Friday, January 12, 2007

Reinventing the Wheel

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Now that y'all have gotten past the picture, you are now free to read the post. :P

Years ago when I was a teenager, (and I do mean years - as in January Old Skool Joint years ago), I thought I was doing something by working 'security' at the 3rd Annual (YEP, I said it) Soul Train Music Awards. I wasn't doing anything but supposedly guarding Patti Labelle and Dionne Warwick's door (read: Gawking over Bobby Brown and Guy). It was there that I laid eyes on one of the finest men I had ever met, who was also on vacation, was in the Navy, and lived out in Los Angeles, who also happened to be doing 'security' at the awards show. He approached me and I gave him my number.

Our relationship didn't quite pan out to be boyfriend and girlfriend/but after our pillow talk died out, (hehe) we remained good friends.

In 1999, he became disabled and is now in a wheelchair (freak accident playing baseball). It was difficult for me to go see him at first, because I knew him to be one way, and then he was now another. It was another good friend of mines who told me "If you think it's hard for you, think what it must be like for HIM". That prompted me to see him.

We were IM'ing the other night, and I had my picture up. I haven't talked to him in awhile due to work, school, and other scheduling conflicts (men), but I had been thinking about him and wanting to see him. So I reached out to him. He told me that he is now driving. We continued on our little conversation, and he's telling me that my picture is taking his breath away, and that I'm looking good ((insert awkward stare here)). So, me being, me, I decide to turn on my web came (nothing sordid, y'all, just so that he could see me), and so once again, we are just continuing on with light banter, me asking about his kids (he's a single father), his parents, etc. Then the conversation shifts. (This is a condensed version below):

J: "So when are we going to go out?"
P: "Huh?"
J: When are we going to go out. Let's go out.
P: "Oh, whenever, I mean it's cool, sure, we can hang out". (WTF else was I supposed to say?).
J: "Tuck your hair behind your ears".
P: "Ok." (I then do it). "Why, Big, J, you can't see my face or sumpin?"
J: "No, I'm trying to find the spot that I'm going to kiss"

((Insert WTF stare on my face, but trying to play it off because I'm on webcam)).

I wrapped up the conversation w/o really confirming a day and time, and that was that. I don't know why I was embarrassed by what happened, but I was.

Now, I'm not one for discriminating. I remember seeing this fine azz mofo at my school that was just ridiculous looking, and he was in a wheelchair. I was looking at him I ain't gone lie. I think I was intrigued as to what happened that landed him there.

But this, this is different. I don't have those kinds of feelings for him anymore. Not one bit. I didn't feel that way BEFORE the accident; I haven't for a very long time. He wants to go out, but I don't know in what manner, and I don't want to have to karate chop this boy. . .And I certainly don't want him to get the impression that I am turning him down because he is in a chair. But my thoughts have been of what his personal life must be like now, what may be going through his mind (his girlfriend left him about a year after all this went down - I don't know WHAT his dating life has been like sense) - I mean, y'all this man is PHOINE; he certainly had his issues of women beating down his door with a stick. . .And because of him, I've been more cognizant of folks that are in chairs, including the guy that I saw at my school, and I started wondering: How many beautiful girls and guys are in chairs and are overlooked/ignored? Are they date-able, desireable, attractive (sexually), and would I want to hook up with one (the male one). I don't have an answer to that, because I've never been in that position. I wonder what would have happened to me had he had this accident while we were together? As for me, and for him, right now, I'm simply not interested.

These people have beauty contests, marathons, dating services, driving, and hold productive jobs and contribute just as we do. It's not uncommon to see them in very good shape, sometimes even better than us!

So, the twenty thousand dollar question is:

Would you date a disabled person? (Whatever the disability may be). . .Would you give them some? Be honest or anonymous. . .

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you do not feel that way for him you can't fake it. And you do not want to avoid him just tell him that you are interested him as just a friend. There is no need to explain why. If he asks if it is about his disability you can tell him the truth. No it is not about his being in a wheelchair.

I will be honest. I do not think I would date a dude in a wheelchair, but I have never been in that situation. It would depend on the dude and I guess how I felt about him. I know that if I feel really strongly about someone nothing can get in the way.

P said...

@ Miz JJ:

Yeah, I've been knowing this guy for a minute. And I don't mind going out with him, because he is a friend, and even after our pillow talk subsided, we were still friends, and we went out and stuff, strictly platonic.

I just don't know what prompted him to ask me. Was he asking on a friendship level, or was he calling himself trying to date me? And that's where I was puzzled, and felt a little awkward.

