TO: Men all over the planet
RE: Good things come in unconventional packages.
DATE: February 16, 2010
The basics today, boys:
*I am someone you will definitely regret not lusting after one day…trust me.
*The days of viewing and treating people with disabilities as if they were second-class citizens is over. Placing them at any sort of lower standard is just downright cowardly, disrespectful and ignorant.
So what brought us to this lesson? A little comment left last week in response to Pretend. Something tells me this commenter wasn’t pretending when he (or she…?) wrote…
Have you ever thought of setting your sights lower? Go for someone who can relate to your handicap b/c they are handicap? If you keep lusting after able bodied hot guys, you’ll never “kiss under the summer stars & full moon”
Really? There are people out there who think dating someone with a disability is “setting your sights lower”? Did someone issue a memo that I wasn’t CC’d on or something? Is this 1960? Oh wait. It isn’t.
So let me see if I got this right, since I obviously need to be held by the hand and led toward “my people’s area”…
*There are two lists in this crazy world called dating: One for normal people, and then another one for my people.
*The first list is strictly off-limits to me – no exceptions allowed.
Now, to some degree, I do agree with the premise: Of course I could 100 percent relate to a guy with a disability. But, come on, guys, is that really the only box I’m worthy of checking off when seeing if I’m compatible with a potential Mr. Right?
The same could be said if I were with a writer, a comedian (yes, I am funny!), the child of someone who committed suicide, someone who loves watching romantic comedies and guzzling down can after can of Barq’s root beer, someone who sings at the top of their lungs to classic ’80s power ballads and feels no shame whatsoever.
Boys, I really hope you don’t actually believe this to be true.
Love is not linear, it’s not predictable, it’s not a “check-a-box” and easily find your perfect match. I don’t care what those eharmony commercials say.
Bottom line: Love isn’t some scientific, sterile concept. And no one will ever be able to make me believe that it is. It just saddens me, reslly. In a world where I like to think people’s preconceived notions about people with disabilities have moved beyond the archaic, caveman mentality of “stick with your own kind,” I try desperately to let my guard down, to believe that not all people are like that, that society has somehow moved at leaast an inch forward in the last decades. And then it’s commenter like this that come along and make me wonder, “Have we really even moved forward at all?”
All I ever want in love – and I’m not talking strictly about romantic love here – is to be surrounded by people who I think make the world a better place just by being in it. Whether they are disabled or not doesn’t even factor into the picture for me. It’s sad to see that it still does for some people, isn’t it?
Just like I wouldn’t date someone solely based on the fact that we both have red hair, there are so many more factors that go into knowing a guy is the one you want to kiss under the stars.
Maybe I’m just naive, but I’d like to believe that anyone could have a chance to be with anyone they want. Not because of what you are, what you do, your status…just because of the person you are.
It just goes back to that battle I’ve been waging in my mind for what seems like years. How do you walk that line (no pun intended) of just trying to be yourself when society is constantly telling you that you’re different? How do you reconcile that fact and say, “I’m just like you,” when those little four words can make you feel like the biggest con artist and trader in the world. How can you live in both worlds simultaneously? And why does there even have to be two worlds to begin with?
Summary: I can (and will) go after anyone I want, disability or no disability. And frankly, to say datimg someone with a disability is lowering my sights? That is just plain offensive and disrespectful.
Don’t think I’m going to stop trying to challenge the status quo – and ill-informed, blatantly offensive people like you – every damn chance I get. You know I’ve never taken well to people “putting me in my place,” so why would I want to start now?
Always remember this (it’s another one of my Melissa-isms): The greatest things in this world tend to come in the most unconventional of packages. Try taking a good, long look inside said package before you’re so hasty and quick to dismiss it, or label it return to sender, boys.
Am I making any sense here at all? Lowering my standards? One thing is for sure: I certainly wouldn’t lower my standards so much as to swoon over this commenter, should he, be, well, a he. There are just some things I won’t do.