Okay, so the trip started poorly. I needed to go to both Target and Dollar Tree, which are in the same plaza, four or five stores apart. I parked at Target, figuring I’d need the close spot by the time I’d used up all my spoons shopping. My wheelchair does not fit in the Dollar Tree, so I had to use my forearm crutches.
After an exhausting trip through the store, I get to the check out and swipe my EBT card.
Clerk: Debit or credit?
Me: E. B. T. Food stamps.
Clerk (loudly): We don’t take food stamps, because we don’t sell food.
First, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Have some goddamn respect and don’t shout to everyone in the store that I’m on goddamn food stamps. Our society makes that an assault to our dignity, and I don’t fucking need that shit.
Second, this is literally the first Dollar Tree I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to dozens, it’s my favorite fucking store, or it WAS) that didn’t accept food stamps, so the “wtf is wrong with you” attitude I got from the clerk was total bullshit.
Third, 75% of my purchases were food. Drinks and snacks for my daughter to pack in her lunches until the free lunch application clears. Candies to tape to Valentines for her classmates she’s going to make. Soda, and a candy bar for myself. That shit is food you goddamn jackass, so don’t make it out like I’m fucking ridiculous here.
I was so humiliated after her shouting that so loudly (and getting all the murmurs and stares and criticisms of everyone else in line) that I just said to void everything, and hobbled out as fast as I could (which wasn’t very fast). I got to a bench before I collapsed from the pain, and so I just sat there and cried into my lap until I had the spoons to walk back to Target.
I’m so goddamn tired of poverty and disability and social assistance being so stigmatized in this country that it literally sends a poor cripple to collapse in front of her daughter and sob into her hands. This is not the country we’re promised.