The Taste of Tequila

Tequila can remind us of another time. Just like the smell of something whisks us away to another place. The title came from a music video that struck me this week. It tells the story of two people meeting. He is deaf and she doesn’t know sign language. Though the main character in this video struggles with the inability to hear, it caused me to relate with the challenges of my cerebral palsy. The differences we face in our lives can cause insecurities inside of relationships. It seems romantic relationships bring about many of those insecurities we deal with each day. The video relates a female character who appears unfazed by the obstacles this male faces. During the music video, she learns sign language as their connection deepens. Her education seems to be rare for someone to undertake, wanting to understand how to communicate better with someone she has just met. She sets out to understand his struggle with being deaf, wanting to deepen their connection. For him, his ability to teach and encourage her understanding of his challenges also deepens their connection. He decides toward the end of this music video to walk away from the relationship. Walking away not because she couldn’t handle him being deaf, but maybe he couldn’t handle his deafness inside their relationship. Maybe he couldn’t understand the love being given.

Disabilities are an interesting concept because they make us feel different. They seem to bring about emotions of isolation and the people around us can struggle to understand. It then becomes important for someone who is disabled to let people inside. Especially letting inside those who desire to become familiar with our disability. For the couple in this video, sign language became the first barrier to overcome. Her willingness to learn was the major sign of interest in getting to know him. It also signified her openness to look beyond his challenges, seeing who he really was. But, the struggle with any disability doesn’t seem to end with simply the physical symptoms. There are often emotional challenges accompanying the physical difficulties of disabilities. Romantic love might be one of the most complex emotions we feel during our lives. When the feeling of love becomes complicated by the emotion paired with limitations, things can seem more complex. It all adds another layer to an intricate form of relationship.

This video for the song “Tequila” struck me from my first viewing. The concept sticking out to me was acceptance. His hearing deficit was being accepted by the young woman from the beginning. Her comfort with him being deaf ran to the point of wanting to learn sign language. The strength of character she portrayed felt inspiring. Anyone who struggles with any kind of disability would want to find people with such strength. For me, the predictable end to this relationship would seem to involve her walking away, in the end having trouble with the challenges of his hearing lose. However, my prediction wasn’t correct, as during the video we witness the male character walking away from the relationship. Which, seems to stick with the theme of acceptance. It felt like the flipping of what might be thought of as the plausible outcome. But, when the video was viewed by family, another theory was suggested, one that hadn’t entered my mind.

After sharing this music video with my mother, she had another perspective. Mom explained her feeling of the couple breaking up because he was deaf. My defensiveness kicked in without a thought. The response from me involved reacting to the video showing him choosing to leave their relationship. It didn’t make sense how their relationship could end due to his challenges, if he was the person leaving. During some further conversation on the topic, my mother felt he left the relationship because he couldn’t handle the role of hearing lose inside their romantic connection. It caused me to reflect on my own feelings inside of romantic relationships. How do I handle the emotions of cerebral palsy while dating women? There has always been part of me thinking someone would find it difficult to accept cerebral palsy. Maybe the same struggle was taking shape inside this video. He didn’t think it possible for someone to have no problem with him being deaf.

The video for “Tequila” ends with the man coming back. He had spent four years away from the town where the two met in Colorado. As he walks into the town bar, she is behind the counter. He types the word Tequila on his phone to show his drink of choice. But, she takes the phone from him, already anticipating his desired drink. The scene seems to show an affection that never ended from her. He found his way back to that small town for seemingly the same reason. It leaves one to believe in his time away things became clearer. The difficulty he seemed to struggle with was healing. His loss of hearing was only holding him back inside relationships. She could see beyond any challenges he might face, while maybe admiring the way he handled those obstacles. As we project the story forward, he could have begun to witness the things inside himself which attracted her. Sometimes we savor those things that are outside what is normal. We look upon those differences as being truly special, simply because they are different. Who knows how the story between them ends, but without firm answers, the sequence seemed to project positivity.

Disabilities can restrict us physically, but also emotionally. Cerebral palsy causes me feelings of difference and those differences seem to bring emotions of isolation. The wondering if someone can love without fearing my struggle with cerebral palsy. Acceptance and love seem to be two powerful emotions. Still, any disability seems to bring about some judgement from others, if simply because we don’t look or interact the same. That became one reason this video struck me, the depiction of that strength and power in acceptance. She went to seek him out because of concern over his absence of movement. She walked toward him when he wouldn’t respond to the sound of yells. Once his lack of hearing was realized in the snow-covered countryside, she didn’t turn and leave, but lead him out of the cold. Still, not faltering in her strength to nurture. It’s a powerful sequence of bringing him out of the cold of isolation and into the warmth of acceptance.

Relationships in our lives can be complicated by many challenges. We might project those challenges onto other people. Sometimes the people in our lives force us to look at things differently. Instead of them struggling with our challenges, it can be the battle inside ourselves holding things back. Cerebral palsy has always caused differences for me and isn’t something to burden someone else with. However, this video shows us those differences aren’t always burdensome. A disability can be the very thing making us unique. Any challenge can cause growth for someone willing to accept the obstacle. Which, often adds depth and strength to our character. The video for this song seems to show the inspiration of acceptance. First, the acceptance of his challenge by someone. Then, after some time goes by, the acceptance of himself. The recognition that his disability makes him unique and special. This video seems to show us how powerful it can be to take on any challenge with love and acceptance.

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