Mr. Gigglepants

Once upon a time, I cared about first impressions. If I was going on a blind date, I’d be sure to wear something flattering and order only finger food at dinner. That time has come and gone, in favor of meeting strangers at coffee shops with my schoolbooks sprawled across the table and my laptop propped somewhere atop the mess.

Last week, I met a guy in this fashion, thinking more of my upcoming test and less about my lack of companionship. He approached my table and laughed, as if this wasn’t our first time meeting. I half-expected him to roll his eyes and make a teasing joke. We launched into trusty chat about Canadian weather, as I scrambled to pack up my bags, laptop, scarf, and coat, when suddenly, he  began to laugh. It was a good-natured laugh–I interpreted it as nervousness– and continued to pack my entire life into two bags. I slowly (read: probably spastically) shoved my books away, and reached for my laptop, when this guy, still laughing, put the laptop away for me. He also placed my scarf in my bigger bag, and just as I went to thank him, I dumped all my pens onto the floor. His laughter started all over again as he picked up the pens one-by-one.

Eventually, I got my shit together, and he stopped laughing long enough to suggest we go for burgers. Soon enough, we were sitting across from each other, stuffing our faces with those A&W burgers that are named after members of family. He told me about his job, about how he can build computers, and I listened,picking at my Mama burger, when bam. Some asshole dropped a tray in the kitchen and I spazzed-out hard. My date laughed and laughed again, and I tried to explain:

“Sorry, I hate noise,” definitely the most inaccurate and unhelpful explanation of my startle reflex I’ve ever given.

His laughter slowly trailed off, and we began having the world’s longest conversation about dogs (and dogs vs. cats, and how people that love cats are weird–apologies to half the population). I decided to call it quits when the topic switched to how cat poop is so much easier to clean up than dog poop. Again, I started gathering my belongings, and again his giggle started.

I left the date/interview a little confused. I didn’t feel the person I’d just met was malicious in any sense, and thought his laugh to be prompted mostly by discomfort, but was a tad annoyed at myself for  feeling the need to justify my spasms. As I am usually the queen of nervous laughter, I couldn’t very well fault him for his reaction,but it is the first time I’ve experienced someone laughing at me out of discomfort.

And, for any fellow wheelies reading this, it is quite a relief to do the whole “not a single fuck was given,” thing and just disability all over the place for once. Sure, Mr. Nervous GigglePants might have been a bit weird with it, but, better he find out sooner than later, right? It’s all downhill from here.

Online Dating Sadness (that’s not sad at all)

Don’t tell my mom, but I still do online dating.  It started off as harmless, and still is (according to my definition of the word), but has become somewhat of a hobby. On the off chance that you’re curious about how this evolution looks, here’s a chart:

Age Online Dating Use
19 Consisted of quick shame-filled views of strangers who were often missing their shirts.’ Ew, is that a penis? Oh no.
21 “Cool, men everywhere. The possibilities are endless.—Oh look, Grey’s is on.”
23 “My boyfriend is the worst. Coping mechanisms? Yeah, I have Vodka and these guys. I really have to be less judgmental, and messege everyone who writes me back– I am in a wheelchair, after all. ”
25 “Ugh why would half these people even write me? I’m changing my profile to ’interested in women,’ that should fix things.

On second thought, maybe that’s more of a regression than evolution. And it gets worse.

I’m the type of person who really feels (and detests) differences in power, especially in social situations. You might say it differently, maybe that I have issues with authority or am just a big ball of Suck, who feels everything too deeply. However you put it, I get the willies when I feel inferior to others or feel that someone is feeling inferior to me, and it plays a part in how I interact with people.

This can really be a damper when it comes to me gettng mine, because it often means that I can’t say no very well, and this in turn means that I end up making up ridiculous excuses. The other day I told someone my mom is in the hospital. Really, shes on the beach, getting hit on by men in-the-flesh…………..hmphhhh.

But yesterday, someone was texting me, and I just didnt care, but the guy was pushy to get together. After about the third “?” from him in response to my lack of response, I realized something. This dude had been texting me for 3 days straight, and had been hot on meeting up since the first text, which hadn’t happened. It more than likely meant that in his rush to meet my beautiful face, he hadn’t read one  word of my profile.

He doesn’t know I’m in a wheelchair.

Usually, having to drop the bomb of my disability on people hurts my heart a bit. The internet is the one place where people can be ignorant of my impairment and laugh at my jokes without knowing my situational context(and without weird stereotypes). I normally hate disclosing my disability because it is the beginning of vulnerability, and the end of fun. Yesterday though, I needed that bomb, I liked it even, and despite knowing better, I used it.

