overweight and is sometimes mistaken for a man. She doesn’t drive and probably never will. She has absolutely no self-confidence because of people like the man who makes her sandwiches.

We were at Subway trying to fill our growling stomachs. The man making the sandwiches turned to my mother and said, “Hello Mam. Would you like white bread or wheat bread? What would you like on you sandwich? My mother told him how she wanted everything and then he turned and helped the next person in line. He said, “Hello SIR. Would you like white bread or wheat bread? My AUNT then replied, “Wheat bread, please.” The man had rudely mistaken her for a male and she had said nothing to correct him. It made my mother furious! She turned to him and said, “Don’t you mean Mam?” He turned bright red really quickly and started laughing. He said, “I’m sorry, but you’re a woman?” She didn’t say anything back. The tears running down her cheeks showed the embarrassment and sadness my aunt had to have been feeling. My mother turned to him and said, “Of course she is a woman!” And we left…. without our sandwiches. My mother was raging with anger.

I believe that people like him could not last one day in my aunt’s shoes. I believe that she is an incredibly strong woman who does not deserve to be treated any differently from a person without mental retardation. I believe that anyone who makes fun of people with special needs shows absolutely no maturity.