Since it is the end of the month of Love I thought I would share, I haven’t really been on a first date with someone nor been kissed. Shocking I know. The right person hasn’t fallen into my lap yet. He will when I least expect it but what follows is what I imagine my first date to be. I hope it is magical. Dating is a tricky subject. Everyone imagines their first date to be the most exciting, nerve-wracking event of their lives. This is what I hope for my first date.
Don't be late
After we have talked and set a date for our date, have courage, and be kind. Don’t be late. After all, it's our first date and a great impression is everything. While you are waiting patiently for me to make my entrance make idle chit-chat with my parents. My dad is a jokester, laugh at his corny jokes and make sure you shake his hand firmly. A weak handshake is a sign of a lack of confidence. My mom will assess what you are wearing so make sure you are not sloppy and that your pants are free of holes, clean, and not dragging below your waist. She does not want to see nor does she want me to see your underwear on a first date. It wouldn’t hurt if you had flowers to give to me and make me feel special. When I finally glide across the room like Cinderella, your eyes will be on me hopefully dropping your jaw to the floor. Compliments are welcome. At this time you will hand me the beautiful bouquet of flowers that you thoughtfully brought for me.
Photos of my dad wearing a Halloween hat and glasses cut out. Two target love birds. Mom
Talk to me
After helping me down the stairs, to your car, and opening my door we will be ready for what is hopefully one of many dates. We will talk the entire way to the restaurant with soft music playing in the background. A gentleman always offers his coat to their date if they are cold. Have no fear I will not be cold. Our carefully planned date will include dinner, dessert, and bowling. I would appreciate it if you carefully planned our date to the last detail. From our many conversations prior to our date you hopefully will remember I prefer a date where we can talk and get to know each other better. Feel free to treat me like a princess. Please remember I don't like sushi. Chivalry is not dead. You hold the doors open for me and pull out my chair at the table. You speak respectfully to people, especially our servers, and aren't afraid to speak up if something is not right or as ordered.
You make suggestions on what to order but don't order for me. You tell the waitress my order making me feel special. You thoughtfully give me a heads-up that you are expecting a call. You are just as excited as me and we take hundreds of silly pictures to remember the evening. We both learn so much about each other that we feel as though we have known each other our entire lives. When the table is cleared you suggest dessert. A man after my own heart. Everyone knows the best part of eating out is the dessert. When the last crumbs have been eaten and the check arrives there is no complaint about the costs, you simply grab the check from my hand and refuse to let me pay.
I wear a size 7 shoe
Once dinner is done and we are on our way to the bowling alley we learn more about each other while we are driving. When we arrive at the bowling counter, you ask my shoe size and tell the staff to get me my shoes. Once we are bowling it is all about having fun and being silly. You are a good sport and don't try to show off too much. You even use the bumpers to make things fun. We jump up and down, high-fiving each other when we get a strike and even gutter balls. It is all about fun, talking, and laughing. I get a strike and you give me a quick kiss. The moment is perfect.
Make plans for a second date
We park out front of my house and continue to talk and make plans for what we will do together tomorrow. As our date comes to a close you walk me to the door, kiss me goodnight, and watch me walk into the house. Once safely inside I can't contain my feelings and run upstairs to find my mom. I tell her what a wonderful time I had and what a gentleman you were. I tell her about our plans for a second date. My phone suddenly buzzes and it is you telling me that you were home safe and can't wait until tomorrow for our second date.
In reality, there is more to it. First, you will need to learn how to manage my wheelchair. This is no easy task. You will feel like you are being tested, but you are not. Safety first! Navigating doorways and walkways is tricky. You constantly need to be aware of what is in front of you and how wide the area is. You can master this but it will take some time. Because I can't see, I have trouble navigating new places, I don't have a visual map. Hopefully, you will encourage me to drive while telling me which way to turn and what is in front of me. Additionally, I want to prepare you for my mom. It will seem like an interrogation, but it's not. As a matter of fact, both my parents will want to get to know you better before our first date. Remember I am their miracle, their one and only. If you make a good impression on my parents, please understand there may be more people that want to talk to you before our date. It will seem like an army of people and might be overwhelming but please understand they are protecting me. In reality, our date will begin after you have had a good conversation with my parents and they feel that they can trust you to a certain extent. You must understand that we will not be alone on our date. We will have a chaperone that will drive us where we need to go and bring us home after.
