After 21 years living with chronic illness, college student Mia Gomez has finally found an upside to her symptoms: the abundance of opportunities for meet-cutes.
“In the movies, a meet-cute is the serendipitous moment when a couple meets for the first time. Like when the main character drops all her textbooks so the love interest helps pick them up. Or she spills her drink on him. Or she runs into him on the sidewalk while walking an unrealistic amount of dogs,” Gomez said.
Yet disabled people don’t often see themselves taking part in these scenes, as they are generally underrepresented in the media.
“But for an industry with so few disabled characters, these leading ladies seem to experience a lot of the same coordination and balance issues that I do,” Gomez said. “So I’ve started thinking of my symptoms as charming leading-lady quirks, and it’s done wonders for my dating life.”
Most recently, Gomez experienced a sudden loss of balance that resulted in a well-timed catch by her long-standing class crush, computer science major Josh Singh.
“If I’m not completely focused on keeping my balance, I always run the risk of falling, which can be a disaster with my baby-bird ankles,” Gomez said. “As I was walking to class with my classmate Josh, a curb took me by surprise. Thankfully he caught me before I could hit the ground.”
Singh was humble about his role in the incident. “It wasn’t a big deal; I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “I play a lot of Call of Duty, so my hand-eye is pretty epic.”
Afterward, Singh gave Gomez his number, and she broke into a moderately active happy dance to celebrate.
“No jumping or anything too crazy though — I don’t want to test my luck.”