2013-12-17 14.42.35

You do know I’m in a wheelchair, right”

“Are you serious??””What happened?”

“I was born too early. If it’s an issue for you, say so”

“Nah, I’ll just come over so you dont have to go in the snow”

Yes, that’s why you’re coming over. Hahahah, online men, this is probably the 120th time someone’s come up with that brilliant suggestion. Apparently stranger danger isn’t a thing anymore, and its 100% cool to just let whoever into your apartment. Geeze girls, we’ve been worrying for so long over nothing. We’re so silly.

Anyways, my original point was that USING YOUR DISABILITY AS A DETERRENT IS WRONG. It didn’t even work, which is actually cool…i love living at this point in history. So anyways, you’re beautiful, and JUST SAY NO, GODDAMNIT.

BTW: I found the textual evidence after the fact and as you can see, have uploaded it. I want to add that this guy might’ve just been being considerate, but I’ve been propositioned this way plenty of times, even before snow was a factor. So…I would really only know his intent if I got off my butt and met him.

Night Loveies.

Plenty of Douchebags

...Some people just don't take a hint.

…Some people just don’t take a hint.

Much to my mother’s dismay, I spent most of my summer online dating. With the genuine encouragement of my friend Thom, (see the Siri post) and the Schadenfreude-like prompting of Andrew, I have decided to post my discoveries.

Discovery #1: The Longer I was on it, The Angrier I Got

Blame it on the incessant nagging neon glare of the computer screen, or my lack of flirting skills, but something about internet dating made me batshit nuts. I mean, you can only answer the question, “And what do you do?” so many times before the dark hole in your soul starts to gobble up everything and you just want to write back, “NOTHING.”

I lost all sense of kindness and understanding for questions geared toward my disability. At the beginning of the summer, I remember writing blunt but helpful answers to “What is Cerebral Palsy?” or even “Can you feel your legs/body/vagina?” But this patience soon dwindled and I became a bitter hunchback, typing the words, “Fuck you, google it.” in reply to inquiries. If you met me on the street, you would never even know.

Discovery #2: It’s Bananas Because the Format is Backwards

I noticed two things that speak to this point, starting with the most obvious: the anonymity of a monitor. As any girl who’s tried online dating knows, people will type ANYTHING to grab your attention without immediate negative consequence. I once had a guy send me a graphic of an erect penis, made entirely from punctuation marks.

More to the point, I met for coffee with someone who was painfully quiet. And by painfully, I mean horrible, must-drink-latte-faster-so-i-can-go-home-and-watch-10-epis-of-Boardwalk-to-

forget-this-ever-happened painful. He really truly just sat across from me, drinking some pink frap and smirking the entire time, waiting for me to ask him questions he didn’t want to answer. When we finally parted ways, I got a text longer than any of the half-sentences he had managed to spout in person. It read, and I quote: “:) That was fun. The things I could do with you :P:D.” He speaks, (rather hornily, but still.) behind the safety of text.

Thing Two is the backward social expectations. I’ve had many a guy ask me sexual questions, and then get offended or annoyed when I say, “Woah, at least by me a drink first.” One dude asked me if/how I can have sex, and when I told him to slow down and at least meet me first, he said “But we haven’t even exchanged names.” Somehow, it’s inappropriate for me to ask to meet a guy, but OK to ask me personal sexual questions about myself? Oh POF, you spin my boundaries right-round.

Discovery #3: Everyone Becomes a Novelty.

POF in particular really is a sea of faces, mixed in there with the odd middle-finger or artsy half-faced headshots. This means that we immediately start looking for differences that set people apart. We view those distinctions as desirable in many cases, and difference becomes wanted. I’ll confess to clicking the odd picture while thinking, “Hmm, he’s cute for a ginger…” And there’s the novelty at work. Cute+Ginger=yeah right, really? (Sorry gingers. The woman who just sat down beside me is actually a beautiful ginge and I feel like a complete shitbag).

In this way people clicked their way into oblivion, and I got more and more questions revolving around being an attractive disabled. Same old, “Your really pretty for someone in your situation.” type messages. (I am always REALLY TEMPTED to write, “Thanks, your ignorance makes you repulsive.” But that’s just bitter wheelie-speak, and most of the time, these people actually mean to compliment me. So. C’est la vie.)

The most poignant conversation I ever had with a guy was one who really wanted to meet up, but kept saying strange little red-flag things like “I’ve never dated someone with CP but you’re hot so I guess I’m game.” WELL THANK GOD IM PRETTY THEN, SO I CAN DATE A WONDERFUL PERSON LIKE YOU.

Ohhh I’m almost late for class. Sorry bout the lack of proofreading.