Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When Sexy is Sad ... I'm confused

I don't know how to take this.


The lobby of the mall near me is a popular gathering spot for people with disabilities who are waiting for their WheelTrans ride. It's not uncommon to see one or two of the accessible buses parked outside loading passengers. Joe and I stop in the lobby too, every time we are leaving, to get our packages correctly balanced on my chair and to get ourselves dressed up for the winter cold.

Yesterday there was a fellow, in a snazzy wheelchair, that I'd not seen before. He was maybe twenty. He had a well trimmed black beard, black floppy hair, black horned rimmed glasses, and tight black jeans. His black pea coat was unbuttoned, as was his red plaid shirt underneath, chest hair peaked out from the collar of his shirt. He had ear buds in, white, which were attached to whatever earbuds are attached too, with white cords.

Oh, and he was movie star handsome.

As I was getting my hat and gloves on, and Joe was dealing with our Tesco bag full of beer, I noticed a group of young professional women standing together talking, one of them noticed the dude in the chair and soon they were all staring at him. He was obvious to the stare because something he was listening to had caught his attention - and like everyone who uses those damned listening thingys through ear buds - he became lost to the world. He moved his body slightly to the music. Not chair dancing or anything, just tiny movements to the beat of the music he listened to. Enough to be slightly sexy, not enough to be slightly silly.

One of the women said, her voice breaking, "Oh, that's just so sad!!" and she left the group clearly upset.

OK, help, what about that scene is sad???

Really, maybe I'm too long out of standing culture to get it now ... so help.


n. said...

"waste" of a hottie becos he's "confined to a wheelchair" and so she can't hit on him? sounds dumb but us walkers can be ignorant.

n. said...

Either that or she thought he's DD also, because he has a physical disability. again (for her) maybe it makes him not somebody who deserves to be handsome.

I'm assuming your setup to the story is also what the women were thinking. hard to know unless they said other audible things.

Anonymous said...

On the woman's comment:
Oh that is so ridiculous.

On the guy in the chair:
Oh that is so hot.

On your story:
Oh that IS so sad.

Rachel in Idaho said...

Don't you know, people using wheelchairs can't be sexy. Or quite possibly how sad he is "confined" to one as he is so hot and it's such a "waste" of sexiness since he's "obviously" never going to have a date, or sex, or anything like that.

Yeah, I'd like to have given her a piece of my mind. Not that I would have, I know me to well. But seriously?

Glee said...

That just makes me feel sooooo sad. Sad about the total stupidly about/around us. Us human beings. So judged by those human beings.

wendy said...

This is the disphobic equivalent of "What a waste"...which is often used in a homophobic way instead. A great looking gay man or lesbian is sometimes viewed by heterosexual members of the opposite sex to be "a waste" because they are simply unavailable to the individual uttering the innane comment.

If these woman had had any insight at all they would have just taken the opportunity to enjoy him discretely as oblivious eye candy (no harm in looking as long you do so subtly, in my opinion) or tried to strike up a conversation or been jealous that his wife/girlfriend/parnter had snagged him first.

So, Dave...what is tragic from the perspective of the woman fleeing in distress is (a) he is in a wheelchair, thus rendering him unthinkable as a romantic or sexual partner and (b) as such, he is not available and, worse, is sentenced to a life of loneliness and being unloved.

But what is REALLY tragic is that she can't see Mr. Handsome as, um....Mr. Handsome, rather than, say, Mr. "Ohhowterrible".

Katja said...

Oh, that's so funny! Yesterday I was at the grocery store. I could see that someone was coming towards me using forearm crutches, but this person was short enough that I couldn't see him/her over the various stacks of merchandise in the aisle.

I admit as I approached that I was thinking about your previous post about people with disabilities acknowledging one another. When the other person came into sight, I saw that it was a very attractive young man who initially met my glance somewhat warily, but when he saw I was using a wheelchair, he gave me a brief smile and the crip-nod. I finished my shopping and went on my way thinking how *cute* he was and how inappropriate it was for me (probably twice his age) to even be thinking about that.

CL said...

People get upset when someone is very close to the dominant ideal in every way except for one. People who deviate from social norms in many ways are just lost causes, but when someone is close to normal, people think it's very sad when they "can't" have the life they think everyone should want.

I've often felt that people don't like that I'm gay partly because I'm a young, conventionally pretty, feminine white woman -- so they want me to have a certain life, and when they find out I'm gay, they're upset. Because I seem like someone who could be a perfect wife and mother if I'd just stop being obstinate and date men. While butchy lesbians don't get the same "but whyyyyyy you're so prettyyyyy."

It's offensive and horrible, but sadly common.

Anonymous said...

While you read the situation as him "moving his body slightly to the music not chair dancing but just tiny movements to the beat of the music" and "enough to be slightly sexy, not enough to be slightly silly", perhaps she read it as pathetic attention seeking.

Anonymous said...

Is it sad that anyone (even a beautiful person) has to rely on a wheelchair? I don't know. Almost everyone I have ever worked with has at some point told me they wished they could walk or run (for the first time or again). My intent is not to anger all the readers who will respond with "My _______ would not be the same if they were born without _________." I agree, but I also ask myself each time wouldn't both arms be better? Wouldn't seeing be easier? Without pity or judgement ask yourself: Would a young person's life have more happiness and opportunity being ambulatory or using a wheelchair? Again, I do not know. For each person life has different joys, limitations and unexpected surprises. Monday again reminded me of that.
Donna from Boston

Rachel in Idaho said...

Why does somebody always have to come into these threads to try to convince us our lives are sad and pathetic and worthy of nothing but pity? A young man enjoying music is a "pathetic attention seeker?" SERIOUSLY?

And do you think we're so stupid the thought that it'd be easier "if" has never crossed any mind? Of course it has! Sometimes it sure would be! But what is the point of that? To create self-pity? Because our lives are so sad and piteous?

Please, just, DON'T. Take your pity and toss it out the window.

n. said...

Oh. i do the "crip nod" except people probably wonder why because invisible disability. oh crap, i wonder if i have been misusing a secret sign all this time.

Kristine said...

This phenomenon is known as "Why do bad things happen to pretty people?" Somewhat similar to the way people will cry about the adorable, poor little dears in wheelchairs when they parade disabled kids around the telethon, and they feel really good about donating money. But they aren't so enchanted by our adult selves...

Mary said...

Floppy hair? Red plaid shirt? Has apparently paid a lot of attention to his appearance and yet is using *white earbuds*?

I've spotted it - it's that the guy is frozen in time to five, maybe even ten years ago. Egads.

Don't even start me on the chest hair. Maybe these things are different in Canada.


Anonymous said...

what about that: she knows him and already asked him out - but he´s just not interested in her ... and she´s just suffering because he´s so cute...

Anonymous said...

Rachel in Idaho
You need to relax. The reactions to comments made here (and in life) range from the expected to ones like yours. Pity? You are the only person who mentioned that word. Your post seems anger filled, mine tried to be respectful. My guess is that woman was shallow and did mean it was sad to see a good looking man in a wheelchair. Let's IMAGINE a step further. Would this shallow woman have looked at all if he were not attractive? Go ahead and work up some good self rightous do not know who you are directing it at or the lives we live. Peace