You know, I am not a sucker for a sob story, but I do often wonder how people feel about disabled people and dating, and more interesting enough, why?

Thank you for (and I mentioned this on your post) for your refreshing honesty.

Miss Ahmad said...

well does someone with mental health issues count as being disabled because if so i dated someone who was bi polar and lemme tell you something...never again!

(i mean he was getting a disability check and everything...)

physical disabilities have never crossed my mind to be honest. i mean there was a girl when i was growing up who got shot and she was beautiful and never had a shortage of men to wheel her around.

she always had her hair and nails done and was always dressed fresh to death..i don't know if it was settlement money or men though:-)

i can't say that i would or wouldn't date someone disabled depending on what the disability was and my own frame of mind at the time.

my brother worked in an old folks home and he said the number of young women pushing older men around was amazing....so i guess it could happen even when you're not looking for it!

sorry i blogged on your blog;-)

P said...

@ Glam. . .

Hell yeah someone with mental health challenges counts as being disabled. . .

PS: Sorry, but LMAO @ your "she had no shortage of men pushing her around, don't know if it was her settlement check or her". That's was funny I know maybe I shouldn't have laughed but I'm being honest!

Jaimie said...

About your situation: I would go out with him (as friends), then if he tried anything, gently tell him that you do not want to date, but you cherish him as a confidant and friend (just like you would tell anyone who is your friend but you're not interested in dating).

About dating a disabled person: If I was attracted to him, most likely yes, but then again, I'm like Unicef or Red Cross: I'm always giving to those less fortunate.
I actually have thought about this issue before, but in context of "if it was me." I know with confidence that James would never leave me if I was disfigured or disabled in anyway, but would anyone else? Probably not. Or, what if I wasn't with James, but looked the same but in a wheelchair? There would probably be few men who would take the time to get to know me. That's sad, really.
In my old condo building there was a BEAUTIFUL (and I mean BEAUTIFUL) woman who could hardly walk with a walker. We had a mutual friend in common, and I asked her what happened ( I couldn't fathom how such a beautiful, young woman would need to walk with a walker and drag her legs), and she told me that when she was 17 she was shot in the back. Dang.

And yes, she lived alone and I never saw her with a man, and she's one of the most beautiful women I've seen.
Good topic, P.

Koolbreeze said...

my friend M did and she really like him. gave him some and everything... i don't think i could go there... but then again i've never been put in that possition so i don't know what i would do if it came to that.

Anonymous said...

Ok, think back to "We're all in the same gang"...dang, I just made myself feel old. Michael Concepcion was his name...and he is in a wheelchair.

I was maybe 18 or 19. I was rollin down Crenshaw on a Sunday night (hehehe) when this black on black Benz pulled up beside me. The driver was cute, but way more rugged than my taste. He wanted to holler at my girlfriend in the passenger seat. The PASSENGER wanted to holler at ME. (insert blank stare) Now, for those of you who know what dude looks like, he ain't MUCH to look at...wheelchair or not.

I didn't know who he was, but he insisted that I get out of the car to come and talk to him - and I refused (because you know I thought I was hot shit and if he wanted ME, he had to come to me). So his boy gets out and get his chair...dayum...he's in a WHEELCHAIR. He introduces himself and I politely smiled and we exchanged numbers.

He called for a while and kept asking me out, but honestly at that age, I was WAY too young to even consider fuckin with a dude in a chair.

If XL ended up in a chair, I would stay. But that's because I'm already HERE and I love him. If I were single and met a man who was disabled (I met a dude with one eye while XL and I were separated), I don't think I could do it. Not because I'm shallow, I just don't think I could. But I suppose it would depend on the situation...

The Mistress said...

I have no problem being honest, I personally wouldn't date a man in a wheelchair. There are just too many physical limitations. I think a disable person needs someone in their life who is patient and low-maintenance! I am not a patient, low-maintenance woman by any stretch of the imagination and I don't feel I could meet the needs of a disabled man. I also don't believe my needs would be met.

I think having compassion for them is a different ballgame than being in a relationship.

P said...

@ Tam:

OMG!! I WAS TRYING TO REMEMBER HIS NAME AND YOU KNEW IT. . .I was going to put it in my post but I couldn't remember his name: I could equally pinch you and hug you for remembering this fool's name from back in the day. . .

Ladies and Gent: Just so you can know who Tammy-Tam is talking about, there is a fifty percent chance, (present company included), that most unattached (and some attached women have came across Michael Concepcion: He uses the same M.O. that Tam is talking about and then boo-yah! You see what he's working with. I'm not saying that to be funny, it's just that reading this brings back so many memories. . .

