Make Room For The Stuttering

Which Would You Prefer?

Posted on: January 20, 2012

A friend and I were at a tavern over the weekend. We were meeting in person for the first time, so I chose a place that I have been to before and is close to where he is living temporarily.

We had originally planned to meet at a coffee shop, but we changed up because it was so COLD the day we met and it was easier for my friend to just cross the street.

A tavern meant we could grab a beer together instead of just coffee.

When our waitress came over to take our orders, I stuttered on what I wanted, and she filled in the word for me. No biggie.

My friend blocked and stuttered, and she proceeded to finish the word for him as well. When they were done speaking, I piped up, “Hey,just want you to know, we both stutter, so you may hear a bit of that while we are here today.”

She responded back quickly, “Oh, so what would you prefer? Should I finish the words for you or would you rather I just patiently listen?”

I said I prefer that she be patient and allow me to say my own words, and then I said, “but I can’t speak for my friend. (Looking at him, I asked him) what do you prefer?”

He said, “the same thing, please patiently listen for me to finish my own words.”

I was so impressed with this little 45 second exchange. This waitress showed a respect, tolerance and understanding for difference that we often don’t see.

By bringing it out in the open the way I did (I hope I didn’t embarrass my friend!) we clearly advertised and educated.

And to me anyway, we got the by-product of a greater sense of permission to stutter away. Both of us seemed to stutter more freely for the remainder of our visit there. (Or maybe it was the alcohol. I’m not telling!)

What do you think?

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4 Responses to "Which Would You Prefer?"

How perfect. Maybe the world is becoming a better place? Should I start hoping again? Hmmm. May take a while.

Love that! Though…I probably would have cringed when you first yelled out to her. 😉 But you don’t get the opportunity for learning unless you throw it out there, I guess! 🙂

Wow! Lisa? Commenting on my blog? Cool! I know . . . . . you would have killed me or called me a bully . . . . not necessarily in that order. I didn’t yell it out, I just kind of did a “hey, by the way” and just told her . . . it was a really neat encounter.
And yes, no opportunity for learning how we or others feel unless we throw it out there.
Next time we get together, I’ll let you do it! 🙂

Yeah, I was pretty surprised listening to her say that myself. Probably she knows somebody who stutters? You told me that you’ve been to WT’s before. Probably she picked up something from you in your previous visits without you knowing haha

Whatever it is, our first meet up was really neat! And so was the Chat & Chew meet up. Next time all of us should meet up at my apartment and then we can have a house party!! 😉

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.