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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating with Disabilities > Bachelorette Audition Letter

Dating with Disabilities
by Melissa Blake

Dear ABC:
My Audition Letter for The Bachelorette

Dear ABC,,

It's come to my attention that a little show called The Bachelorette isn’t actually so small. Apparently, it’s a pretty popular show. Good for you, ABC. I, unfortunately, wouldn’t know. I’ve never seen an episode. Not because I think it’s fluff TV (if you took one glance through my DVR, you’d know my TV diet is rather heavy on the fluff, actually). It’s not because I think the show is demeaning to women (no, I hear there’s a show called The Bachelor that takes care of that on its own). And it’s not even because I’m jealous of all that man meat the lucky love-seeking bachelorette gets to enjoy (who wouldn’t want upwards of 20 guys competing for your time and attention).

No, I’m not jealous of the show for any of those reasons. My reason, I suppose, is more pragmatic, more personal, if you will.


I simply could never identify with any of the bachelorettes (and I hear there have been many) on any of the seasons. I know, I know. It’s quite hard to believe, but I just could never identify with a beautifully stunning blonde or brunette with perfect skin, perfect features and a cute laugh. Now, I don’t mean to be harsh here, and, ABC, I'm sure the women you choose to in turn choose her soulmate is are quite lovely. She's probably a life-size Barbie doll: beautiful, charming, flexible.

But you see, there's just one teeny tiny problem. A glitch in your plan, if you will. She's not me. Sadly. Very, very sadly.

So in an effort to make your job easier, I'm offering myself as the perfect specimen for the next season of the show (I'm assuming they'll be at least a few more seasons, right?)

Do you want to hear my worst-date story? Can you handle my worst-date story? What's worse than a worst date story? Worse than a date in which you two have everything in common, run away to elope in Las Vegas, only to discover a few months later that the gorgeous groom is, in fact, your long-lost half-brother? Is there really anything even remotely worse than that sort of ill fate?

Oh, yes, there is. It’s a little tale called My Life. My worst date? No date stories to tell. None. What about those of us who have NEVER been on a date? Care to set me up and document it?? It could make for a good piece!

I’ve experienced my fair share of life in my 27 years. Born with Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a bone and muscular disorder, I’ve had 27 surgeries, spent birthdays and holidays lying in a hospital bed and spent thousands of hours sitting in stark-white doctors’ offices. My only solace was the fact that many of those young doctors were quite charming and handsome, and maybe I did fall for a few of them, though, having taken quite a few psychology courses in college, I knew deep down that it was all just a case of transference.

But what haven’t I experienced? My first kiss. My first date. My first boyfriend. All the things I’ve listened to my peers shriek – and cry – about is something I have only glimpsed from afar. That’s not to say I’ve never been in love. I have. Quite a few times, actually. But where others let their own flaws and insecurities serve as an obstacle to love, my physical disability has served that purpose for me.

My story and honest voice would go a long way toward squelching some of the stereotypes and misconceptions people have about women with disabilities: That they don’t have the same needs and wants as able-bodied women and that their disability somehow takes away from the fact that they are, first a foremost, women.

So here's what I propose: You fly me to LA or the locale of your choice. Put me in the center of 27 lovely bachelors and watch the sparks fly!

Who wouldn't want to be the first major cable network to document the first date EVER of a 27-year-old? Oh, and I am also available for personal appearances and red-carpet events should the need ever arise.

Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to meeting my crop of man meat very soon!


Dating with Disabilities is published every Tuesday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Melissa Blake. Melissa is a freelance writer and columnist. Her work has been featured in Redbook, Pregnancy magazine and the Chicago Tribune. She can be reached at

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