TO: Men all over the planet
RE: Look again, please
DATE: May 19, 2010
It’s come to my attention, boys, that a trend seems to be developing. Now, I’m not sure if it has to do with my disability or not. I’d like to think it doesn’t, but I’ll say that sometimes I do have my doubts. I’m a bit hurt, really. I’m getting the feeling that my disability lends itself quite easily to an immediate stalker label. The scenario usually goes like this:
*I can talk to a guy only up to a point.
*I call this the Point of the Glassy Eyes
*By this stage, it’s no use, sadly. The guy has already made up his mind, even though we all know how utterly harmless I am.
*Said guy gets that glassy look in his eyes, as if I’ve somehow crossed the invisible line and entered Stalking Territory. The subject matter we discuss isn’t even relevant. I could say something as harmless as, “Oh, that sun is hot today, isn’t it?”
That last quote might be an extreme case, but it proves the point. I don’t have to go to extremes to get you boys to go extremes and swiftly make up your mind about me all too quickly.
Really? Does it really have to be like that? The last time I checked, I was a woman (stop giggling, boys….), or have you forgotten? Don’t make a beeline for the stalker label just because my disability makes you think you want absolutely nothing to do with me.
And lest you think, it’s just me, I’ve sadly seen this scenario played out with other people with disabilities. In one case, a man in a wheelchair was simply talking to a woman, and I hear someone close by say, “It’s funny to see him trying to hit on her.”
Ummm, no. Excuse me? So why exactly do people think that simply talking to you means we (read: people with disabilities… have already plotted some elaborate pick-up scheme in our heads. Oh, please. Don’t think that highly of yourself.
Gosh darnit, it just bugs the hell out of me. Every. Single. Time. When I see it, I’m thisclose to going over and giving them a piece of my mind. For now, I just glare. But I can only glare for so long, you know?
Did you ever think that I could genuinely want to get to know you – person to person? Not person with a disability to a regular person, whatever regular means, anyway.
But back to stalking and its relation to my disability. Honestly, I try to brush it aside, not pretending it doesn’t exist, but you know what? Sometimes I just can’t.
We’re not a joke meant for your sad, pathetic amusement. So either go and make fun of someone else to make yourself feel better, or check your attitude at the door.
So I’m issuing a challenge to you. The next time I talk to you, just talk back. I’m me. You’re you. Let’s just see where things go, you know? I know you’ll see my disability; I’m not that naive. Yes, I know it exists. But it doesn’t have to overshadow something that could potentially be awesome. All I ask is that you open your eyes to me and close your eyes to my disability. I promise you, boys, I’ll be so quick to charm you that you’ll forget about my disability before you know it.
Oh, and please don’t give me the old “Our-personalities-just-weren’t-compatible” excuse. Because that’s just the ultimate cop-out. Don’t even try that slow-fade thing, either. That’s just lame and pathetic boys. One word: Transparent. As I said before, I may only know dating and all that jazz in there, but I know the tricks and theories of the trade. It’s like my sophomore year of high school. I took the classroom portion of driver’s ed, so I read the textbook and understood the theory and rules, but I lacked “on-the-road” experience. Got it, boys? xoxo
P.S. And just like that beautiful butterfly in the photo above, remember this: That butterfly was at one time a little slimy caterpillar.
[Photos via Audrey Hepburn Complex]