Dan Savage is a(n inter)national treasure. Seriously cool, if underlyingly libertarian.
Here’s some advice he gave last week.
I’m a 19-year-old male college student. I lost two and a half fingers on my right hand in an accident when I was 13. I am otherwise good-looking and in shape—but what does that matter? A counselor once told me, “A true lady of class will love you for who you are.” I have never wanted to punch someone so hard. Bullshit. I don’t want to listen to politically correct “feel-good” crap. I’m disfigured, not stupid. Children fear me! And what sort of woman would look at me with desire when whole men can be found everywhere? Don’t tell me to go to counseling. I go to counseling. Do not give me the link to some useless “support” group’s website. What is there to do? How could I possibly approach a woman with confidence?
Don’t Insult My Intelligence
Here’s something you can do: Get the fuck over yourself.
I know that’s harsh, DIMI, but I’m thinking harsh is what you came to me for. If it isn’t—if what you wanted was more ladies-of-class bullshit with a side of warm and syrupy sympathy—then you might wanna skip the rest of my response.
Look, motherfucker, there are people out there with missing limbs, who were badly burned in fires, with disfiguring birth defects. One day volunteering in a burn ward or at Walter Reed might help you put your mangled hand in some sort of perspective. Because it could be worse. And burn victims and people with missing limbs and people with birth defects? Lots and lots of them are out there dating and getting laid and finding partners despite the cruel looks they sometimes get from thoughtless children.
Yes, some women will be turned off by your right hand, and that sucks. But some won’t care. And while there might be one or two women out there who’ll find you more attractive as a result of your accident—I’ve never received a letter from a woman with a fetish for missing fingers, but I’ll doubtless hear from at least one after your letter runs—I can tell you this for sure: No one is attracted to a person who is paralyzed by self-pity. Each and every one of us moves through life covered with scars, DIMI, some more visible than others. Life has a way of carving chunks out of all of us—literal chunks in some cases. All we can do is make the best of what we have or what we have left.
So get the fuck over yourself, get the fuck out of the house, and go meet women. If you’re worried that your right hand is the first thing a woman notices, get a prosthesis made or wear a glove. And while you may be tempted to blame your right hand for your lack of romantic success, DIMI, remember that very few people your age—people with 10 intact fingers—have met with much romantic success.
I’m sorry about your accident, DIMI, I really am. Good luck.