It was just another day for Keith Levinson and Rebecca Carter. For the 1,678th time, they explained to random strangers that they were married and not siblings.
“It has made our marriage more passionate,” said Levinson, who has GNE myopathy and whose personal motto is: When life gives you idiots, make them see through their ableist charade. “We figure actions speak louder than words, so whenever someone asks if we’re brother and sister, we just snog the hell out of each other and then say, ‘Yes, we are,’ and wait for eye rolls and looks of disgust.”
The loving couple has been married for 10 years, not that anyone ever asks or cares because everyone just wants to know why an able-bodied woman would destroy her life with such a disastrous, earth-shattering act as marrying a disabled man.
“Was it the size of his wheelchair?” said a random stranger, nodding towards Levinson, who has perfect hearing and was just a foot away.
“You’re such an angel! I can’t imagine being in your shoes. It looks like the only thing he can contribute is being a burden to you. It can’t be love; why did you really marry him? Because of that badass 300-pound chair?” interrogated another random person reeking of stupidity.
“Sure, sure, Keith has the fastest, biggest mobility tool I’ve seen. But, shockingly, I fell in love with his huge … ginormous … larger than life … ” Carter paused, choking up with emotion and tearing up just thinking about it. “ … Personality.” She explained that Levinson makes her laugh and she wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. The random stranger just shook her head hopelessly and said, “I’ll pray for you that your marriage works out.”
Contrary to popular belief, the inter-abled couple share responsibilities, have a mutual understanding of what one can or can’t do, and show support for each other. Puzzled as to why they would need prayers, Levinson and Carter thought it best to ignore her.
After yet another passerby inquired about their relationship, Carter snapped back quickly. “Look, of course the wheels are a chick magnet. But really, he’s just a tremendous guy.” She took a breath, paused, and decided to speak her full truth. “And, to be honest, it’s not only the chair that’s so massive.”