Amy Schumer’s dating advice? Take the wheelchair test

One thing I really like about NPR’s Fresh Air show is that whenever Terry Gross interviews a celebrity, she manages to come up with a question the star has never been asked before. Last week Fresh Air re-broadcast a show Terry Gross did with Comedy Central’s Amy Schumer, and in the interview, Terry Gross asked the comedienne about her father.

Amy Schumer was 12 years old when her father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In the interview, she described MS as a quiet disease that was hard for her to understand at the time. “He would be fine but then all of a sudden he would be moving really slowly, and he would be in a lot of pain, but could still do the day-to-day stuff,” she said. “And so I really didn’t understand it very much.” Her father has been using a wheelchair for the past seven years and requires care around the clock now.

From the transcript:
GROSS: How did that change your life, having a father who had a degenerative chronic illness?
SCHUMER: I think it has…in my relationships. When I’m dating someone I think, would I want to push their wheelchair? Would this guy push my wheelchair? My mind goes there if I’ve been dating somebody for a year or two, and I don’t think that happens to people unless they’ve taken care of a sick relative.

She wasn’t trying to be funny here, trust me. She was dead serious. And if you ask me? Very insightful.


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  2. Angela Says:

    My best friend’s mother has MS and Fortunately, is still employed (She works in an office for S S I/S S DI in Toms River.) And My boyfriend’s father (who he and his father coincidentally share the same first name, ) would’ve had his 75th birthday this past Friday (He and Margie are 4 months apart 4/18/39, 8/8/39 )and This past January, would’ve been their 52nd wedding anniversary 1/22/61 .

  3. Beth Says:

    Response to @mayoodzayid on Twitter:

    I am blind, and my son Gus was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him with physical and developmental disabilities. When I said Amy Shumer’s comment was insightful, I meant that it’s very difficult for able-bodied people to understand everything that goes into using a wheelchair and being with a person you love who uses a wheelchair – I can imagine “average” people who are in love and plan on spending their lives together, if they were asked “would you push his wheelchair” or “Would he push my wheelchair?” they’d say of course, yes, in sickness and in health, etc. But I agree with Amy that people don’t really know what it entails unless they have a disability or they have lived with a loved one who has a disability.

    I know she used the words “sick relative” instead of “person with a disability” but I forgive her for that, this was a live-to-tape interview and it can be difficult to get your wording right.

    Before I got married I knew there was a chance I might lose my sight (I have Type 1 diabetes) and I spelled it out to the guy I was falling in love with. He left for a few days and thought it over before coming back and saying he understands I might lose my sight, he hoped I didn’t, but if it happens, it would be harder to be away from me than to be with me. It’s a conversation that we had to have, I’m glad we had it.

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