The woman opted for online dating sites that cater to those in mid-life, primarily for the safety that comes with finding prospective dates through a service, and the ability to choose those she’d wish to meet in her own way & time. She included a recent picture and did as the site asked, describing her interests and what she’d like in a man, written with her usual dry humor (“doesn’t consider a trip to the supermarket a fun night out…”).
The woman received a number of responses, all anxious suitors who found her “attractive”… “fascinating, great personality”… “a real catch!” A few of those seemed quite promising to her as well, and with them she set a first date.
When she arrived at the agreed upon place for each initial get-together, her prospective suitors looked happy to see her (no doubt relieved that she looked like her picture portrayed her), and acted impressed, maybe with her, maybe with themselves for landing a date with her.
Then they saw her hands.
The woman has Rheumatoid Arthritis – like any other medical condition, not something someone would add to their profile (“Hi, I’m so-and-so, I love long walks on the beach, sunsets, and I have diabetes!”). First glance at her, you’d never know it – no wheelchair, limp or “Hunchback of Notre Dame” deformity – but the condition took the greatest toll on her hands; there is where deformities will be found. With every reach for her drink, she couldn’t miss each gentleman’s regular, furtive glances at the hands, and the change in their demeanor as the hands took precedence over all else; her “attractiveness” “fascinating personality” and being “a real catch” quickly eroding away.
Each date ended with far less enthusiasm on their part than it began; she didn’t hear from them again.
The woman wondered, “these men are bald, or out of shape, or have their own medical conditions (about which they chat unreservedly), or are not particularly physically attractive (she doesn’t mind sacrificing the outer if the inner is there), yet are repelled permanently by a set of bad hands. Are all the single guys my age going to be that shallow, or clueless, or both?”
The attitude of these men didn’t upset the woman…after all she met them only once so had no attachment to them or their opinions, she’s at peace with her own limitations, and she was glad to know up front of their limited capacity for empathy. But, really, are Boomer men commonly that petty and small-minded?
The woman hopes not; hopes that she will, someday, find a good man who will love her despite her bad hands.
The woman is me.