@ Tam and Mistress: Thank both of you guys for being honest. . .I just think, that like you said, Tam, that it depends on the situation, but I can't (at least maybe because I have not been placed IN the situation), think of one. And to the Mistress, Do you possibly think that your hitachi could hook on to something there? :( Well, okay, okay. . .

Anonymous said...

Mannnnnn, I still feel like everyone's still faking the funk to a certain degree when it comes to this topic because face it, none of us want to go to hell.

To that logic, I think if most of us were already in a relationship with someone, you can't leave if they BECOME disabled for no other reason than facing automatic eternal damnation if you do. I can see God now, "Why are you even in line after that ish you pulled leaving Mia post leg amputation?"

Not to mention, if you're in a relationship, you're already emotionally and mentally attached so it would be hard for you to jet when they BECOME disabled.

Being "honest," I think our uppity ass minds have a way of subconciously keeping us from falling for ALREADY moderate-to-severely physically disabled people because we know the potential stress that can come with it, that will be transferred to the relationship, that most of us will not be able to voluntarily handle (hell, as seen in other comments, it's hard enough these days dealing with able-bodied crazy people).

As for your situation P, you're screwed simply for the fact that you seem to care about what he's thinking.

Although he's physically disabled, his male ego is very much abled, otherwise, he wouldn't be mentally putting targets all over your face for his tongue.

Rather ten years ago or now, he KNOWS nothing was/is wrong with him (if his mind works like mine) for him not to be in a situation with you similar to that in the illustrative photo you so kindly provided...

So his mind will let him KNOW that the ONLY reason you don't want to "push him around" is because you don't like him in that chair, at which point, he'll think you're a discriminatory disabled-loathing bitch and be sure to tell all of his friends, family, and most importantly, your family if he ever runs into any of them, how heartless you are.

BUT, that's just my "honest" opinion. Good post and more importantly, good luck...

P said...

@ Phil:

LMAO @ I still feel like everyone's still faking the funk to a certain degree when it comes to this topic because face it, none of us want to go to hell. I heart you! You know that. . .

BUT

In terms of good luck, ain't nothing going DOWN because I don't have those types of physical feelings for him anymore. ..

BUT

You make some excellent points, as always. . .

Miss Ahmad said...

now i think in all fairness i should say that i had heard that some men in a wheelchair can still get it up...
and umm...who knows it might be a ride to remember cuz i bet they know how to get real creative...

Anonymous said...

wow, very interesting. this is going to sound so freakin dumb..and maybe scary. but i used to imagine my ex in a wheelchair. i think it was mainly because he acted so much like he didnt need me, and i wondered what it would be like if he truly needed me and all these superficial chicks stopped chasing his ass. remember "diary of a mad black woman"??? Yea i was sort of feeling that way. I dont think i would START a relationship with a man who was bound to a chair. I feel like i would be forcing myself into a stressful life. but i would continue with my man if he had an accident. Its like this...as shitty as it sounds. When people adopt children with disabilities (often) but if god for bid they have a child who has disabilities, they tough it out...people dont usually adopt a blind dog, but when their dog goes blind, they dont give him up. Do you see what I mean. Its hard for me to say without feeling shallow.

Anonymous said...

shit that is supposed to read "people dont adopt children with disabilities often"

Anonymous said...

yes...

It took me awhile to anser your qustion b/c i had to really reflect on it. You have to ask yourself what is it youre lookin for in your soulmate?

If you want someone whos nice and funny and has a great personality with decent looks. A disability wont stop you. If eye candy's your thing this it could definatly casue a problem. Either way its expected that you have invited drama into your life thast some may not be emotionally strong enough to deal with. If the person with the disability doesnt use that said disability as a crutch(bad play on words) then i say give him or her a chance. If te person isnt comfortable in there own skin yet though, walk away.

P said...

@ Smoothie:

Thank you for your well oiled comments. And thank you for your very mature answer. . .

I think the interpretation of this, based on some other comments, as well, is that I am thinking of giving him half a chance. However, I don't care for him anymore, not because he is in the chair, but because years before that, my romantic interest dissolved; He just doesn't do it for me anymore, chair or not.

Anonymous said...

If you're not interested than you're not interested. Don't worry about how it looks.

I've been there and I'm telling you it was a mistake! I went out with this guy on a whim and didn't find out he was disabled until I got to the restaurant. I didn't want it to appear that I was brushing him off because of his disability so I moved forward and I was miserable! The only perk was parking spaces and front seats at concerts -- other than that ... NAH! It was kind of sad because he thought that he was still the man he was before he became disabled.