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Am I wearing a T-Shirt that says "Ask me about my fake leg?"

Maybe it is the laid back attitude of summer or the example of having a president with no filter, but I have to make this request: if you see me in a grocery store, I would appreciate it if you DID NOT ask me a question about my prosthetic leg. No, really, hold back. I know you can do it. JUST STOP YOURSELF!

Let me put this in perspective for you. Have you ever noticed when you have a sunburn, its like a people-touching magnet? "Ow, you touched the one part of my whole body with the sunburn, who would have guessed you would? What are the odds?"

Not clear, okay, let me give you another metaphor. It is like going in the dressing room of Victoria Secret and being asked if you want a consultation. You politely say, "Um, sure." They do their thing, tell you your size and fit, and you smile as they leave. Yet, somewhere you must be thinking, "holy shit she just touched my boob!"

Hey, I have been there. I will never forget the TSA trainee, who just happened to be learning how to give a pat down for the first time on me. I felt it was obvious but since her hand wasn't moving, I had to say, "No no no, that's a little too high!"

My point?

People, my prosthetic is personal, okay!

I know, it is today's society, and not completely your fault. Just like a thong is viewable in any pair of jeans, nothing is up to the imagination anymore. However, just because I wear shorts like every other normal person, it means it is okay that my leg becomes a topic of conversation? No! This may seem ungracious, so let me clarify with some real life scenarios.

Last week, in a Walmart in Maine, a woman came up and stopped me saying, "Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you but..." Haven't you heard that people never remember what you said before the word, "but?" That word, "but" is supposed to be a conjunction, but whatever you attach before it is an attempt at an excuse to say something you know you shouldn't say, after it. STOP THEN!

Back to no boundary girl with a blond, Katniss pony tail. "Well, I had to stop you because I have this boyfriend who is like you (pointing to emphasize my fake leg), and has suffered from such sores. We found him an alpaca sock for next to his skin and it has been such a transformation! He told me I should stop anyone of your kind.... Do you have sores?"

Look, woman I don't even know, we are not even on a first name basis and we are talking "sores?" Did you really just say "my kind?" This is not Facebook, I did not friend you so you could discuss extremely personal things in a public forum!

Yes, the woman had the best intentions. Yet I am not, nor do I want to be, defined by the 15,000 piece of titanium, rubber and carbon fiber I wear every day (Oh yes, by the way, fake legs are expensive).

Take my "residual limb:" that is the part of my leg left below the knee after the amputation. After 30+ years of atrophy and misuse (because walking on a prosthetic is NOT normal), it is very, very ugly. I mean, "hit me with an ugly stick" ugly. I keep it out of site based upon my own mercy for the rest of the world.

It is like breast feeding in public, you don't want to look, but you kinda want to look, so you do look and then, you want to take back the look right after you did! You don't want to look at my stump, just trust me. I am giving you the courtesy of never having to see this unappealing, muppet-gone-wrong, because it is personal! PERSONAL, as in yeah, the fake leg is part of the "personal" package.

Now the gentleman who came up to me last week in the grocery store, whose presence I sensed following me because he was in an electric grocery cart, was forgiven because he too, had a prosthetic below the knee. "Where did you get your leg?" It is a common question because not all prosthesis fit well, and this an acceptable topic among amputees. He was polite enough to apologize after his direct question. However, another woman then took it upon herself to follow his lead and came up to inform me, "I just wanted to tell you that I think those things are so cool! I always wanted to be a prosthetist! I couldn't do it because...."

Yeah, and so it goes. Maybe I should start ordering groceries online.....

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