Sunday, November 30, 2008

THINKING OF MY FRIEND'S BIRTHDAY LED ME TO THESE REFLECTIONS

This time last year, I went to California to help my girl celebrate her 16th anniversary of turning 21-years-old. The night of her birthday, we went to the Temple Bar to go see one of my favorite-favorite artist, Frank McComb. While waiting on Frank to hit the stage, I had a couple of drinks with the folks in the party we were in.

While I was sipping on my second drink, this brotha came over and introduced himself to me. He told me he was a friend of the birthday girl. Because he told me that he was a friend of my friend, I decided to smile at him and be friendly.

Confession time... unfortunately, I'm known for being a little socially distant/shy/stand offish/snoody when meeting new people. I guess it's all in how you interpret it.

The truth is that I am sometimes a little quiet, reserved, and distant when I meet folks for the first time. But it is certainly not because I'm rude, stuck up, or an elitist. It's because I am still, after all this time, a little insecure about being blind. I never know how folks will respond to my blindness. Plus, I sometimes am unsure of my first-time communication with folks because I don't have the added benefit of interpreting nonverbal cues. (That's the communication teacher in me.)

Getting back to my story... I guess the brotha perceived my smile to be an invitation to start flirting. He leaned over and whispered in my ear that he thought I was "beautiful". I smiled, and politely thanked him for his kind assessment of B-Angie-B.

He continued to talk to me, making small talk about music, the artist we were there to see, and a couple of other things that was not really all that important. Even though I wished that he would shoo, mainly because Frank had hit the stage at this point, I continued to smile and be polite. Finally, the brotha said he had to go. "Great!", I thought. But before he left, he asked if he could get my contact info. I told him I would pass it to him through our mutual friend. (I needed to ask about him before giving the digits.)

The next day, the brotha text messaged my friend and started asking questions about me, like "Does she have a man?" You know, all the usual inquiries...

He then asked my friend for my contact info. Because my friend said that he was for the most part safe, but not really good looking, I told her to give him my e-mail address. If he had been cute, he would've got the 10 numbers.

Second confession... I can be a little shallow at times when it comes to looks. I might be blind, but I know what once pleased these eyeballs of mine. I know... I'm trying not to have looks on my little list of qualifications...

Back to the story... Well, the guy started telling my friend that he didn't think he would've ever been attracted to a disabled girl in his life. He told her that when he normally thinks of a disabled person, he thinks of someone old, pitiful, and not as attractive as me.

He also told her that when he's encountered people with disabilities in the past, he always thinks about what he can do "for them". But he said when he met me, he imagined what he could do "to me".

Oh yes, grown folks... The brotha was a little tripped out because he was having nasty thoughts about a blind chick. He felt a little embarrassed and creepy to be thinking about a disabled person in that way.

My friend reassured him that I was a normal woman; and despite my disability, I was capable of being a desirable woman.

I don't know about all of that... But what I do know that before I am blind, I am a woman. Desirable... I don't know... But having desires... Yep....


I thought it was a trip that this brotha was so uncomfortable that he was having desires to do something "to me" rather than to do something "for me", which is the typical response of a nondisabled person to a disabled person. But it made me wonder how many men have that "embarrassing and intimidating" thought about me. Perhaps there are some men that shy away from their attraction to me, just because they feel like they really shouldn't be having feelings like that about someone with a disability. **shrug** Maybe that’s why I spend so many weekends at home, typing on this computer of mind. **smile**

What do you think?

**To my girl: Happy Birthday!!! Sorry I wasn't able to get to you this year. But as I told you, I really-really wish I could've helped you celebrate your 17th anniversary of your 21st birthday. Perhaps next year, we can plan for a out of this world birthday experience.

I love you. And be blessed.

Angie**

4 comments:

Nicole Henry said...

Angie, dear, I want to know if you got the e-mail? Coming from the other side of the blind/sighted divide, other people used to tell me with my blind ex that I was taking advantage of him or pity on him. Which for a grown ass six foot two man was far from the truth.....so give the brotha half a chance, if you find that he is stupid too then no way - you can't be not-too-good-looking and stupid....uh-uh!!

Ensayn1 said...

Angie, I have felt no embarrassment about feeling attracted to a disabled woman. You are hot, and too bad that people my miss a beautiful woman because of their insecurities. And believe me from your pix here you are desirable!

Angie-Nuvision said...

Ensayn, thank you so much!

Angie-Nuvision said...

Nicole, I did get your e-mail. but it accidentally deleted. Send me the link to your blog again. And as always, thanks for your comments.
Blessings,
Angie