Some of the many people who will want to talk to you
Pass all the tests
So our date begins, you have arrived at my house. Hopefully, by now you are comfortable with my family but you will still need to impress them. Make chit-chat and pass the wardrobe test from mom. Flowers are welcome. My grand entrance though will be me rolling across the floor in my wheelchair so watch your toes. You will need to open the doors for me as I cannot do that for myself even if I tried. Since you will have been trained on how to tie down my wheelchair, you will need to help secure it. Doing, this will ensure that someday you will be allowed to drive my van and we can go someplace alone. Until then you will not be driving but a passenger in the back seat next to me and my wheelchair. We can pretend that whoever is driving is our personal chauffeur.
Keep calm it's accessible
Once we reach the restaurant, I need to be unloaded from the van. Hopefully, we found a handicapped spot if not we will need to find the curb cut so I can get into the restaurant. If we encounter stairs you will need to go inside, as I can't, and ask where the handicapped entrance is. If they don't have one we leave and change our plans. No big deal. If it is around the corner we embark on what will no doubt be one of many adventures through the back entrances of restaurants. Please remain calm when we arrive if we find out they are not handicapped accessible, even though you called ahead. It happens all the time. It is extremely frustrating and I completely understand if you explode after it happens again, and again and again.
Getting the table right, inside the restaurant takes lots of practice. My wheelchair does have seat elevation so we can belly up to a bar or sit at a high-top table. If that is not an option care must be taken to locate where the table legs are of our other options. Booths are out, the leg is usually at the foot of the table. Tables made for four people are usually better with regard to where the legs are located. My chair is wide and bulky at the bottom and the footplate pokes out. That is what usually hits the table legs preventing me front getting close to the edge of the table. I don't want to be a mile away from the edge of the table because the leg is in the way of my chair. Also, I don't want to be a fire hazard and block the aisle. Make sure my wheelchair has the seat lowered so I don't bruise my knees on the table. Until you become comfortable with me and my needs be aware someone will be joining us so that I can eat. Additionally, you too can relax and not think about all the things that come along with dating someone in a wheelchair.
When we leave the restaurant please pay attention to the chairs and things in my path. Help navigate my wheelchair through the dining room and safely to the door. The goal here is not to knock anyone out of their chair. You may have to ask people politely to move so that there is room for the chair not to run them over. Most will see me coming and not give it a second thought but there will be some that are a little grumpy about having to move. If I knock a purse off or run over a coat or anything else, please pick it up, Hold the door open so that I can safely get through it without having my elbows shattered. It would be helpful, to speed up the process, if you helped get me back into the van.
I don't need bowling shoes
When we get to the bowling alley, You don’t have to get my shoes as I do not get out of my wheelchair, and therefore don't need them. You will have to ask where the wheelchair ramp is to access the lanes and get an assist ramp for me to bowl. I need a heavy ball because I push it not throw it. Feel free to use it for your turn too but you don’t have to. You will need to help me navigate to the assist ramp by lining it up and holding it steady while I push with all my might on the heavy ball. Once my turn is over I will need help getting back to the seats where the score is taken. Although someone will be at the lanes with us they will not be breathing down our necks, they will be there if we need them. As the famous song goes, just call out their name and you know... they will be there. I know this sounds like a lot but I assure you it will become second nature and not seem like such a chore. We will have fun, laugh and be silly. After all, we are getting to know each other, and it's our first date.
Like in my imagined date, when the moment is right, kiss me. Help me inside my house where we will be left alone, but not really, to say goodbye. If you are planning on asking me on a second date it is okay to kiss me again and hug me goodbye. If you didn’t have a good time and you are not going to ask me on a second date, don’t lead me on, be a man and tell me. Call me when you get home so that I know you are safe and tell me you had the best time of your life, because I know I will have. Remember your texts aren’t private, someone has to read them to me and type my response. Phone calls on the other hand are more private because someone can answer the phone for me, put it on speaker, and walk away so we can talk. But I think someone is always listening.
I'm worth it
I realize that being my first date and a kiss is a big ask but if you want to date me you have to be okay with it. To be my first date you not only have to be charming, good-looking, and smell nice but you also need to be empathetic, compassionate, and patient. Willing to face the challenges head-on with me, not for me.
Thank you for reading until the end!
This is the view from my wheelchair, where miracles can make a difference. Always Strive for the Impossible. Come back next week to see what is on my mind and hear more about my experiences and The View From My Wheelchair.