Chapter Four: Wining and Dining
So you made it past the gate and got yourself a date – good for you! Now, to quote my spirit animal RuPaul: Don’t Fuck It Up!
The Push Girl Rules
No, we’re not talking about that silly book which told women everywhere how to act like a lobotomized, manipulative ninny in order to score a husband. We’re talking about the Push Girls Rules, which will teach you how to score a fun, fabulous dude without putting up with any crap!
1. Time is numbers you see on a clock.
The third date rule? What’s that? When you know, you know. “Mia and I always like to be ladylike and not make the first move,” says Angela. “But I’m kinda like Bruce Lee. I go with the flow.”
“Yeah, if they don’t move fast enough you go in for the kill,” Auti laughs.
“My ex and I said we weren’t going to date or anything (at first) but then by the third date we’re all over each other and the rest is history,” Angela says.
2. Hands off, bud!
Listen, a consensual casual caress is one thing – but if Handsy McGroper comes out after the second beer, that’s a whole ‘nother story.
“When a guy is physical way too fast, way too soon, it’s a huge turnoff for me. Huge,” says Mia. “I think it just makes me not have a chance to connect mentally and then i get bored. Some guys don’t take social cues and go from zero to 60 – meaning zero at a bar and 60 to a hotel room immediately. It’s surprising to me.. you know, there’s some steps in between, like a date maybe. Or let’s try 30 miles per hour. But not 60!”
“When someone touches me and I don’t know them I feel it’s a complete violation of my personal space,” adds Tiph.
And we’re also talking about the chair.
“The wheelchair is not an extension of me, it’s an accessory on me,” says Tiph. But do not grab it. Imagine if you met someone and immediately tied their feet together so they couldn’t walk away? That’s what it’s like if you immobilize a Push Girl’s chair.
But don’t worry – you’ll get some chair time if they really like you. “I pretty much immediately let the person I’m dating get in my wheelchair and see what they can do so I can laugh when they fall,” Tiph says. “Sometimes we do it in public and goof around, you know?”
3. You may think you’re being chivalrous, but you don’t need to pick me up for the first date. Let’s meet somewhere.
“I am not getting in a car with someone I just met,” Tiph says. “No way. I’ve done that before and I put myself in stupid situations so: lesson learned! Check!”
4. Either you date or you don’t
“Friends with benefits is a recipe for disaster,” Mia says. “It just gets messy.”
Girl, truer words have never been said. Period.
Online vs. Offline
Ah, the old conundrum. Since the days of chat rooms women have wondered, “Hmmm… maybe I should try it…” But Push Girls have an added issue: When do you tell your Match.com hunk that you’ll be wheeling up rather than walking up? Do you show a picture of the chair in your profile? How do you screen for weirdos?
The consensus among the girls is mixed. Auti is (clearly off the market) and Angela does a spiritual online guide – relying on sending her “vibe” out into the universe (hey, laugh if you will, but it works for her – Angela is never short of dates and swears that men have “miraculously” just appeared). Meanwhile, Tiph has met people online via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but says of the traditional meet n’ greet sites, “Online dating for me is an epic fail.”
She went online a few years ago and our blonde haired vixen says the experience “sucked so bad that I’ve actually blocked it from my memory.”
After a little prodding, Tiphany expounded: “(one year) I needed a Valentine’s Day date so I let this guy take me on a date and he literally showed up with like 50 gifts. I was like, ‘dude, this is so awkward for a first date.’ He had brought like four cards – one humorous, one sad, and so on and I’m like, ‘Ohmygodohmygodohmygod HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS? I never called him again. Total stage five clinger.”
Mia is also not a fan of online dating. She was only on an online dating site for two days as “I would get comments like ‘You’re so pretty for a girl in a wheelchair… awwww’… I mean it was just clear the wheelchair wasn’t going to come across in a natural way. I got really weird comments from people and it was like, ‘Okay, goodbye online.’”
She did meet one person in a chat room and “we were on different sides of the country and we corresponded… we never talked about our physical appearances and I just didn’t mention the chair. He started to make plans to meet and then I knew I had to tell him. I ended up sending him pictures and he came back with, ‘What? Why didn’t you tell me? This is like a huge deal!’ But after we talked he realized it wasn’t such a huge deal. That’s when I realized that that just because I’m comfortable with the chair doesn’t mean other people are, because they don’t really know about it.”
For more on relationships, dating, and sex read Chapter 5 of ‘The Push Girls’ Guide to Getting Your Groove On’ by Paula Froelich (@PFRO).
Watch the all new season of Push Girls, Mondays 10pm.
Paula Froelich (@PFRO) – journalist, novelist, NATJA award-winning travel writer, queen of random, fun facts, and social anthropologist.