I Will Let You Think I Need Help Getting Undressed
There is a fairly short list of tasks on the “activities of daily living” that I have not been able to adapt to doing with my disability. Over the course of 20 years since I had a severe stroke, I have pretty much figured it all out; showering, driving, cooking, dressing and undressing. There are some major limitations, along with minor ones such as peeling a potato or changing a pillowcase with only one hand which are beyond my abilities.
Most people want to assist me any way they can when they see me struggle with something like zippering up my jacket, and I am usually happy to have the help.
It gets interesting sometimes when a man assumes I will need help getting undressed. Clearly, I have been doing this by myself for 20 years with a disability. But, I know men just want to be helpful so I will play along. I also know that for some men, undressing a woman is a major turn on. Maybe better if she’s kind of disabled because then she really needs the help making them feel more heroic.
Even the guy I have been dating for over a year knows exactly what my abilities are, yet still offers to do things like “help me get out of that sweater”. He is just the sweetest, ya know? I have come across more than one such kind soul in my travels.
Sometimes I will exaggerate my lack of coordination and strength because I know it will make a guy feel manly to help me get my clothes off without too much trouble. “Oh, please can you help undo these buttons? I can’t get all of them one handed”.
It is also fun to make a show of not being able to get in and out of my car gracefully. I can’t stand on just my left leg and pivot like normal people do when they get in the car. I sort of fall backwards until my rear end hits the seat, then drag my legs separately the rest of the way. If I’m wearing a dress, I can exaggerate the need to open my legs which makes for a fun show for whomever is holding the car door for me. I can do this when I get out of the car, also, but it looks much more contrived.
I have often thought that having a disability may make me less desirable, but since I have a sense of humor, perhaps the opposite is true.
Thank you for reading. :)