Well hello

Welcome to the blog of me, Paige Tabone; student, writer, nerd, self-critic, telly-addict and self-confessed Cerebral Palsy-er (or wobbly if you will). It is the latter that has brought me to blogging. Ramming my way through the bullshit stereotypes that surround disability, showing the undiluted truth of someone twenty-two years into living on the often bumpy and unpredictable road against what's seen as 'normal'.

I'm aware you might have just got lost trying to navigate yourself to a hilarious cat video; now you are looking bewildered as you see nether a ominous looking jump or an unwittingly naive cat. Yet whether you find yourself here by purpose, mistake or luck I welcome you and offer you to get yourself comfortable, grab a nice cup of tea or a strong, stiff drink and stay for a bit. You see this isn't a story about some poor, unfortunate girl with a disability; it's simply a story about a girl with a set of tits, a set of tires and a mission to set the disability misconceptions record straight...

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Reformation of a Dating Dummy

I have popped my dating cherry and have made my transition into fully-fledged courting extraordinaire. Okay so practically naming my-self as the disabled answer to Cilla Black - the dating knowledge, not being ginger and a scouser - is maybe slightly premature, but as you might be able to tell my date today went rather well. The joyous news is I don't think I fucked it up. Well, we didn't, at least, end the date with a despondent nod of goodbye, so I know my dignity was not completely lost. If I could jump I'd be bounding right now; alas a small uncoordinated clap to myself must suffice. I can't quite believe I am able to write to you so optimistically. I was fully prepared to be sitting here writing you a piece about how, with the hope never to see another member of the male species again, I was developing my elicit plan to run away to a nunnery or lesbian commune to live out the rest of my days in utter shame of my dating incompetence. Instead I feel as though I might have finally mastered some dating prowess and am sitting here with a stupidly unwavering grin on my face.

I am dumbfounded.

My dating history has been more dismally unpleasant than a fart in the wind. Out of the select number of relationships I have had only one of them attempted to take me on a date. I say attempted because he didn't actually show up. It was a harsh lesson to learn sitting outside a pub in the bitter December wind and one that cemented my scepticism on dating for five years; until that is, today

Today for some reason seemed different. I'll be honest with you and say it didn’t start off with bundles of promise. The plan was to go on a late afternoon date, location to be revealed upon arrival, and he would get the afternoon off of work. That way I could make myself look like a resemblance of a human after my gym session; all would be dandy. That inevitably did not happen. He was not able to get the time of work, therefore the only time he had was the hour or so of his lunch break. This meant that our date, which later transpired to be pottery, was looking like it was heading for an early demise. Part of me was relived; the idea of pottery is not one I relish. Credit to him, his intentions were honourable; he was planning to visit his Nan this weekend (yes I has a little 'awww' to myself as well) and hoped to take some lovingly hand-decorated crockery with him. Nevertheless the thought of my ungainly self in a place surrounded by breakable things was a recipe for disaster. Not only is my artistic ability one of a cat on acid but there was a distinct possibility that at least one thing would get broken. Not wanting to let our plans go totally to waste he suggested we go for a quiet coffee. Looking at this impeccable human standing in front of me, who had just so heart-flutteringly said 'I don't care where we go on our date,  just want to go on a date with you' all I could think was, 'but look at my hair'. Due to the newly found time restrictions, I hadn't had time to change after the gym. I was still in my gym sweats with a jumper thrown on, three gallons of deodorant sprayed over me, flushing red-hot crimson with wayward sweat dried hair. Not exactly the look I was going for. Though, at the risk of sounding like a clich├ęd teenage fool, once he given me a gleaming reassuring smile that he didn't care - I mean jeez if he can want to date me looking like that then the man needs some serious kudos - I was going for that coffee whether I was dressed in a ball gown or a bin-bag.

Granted this wasn't the grand gesture of a date I had imagined. There were no scattered rose-petals, fine dining or a wooing violinist but it was down-to-earth, uncomplicated and unforced. Plus a lot more civilized and a damn sight less stressful than pottery! I felt relaxed and calm and not once did I feel self-conscious. At one point I even had a tiny momentary blip and an uninvited spasm cause me to jump and hit my knee under the table. To my surprise he didn't even register it but instead gave me a heartening smile and carry on as if nothing happened. I can't explain to you how overwhelmingly amazing that felt, for that moment on I was beaming. We have banter in the gym about my disability all the time but to see him so completely unfazed by it and see pasted my four wheels to me, which I know most of you quirky individuals will appreciate, was by far the biggest novelty I've had in a long time.

All in all I'd be as bold as to say it was a success. My uncensored weirdness and uncool nature did not seem to frighten him off; though my unparalleled love of cats did stay well and truly buried; I feel to reveal that at such an early stage could have been a step to far. I manage to survive the date without the inelegance of spitting out coffee or dribbling it down myself; I accomplished, even, not to snort when I laughed, which has been known to happen when I nervous giggle. No mayhem, mishaps or major fuck up's occurred at all and he was a picture of gorgeousness and an absolute gent.

Where it goes from here? Your guess is as good as mine. Though I have been promised the chance to achieve a less dishevelled look for our next date. Which, yes, dear fellow surfers of the internet and blogging chums, means there will be a second date! I almost want to say it all sounds a bit ridiculous, to be going on a second date. I've said it before to friends  that it feels like I’ve won a competition or people will see us on the street and think I've cashed in my wish from the 'Make a Wish' foundation. After today however I’ve realized, I really don't care. Right now the shit-eating grin plastered on my face dispels all my fears.

 Watch this space...