Sung by Al Jolson almost 90 years ago, the song “If You Knew Susie” debuted in a mostly forgotten Broadway musical.
It wasn’t Susie’s mind that Jolson, and subsequent singers of the song (including Frank Sinatra) extolled, it was her body. Not that this flirty, fun song ought to be about intellect.
So what about it. Are you a “Susie”? I’d hazard a guess that potential Susies with an invisible disability or chronic illness, unless they’re teases or prostitutes, think twice about flirting. Flirting is only a first step; it’s the steps that come after that can be fearsome.. Unless your invisible disability or illness is known upfront there’s gonna come a time you’re gonna have to give it up. Take off your clothes, in a manner of speaking. Make the invisible visible. Kind of like the same fear women have about their bodies once all that spandex comes off (pulling it up and putting it in place is what makes my bathroom breaks sooo long).
Back in high school, there was this guy, I’ll call him Pete, that was to-die-for good looking. Oh, oh, oh what a guy! At a high school reunion twenty years later (when my disability was still invisible) there was Pete. Two decades hadn’t added a pound or diminished his handsomeness. Then Pete made a big mistake: he started to talk. And one of the things this guy said (for no apparent reason) was he’d never date anyone with (gasp!) multiple sclerosis.
Pete won a dubious trifecta: his looks sat on the surface, keeping company with stupidity and short-sightedness. Of course Pete was always that way but high school hormones can look past that. A trophy, at least until Prom season was over.
Flirty and fun is about more than good looks or a hubba-hubba body. I know that and you know that even if the Petes of our world don’t. And even though I would’ve had to eventually disclose myself, truth is, I wouldn’t want to end up with that Peter, trophy or not.