Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse
With his signature wit, twenty-something author, blogger, and entrepreneur Shane Burcaw is back with an essay collection about living a full life in a body that many people perceive as a tragedy. From anecdotes about first introductions where people patted him on the head instead of shaking his hand, to stories of passersby mistaking his able-bodied girlfriend for a nurse, Shane tackles awkward situations and assumptions with humor and grace.
On the surface, these essays are about day-to-day life as a wheelchair user with a degenerative disease, but they are actually about family, love, and coming of age.
Shane Burcaw is one half of the hillarious YouTube duo, Squirmy and Grubs, which he runs with his girlfriend, now fiancee, Hannah Aylward.
In his second memoir, a collection of 23 essays, Burcaw candidly shares hilarious, cringe-worthy, and poignant stories about his life and living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Readers gain a deeper understanding of Burcaw as the collection progresses he discusses making jokes to diffuse tension after a "pee fiasco" as a child and becoming a man who uses shocking humor to challenge assumptions about his life. Burcaw juxtaposes introspective and sometimes painful memories with incisive observations on how disability is perceived. Regarding a childhood experience as a guest on the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon, where he was portrayed as pitiable in order to raise money: "Society had it wrong, but their wrongness is so deeply ingrained from centuries of outcasting the disabled that it didn't help to get angry." From his sex life to first attempts at trying marijuana edibles, Burcaw doesn't shy away from topics that might be considered delicate; instead, he emphasizes the awkwardness, celebrating highs and lows alike. Above all, Burcaw succeeds in illustrating that "disability does not equal sadness." Ages 14 18.