::This is a guest post by Glorianne Rivera-Casanova, which was originally published on her FABULOUS blog, Just Press Mode. I fell in love with it.::
Let me paint you a picture: It’s Friday night and you’re dragging your friends to a bar because you know you’ve been working too hard on your midterms, and a little free time might do you some good. As the bar gets louder and louder you count your friends’ drinks because that’s all you can do at this point. No one can hear you. This is when you notice someone noticing you, and damn he’s cute. Your eyes meet from across the bar, and you throw him your flirty smirk as you turn away. You try to keep your shit together even though you are 98% sure he is going to talk to you (what can I say, you’re a confident woman). He’s totally checking you out. Finally, he’s walking your way, and then as your turn towards him, he just keeps walking. He walks right out the door without even throwing you a glance.
I know you wanted this story to end differently, but this time it didn’t. It’s fine though because I’m used to it. See, based on my experience I don’t know when people flirt, because flirting gets diluted in the puddle of bullshit that people say to me on a daily basis. Flirting hides behind the pity that strangers have towards me. Flirting is shackled by the sheer curiosity that lives within society when it comes to women with physical disabilities. In other words, a guy at a cafe asking too many questions about me is usually just that. Yet another dumb fuck.
I know what you’re thinking: “you should initiate, flirt first, get it girl”, all that shit. Well, that’s easier said than done. Why? Because they probably don’t see me that way (if you have any doubts check out my sexuality post). Thus, all of the cheeky things I say are going to fly right over him. This is why women with physical disabilities tend to be more direct when flirting. Trust me, it works. I’m not advising you to be vulgar just you know, say what’s on your mind. Don’t get me wrong I’m no expert, at all, but I’ve recently figured out that if it’s not going to work out it’s best to know as soon as possible. I have the tendency to be coy sometimes as a defense mechanism for grey areas within a conversation, but that usually comes around and bites me in the ass. Therefore, even though the coy game is very tantalizing and you have convinced yourself that this is the reason for which you play it. I would advise you, Maggie (testing out a name for the 16-year-old girl), that you should accept the fact that you fear rejection because it’s only human. The faster you do this, the faster you’ll realize that in truth there is nothing more traumatizing than fourteen stitches on an open back wound with no form of anesthetic. In other words, “I only see you as a friend” is a paper cut in comparison to what you’ve been through. So, don’t be afraid to draw on that paper, and leave your mark. Make him, or her, remember you as the girl who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind.
Glorianne Rivera-Casanova, or Glow, is self-marketing herself as a woman in a wheelchair with SMA Type 2 who has a life, opinion, and story like any other human being. In her blog she speaks for the minority who are disabled, and whose voices aren’t usually heard. With humor and wit, she speaks out against the norms of the societal view of someone in a wheelchair, and attacks where the truth hurts to open the reader’s eyes to an unfamiliar world or to pull another disabled person out of their isolation.
Beyond her life on wheels, she is a senior in Savannah College of Art and Design majoring in Fashion Marketing with a minor in Costume Design. Her skills include pencil sketches and watercolors of her designs, and editing them into Photoshop for a beautiful project that combines traditional and digital art. When sketching ideas for characters of a story, Glow incorporates their personality, interests, and even some foreshadowing into their outfits, because fashion is more than just fabric over one’s skin; in her eyes, it is an extension of one’s self.