love and junk

I’m not sure which would be better – being a girl or a boy with a disability. Not that either option is ideal but I often wonder if one path is easier.

I think it comes natural to pamper and help a girl so having to ask for help is less humbling. Well, unless you are stubborn like me.

For guys as they get older, I’m guessing it takes a bit of swallowing ones pride to do so. People might be hesitant to offer up help, not wanting to offend them. Which in turn leads them to having to swallow their pride and ask.

When it comes to dating though, I think the roles might be reversed.  Girls tend to be nurturing and some may even thrive on being needed. I could see it being easier for a guy with a disability to date.

As a girl, I assume all guys want a hot blonde with big eyes, long wavy hair and long legs. I’m sure this stereotype haunts us all, not just us who were born with a disability.

I was recently asked to write about dating when I was younger.  It made me smile because that was the third time a parent had asked me about that topic – I’m totally get how you might wonder what your child’s future love life will be like.

When I entered High School I was quiet. I hung with my girlfriends. I thought boys were cute but I’d never talk to them much less tell them. 

My school was small. Everyone was categorized. I hung with the nice girls. We were not the cool cheerleaders. We were not crazy smart. But we did not have bug collections and pocket protectors. I’d like to think we were just normal. We had sleepovers, bought clothes, read books, went to movies and talked about the boys we would kill to date.

On top of not being super cool, I was the girl on crutches. In High School everyone wants to fit in so badly. We were all finding ourselves and it would be a big risk to be the weird one who likes the disabled girl.  So I can tell you that there were no love letters slipped in my locker and my early High School days were not full of hot dates.

But there’s hope.

It was my Junior year and my girlfriend and I were driving through the grocery store parking lot. We decided to start talking to a guy who was collecting the carts.  He was cute and I felt brave and invited him to my brother’s party at our house that weekend. He came and brought two friends along. This was the first time a guy had shown interest in me and it was awesome.  We hung out for awhile but I had instantly been attracted to the friend he had brought along the first night to my house.

He was funny, smart, cute and I adored everything about him. He was from a different town and a different clique from my “nice girls” group. It was love.  

I like to think there is someone out there for us all.  Some might have to wait for boys (or us girls) to grow up to see our whole package. In the end, they might even find that dating someone with a disability makes them a better person. You learn compassion and see the world differently.

The guy who came to my house one crisp fall night when I was 16, is now my husband.  Life isn’t perfect and I sure am not. We had our off and on moments as we grew up but in the end it was clear that my world would lose its twinkle without him in it. 

Some may have to wait, but again that can be the case for anyone. I consider myself lucky. I met my husband young and was spared from years of bad dates, broken hearts and rejection. I like to think the older we get the more open we are to different types of people. I personally prefer that – it spices up life. 

So, what’s your love story? 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “love and junk

  1. Hi Rachel…I like your personal insight into the whole dating thing…it can be a rough road even if you are the captain of your high school football team. The tough part is that at that age we are all riding around with training wheels on with no clue as to how to connect.I was a lucky guy because my older brother, five years my senior, was a good looking guy on the wrestling team who had way more girlfriends than he needed. When I was beginning jr high, brother Al took me aside and told me to be prepared because chubby boys on crutches were not usually the first in line for the pretty girls. He said that the shallow topical mindset of pubescent teens is to prefer the best looking, best built, most popular kids in class…if this is not you…go pound sand. Then he proceeded to give me a list of things to do and not to do when in the presence of girls. I don't remember them all but one of the first on his list was not to talk about other girls in the presence of a girl. Another was to be an active, attentive listener who absorbs what is being said and shows it with sympathetic sounds and body language. But don't try and fix her problem or remedy her complaint…just listen. Al said it is important to be observant and complementary especially when a girl had a new hair cut or outfit. He said to make eye contact with her and try to make her smile and if possible, laugh.Anyway, I took this all to heart but was way too self conscious to ever try any of this. It was much easier for me to fall in love with a pretty girl on TV who I could fawn over without any risk of rejection…and if I felt like it I could just turn off the TV! But I knew that I had to figure out a workable strategy or I would suffer in the under-world of unpopularity forever. So when I heard that there was a typing class elective, I signed up. What a great move! I was the only guy in the whole class…"the quick red fox jumped over the lazy dog" indeed! My typing skills sucked. Many of the girls were typing 60 or 70 words a minute….I was useless. So I starting telling my classmates that I could erase 50 words a minute! Way faster that everyone else in class. This starting my classmates thinking that I was funny. It was the beginning of my first interactive dialog with girls. I listened carefully to what they said…I quietly supported their expressed feelings….I didn't try to offer solutions, I just listened. By the end of the semester, I was one of the girls. We talked, joked, laughed and were sad together…we were friends. And we were friends outside of the typing class. I began sitting with them in the cafeteria…hanging with them at the school dances, going to basketball and football games together, seeing them on weekends. And guess what? I suddenly became very popular with all the guys. They had no idea how to talk to girls and they saw me a this kind of wizard who cast a spell on the girls and somehow got them to like me…in spite of being plump and walking funny with crutches.Many years later an old high school friend admitted to me that he especially liked to hang out with me because he had a good chance to hang-out with the girls I was friends with…the best intro he ever had. Worked for me!

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  2. Thank you Rachael! You were blessed to have meet your husband when you were 16! I didnt meet the man of my dreams until I was 38, I had many bad dates, and my heart broken too many times. Having AMC probably made dating harder but I wouldnt change a thing, It made me a stronger person! It helped me realize what love really is- when someone see's me for my good heart, and is still attractive to my legs!!! (I have many scars, no calf muscles….etc, you know the deal : )

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  3. Thanks for writing guys!! I love getting comments back and knowing that someone out there is reading my stuff. :)Thomas – On top of being my crutch inventor hero, you're funny!!! I could just picture you in class. You were sneaky, I like it. I added your ice tip accessories to my Christmas wish list – they will be mine! Donna – Waiting until 38 is hard. That leaves a lot of years for dreaming and wanting to be Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail or Kelly in Saved by the Bell who scored Zack Morris! I'm glad you found an amazing guy. Your wedding is coming up, I can't wait to see pictures on Facebook. I can't remember if you were part of our wedding shoe banter awhile back on FB…but did you find a pair yet? White dress shoes for an AMC gal was ROUGH.

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  4. Good day. It's really fancy to have that sort of point of view about dating, love, and relationships. I like different sorts of opinion about these matters and this is just one of the opinions I respect and do think it's interesting. The story was really charming, I love those kind of stories with happy beginnings. Keep on posting!

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  5. Gordon – Thank you for the message! I appreciate you visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I LOVE getting comments. 🙂

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