I’m currently a woman in my early/mid 20’s who is dating a man in his early 30’s who is ridiculously smart, funny, emotionally intelligent, sweet, and handsome. I haven’t felt this way about a person in a long time, honestly, and I could honestly see myself with this person in a long-term relationship. However, I’m afraid my parents, who are your typical old-school, traditional immigrants intent on marrying me off to a wealthy and successful man of my same ethnic background, would never approve due to his physical disability (he uses a wheelchair). Am I thinking too far into the future and needlessly worrying? Should I just keep dating this person and enjoy it for what it is?
Of course, keep dating this person. Enjoy yourself.
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a better reason to tell your ignorant-ass parents to fuck right off with their regressive opinions about your life choices.
If they give you one ounce of shit over the fact that this man you care about is in a wheelchair, I encourage you as the daughter of typical, old-school, traditional immigrants to scare the hell out of them with the following argument:
“There will come a day when at least one of you will be physically disabled due to your old age. How would you like me to treat you then? When it’s your turn to be in a wheelchair, do you want a daughter who supports you, or do you want a daughter who resents you? Your hypocrisy will have consequences, so I recommend you be very careful with your disapproval.”
11 thoughts on “On hypocrisy and disability”
I would get a ton of shit for threatening my parents like that, but I agree with your overall point. I would just soften it a bit.
I say bring on the shit.
Oh, fuck yeah. As the ‘corrupted’ one of children of immigrants, I delight in stirring up shit. My go to threat has always been ‘if i move out, I’m never coming back’. Luckily, NYC came calling and 800 miles and almost 2 yrs later, my threat is holding up well. The family politics and BS has bypassed me so far because I gave a wide berth to the family up here as well.
Trust me on this: it is good to stir up shit and OWN IT. I’m the atheist, non gender conforming, pro choice, pro LGBT person in a family full of traditional Catholics. And the one thing I’ve realised since moving: when I say things now, they take me seriously because I am the child most likely to carry out said threat. And once I finally accepted that we can choose our own family and TOLD them and actively cut off people, I have no qualms with making those threats because I can back it up.
Most parents want their kids to be happy, safe, fulfilled and stable. It’s amazing that so often, when their kids find someone who brings them all of those things, they fail to see the fortune in it because it doesn’t looks like the picture of happy, safe, fulfilled and stable they have constructed in their heads.
This is the case with a lot of parents, immigrants or not. At first, I wondered what your parents’ immigration status had to do with any of it. But it makes sense. When people are placed in unfamiliar or uncomfortable environments, they’re more likely to cling on to their worldviews, no matter how arbitrary or unrealistic their worldviews are. Approaching it with that understanding really helped me communicate with my parents better. My parents were the same way for a while, super stringent regarding their expectations of me. But over time, they’ve become more and more secure in their place in the world, and they’ve loosened their grips. There are still a lot of things we don’t understand about each other, but we’ve kinda just decided to live with that.
I hope that with time, your parents see that a fulfilling relationship is something to build and enjoy, not something to flaunt and perform.
I’d be careful to move slowly with this, and not turn this relationship into something more than it really is, and that is, a cross to bear or a point to prove to your parents. That wouldn’t be fair to the man that you are falling head over heels for, and it wouldn’t be fair to you.
As the daughter of strict immigrant parents, I needed this.
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I know this guy and he’s one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever come across. Read for his love story, his professional accomplishments and his totally dirty sense of humour.
Looks like you’re back from your break! Not sure if it was for work, for that joy you were talking about, both, or neither. But I hope it was a good one and full of happy moments!
Fuck parents. Can’t we just come from test tubes already?
I often wish parenting were a more communal experience, and I think that’s what we’re moving towards in the future in developed countries (rather than test tubes), as lifespan grows longer and ppl become poorer.
Sometimes I wonder if kids in day care come out infinitely better then kids that have been raised by a stay at home parent.
That’s an empirical question. Hmmmmm…..
My dad was wheelchair bound from he age of 14 (polio…) and he had to ask my mom’s strict, immigrant parents for their permission to marry her. I actually read the letter which my Gran kept her whole life – he acknowledged that he knew there would be an increased burden on my mom as he aged, but that he promised to take care of her the best he could. I guess it worked cuz they sure got married and then had the 3 of us.
Also, I once asked my mom – why did you marry a man in a wheelchair? She said I wasn’t thinking like that – I was thinking I was marrying a lawyer….!