TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: The Truth-Teller
RE: FYI, it’s not a legit dealbreaker
DATE: July 22, 2009
It’s come to my attention that I’m approaching the age where my friends and peers choose sides in the battlefield of love: In one camp are those who are either engaged, married or have found their life partner. In the other camp, are those who will remain perpetual spinsters for life. Each group is satisfied and content with their position. They chose it. No one placed it upon them; it was their decision, they were playing my their own rules, no one forced their hand – or their heart.
And all the while, I can’t help but feel a smidge of jealousy toward these people. They’re free, and I wonder: What must that be like? What must it feel like to be in charge of your own love life, to call the shots?
You see, I feel like I’m in that second group with the rest of the spinters, but I don’t feel like I belong there. I didn’t make the choice on my own – my disability made it for me. I was forced in that group because, frankly, the first group wouldn’t ‘accept’ me: I didn’t wear the right clothes, say the right things or even looked the part.
It’s a weird position to be in because for 27 years, I’ve NEVER let my disability stop me from doing anything I’d ever wanted, but now I feel so out of control, as if my disability is the one controlling me now. In some ways, I feel like I’m still a teenager when it comes to the world of love and dating. When my peers were discovering that first kiss, that first heartbreak, I was spending most of my time in the operating room or hooked up to an I.V. in a hospital bed. So, I suppose, in some respects, I’m behind my peers. That should make me feel better, right? After all, there was nothing I could do back then – I needed these surgeries, literally, to live. So then why now do I feel at a distinct disadvantage? Why do I feel like I’m the only one who HASN’T read the Rules of Romance on the day of the big pop quiz?
I try to be confident. I try to be outgoing. I try to be daring with guys. But every single time, it all falls flat. Splat on the pavement – that’s where my heart usually ends up. There or drowning in a pint of cookie dough ice cream. Men, they just don’t get it. They just can’t see past my disability, no matter what I do. They look at me, and I can immediately feel them looking away. Think about this. If I described myself like this:
I’m a confident, outgoing woman with a quirky sense of humor and a love of polo shirts….
See, that would probably pique some guy’s interest. But let’s add one more word to it, just one word:
I’m a confident, outgoing physically disabled woman with a quirky sense of humor and a love of polo shirts….
Now let’s be realistic here; the second wouldn’t get nearly as many responses, would it?
It just leaves me extremely sad and frustrated. YES, I’m disabled. YES, I’m not like other women (but really, what two women are even exactly alike anyway?). BUT MY DISABILITY DOESN’T PRECLUDE ME FROM BEING A WOMAN. Hear that, boys? It doesn’t make me any less of a woman, doesn’t make me yearn for those passionate kisses any less, doesn’t make me want to feel my heart flutter the first time our hands meet.
Maybe someday, a guy will see me. Not just see me, but see me, the real me. The woman who loves writing. The woman who is a hopeless romantic at heart. The woman who isn’t afraid to tell is like it is – well, that one should be obvious by now, right? The woman who sees people for who they are, not what they are.
So, boys, I say this as delicately as I can: IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO GROW UP!!! I’ve got a little secret for you….disabilities can be incredibly sexy. Trust me. I should know….
[Photos via ffffound]