Nine times out of ten if a friend says they have someone I should meet, the person often has a disability.
Even though all my friends’ choices for me have been great, I can’t help but wonder why they are pushing me towards other people with disabilities.
So far I have resisted the temptation to dust off my cowboy boots or pretend I’m a wine snob.
However, maybe one day I will find the enthusiasm to take part in her trendy hipster dating activities.
When I called, I was barely able to get one word through before the woman cut me off.
“I don’t think I can help you here, but I have some disability dating websites you can try,” she said. It’s not that I am opposed to them but all the ones I have tried are a) outdated, b) connect you with someone in the middle of another country, c) are filled with college students trying to complete an “interview of a disabled person” term paper or d) filled with people who have fantasies about making love to someone with artificial limbs.
When I tried to ask what was wrong with dating a man with a disability, she said, “Come on, Jacob, you know.” I said I didn’t know.
She continued, “It would look weird me dating someone like you.” Again when I asked why she simply said, “You know the answer.”My friend’s reluctance to address why it is odd for people with disabilities and able-bodied folks to date each other mirrors the tension around the issue that exists in the media.In the nicest way possible, I made it clear to the woman that I wanted some real help in the dating game from a person, not a search engine.“Well I am not sure I can help you,” she said. Maybe she’s implying that she might be forced to set me up with dates with a few different women before I find the right one. Her rationale that there might not be enough clients interested in dating guys like me may be true.“I just started my business, and I am not sure if I have enough clients to serve you.” Enough clients? Perhaps she has an intake form that lists the types of disabilities one would be OK with dating. Perhaps she is psychic and knows my disability and knows her clientele asked not to be set up with someone with my condition.While I often have an easier time talking about same subjects with folks in my community, I also get great support from non-disabled allies.My friends’ suggestions of dating your own kind also extend to whom they try to fix me up with.I would like to think they have my best interest at heart, but I can’t help but wonder if there is an unconscious fear of suggesting me to certain people.