Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Letters To My Future Husband: Letter #28

Dear Mr. Melissa Blake:


A reader sent me this email (do we still use email in the year you're reading this? At the rate I'm looking for you, I'm going to take a wild guess and say no) last week:

Do you ever try and hunt out disabled men in your search for love? I notice that many of the men you have crushes on are described in such a way as to make me think that they're not disabled, and in fact men that most women would feel intimidated by, regardless of their beauty. Perhaps searching for a man you have something in common with will yield better results, since he'll be more likely to "get past" your disability. They are in the same boat you're in - they feel like everyone casts them aside due to their disability. It would be a little hypocritical to pass over someone yourself because they're disabled.



She asked if I would openly address the subject, and who am I not to answer honestly? It's a very good and valid question. I figured this would also be a good idea to get this out in the open and just address it now so it doesn't become a devisive issue between us, causing intense friction (of the bad variety) that could lead us to years of lengthy divorce proceedings.

Anyway, I've had several people ask me the very same question - or a very similar one - and I wrote a Dating With Disabilities column on the very topic a few months ago. In the column, I said...brace yourself, because this will probably shock you to the core.

“Of course I would,” I forthrightly say. I don’t elaborate, instead opting for the direct and honest approach, but what I’m really thinking in my head is: “And I’d date someone with blue eyes, someone without freckles, someone who doesn’t like chocolate and, oh yeah, someone whose favorite color is orange.”

You see, that’s how absurdly idiotic that question has always been to me. I sometimes think people are on the edge of their seats, half expecting me to say “No, I would never, ever date anyone with any sort of disability,” and then are ready to pounce on that ever-popular hypocrite bandwagon.


Now, of course I know that people mean well when they ask this question. I would love to be with someone who acutely understands what my life is like, someone who has had some of the same experiences I've had. I know that's what people mean when they ask this question. But honestly? This is what my heart hears:

It would probably just be easier and less heartbreaking for you.

Honestly, what chance do you really think you have? That’s a little pathetic?

You'll never have a chance in hell with an able-bodied person, so just stop trying
already.

Stick with your own kind (my personal favorite)



I hope this clears things up for you. Or, at the very least, points out the blatantly obvious. Until we meet...

xoxo,


[Photos via Abby Sharp]

16 comments:

Ann said...

Well said, Mel.

itsybitsyknitsy said...

Please tell me someone did not say "stick to your own kind". Please. Beautifully written as always.

The Little Jewelry Box said...

I agree. Beautifully written. What a silly question.. I don't understand some people. Disabilities don't define anyone! It is just one of a million intricacies that make up who we all are as people. Mel, I have a really sensitive stomach...as in a literally get sick if I eat anything out of the ordinary...maybe I should have married someone with that same trait.. Darn, why didn't I stick to my own kind LOL!?

Lauren said...

I feel like you've twisted my question here. I did not imply that you should only look for others who share your plight. That would be ridiculous.

I did not ask if you would, rather, I asked if you've actively, specifically tried finding love with another disabled person and gave reason as to why I would assume you might specifically pursue such an individual.

Holly Brennan said...

Love the comment there about not using email anymore...don't give up. Not that you are, but I'm sure that there are a lot of folks that can relate to that!

BTW, I bet that someone did say "stick to your own kind." People are so unbelievably rude when it comes to the relationships of others.

Melissa Blake said...

Hi, Lauren -- I know you didn't imply that. I'm just trying to show that I'd seek out disabled guys just like I would any other guy; if I had something in common with another writer, I might seek him out. If I had something in common with a guy who's had someone close to him die by suicide, I might seek him out.

Faux Trixie said...

I just think it should be clarified that no one has actually said the things that you feel when you're asked that question. In my opinion, I think it's valid the same way people have asked me if I would date other lawyers or people who like the same music of I do... it's something in common right off the bat. Now obviously, I don't think you should only seek out men who are also disabled... I think it was more of a question if you've ever considered throwing disabled men in the mix too, which you clarified that you, of course, would... so question answered!

Jane said...

She's not asking if you would seek out someone with a disability, she's asking if you have.
To that the answer is no.
But you don't seem to have actively sought out any men at all. You shared your "creeped out" by online dating stance, and your aversion to bars, so I don't think you're actively seeking out men in any arena. Are you?

Lauren said...

Though the manner in which it was said is quite harsh, I agree with Jane's comment.
Though I only know you through what you post on your blog (and I've only been reading for a short while) it seems as though you harbor feelings for gentlemen, but are either waiting for them to move first, or are, perhaps, too shy to initiate yourself.

It wasn't until I stopped waiting for them and actually pursued my crushes that I started seeing results (note that I've never been turned down by anyone I've directly asked - men seem to respond well to confidence). Once I'd initiated a fair few times, the confidence that came with asking men translated into general confidence about myself (that I was, in fact, worthy of being asked out by men), and then men kind of just started asking me all of a sudden.

Of course, it's a lot easier said than done to tell your flame you want to go on a date with him.

PinkPanthress said...

Stick with your own kind <- WTF? D:

What kind are you exactly, are you not human, do you not breath to live?
Dear Goodness! :/

Olivia said...

I understand what you mean. And I understand what the OP meant, and I think your answer was just fine.

Damsels said...

hmm i'm not sure that you really answered her Q . iwas kind of curious as well ..it just crosses my mind now and then. but yea i see what you mean . i believe the same thing. you should be open to all possibilities which is what you've always been asking others to do

OceanDreams said...

Very well said and disabilities define no one, I wish you the world in love! :)

Miss M. said...

After reading this post and comments below, the idea that I got is that, it is about subliminal messages. Sometimes people with no bad intention can hurt us with their words...

We women are known for being particularly sensitive to that.

M. xxxooo

Candace said...

Lauren,
So you think she should go out hunting for men? I think thats ridiculous, and will scare them away. I may be old fashion, but I think the men should pursue the woman.
Every time I asked a man out, it always ended badly. Now I am married to a man that completly pursued me. Trust me, there is no better feeling than to be the center of a man's attention.

I would have to agree with the confidence. Men do love women with confidence. Still, that doesn't mean you have to throw yourself at him.

Faux Trixie said...

I don't think anyone was implying that she be on the metaphorical hunt. I think Lauren was indicating merely that she had to put herself out there more. You have to go out and meet people before you can be pursued... you can just hope a man knows you exist and then hunts YOU down. Now THAT would be creepy.

Also, I've dated men that I've pursued... two off the top of my head, actually... and I was in relationships with them for two and three years, respectively. Now, men that have pursued me (with the exception of my current boyfriend) are the ones that turned out to be incredibly shady assholes/douchebags. As such, I don't think there is anything to substantiate the old adage that a woman can't pursue a man.

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