Date Me is a collection of comics that tells stories of dating in a wheelchair, social situations sculpted by people’s response to a wheelchair, and the struggle of trying to fit in from a different perspective. Dating is hard enough as an able-bodied person. Throw in the variable of a wheelchair and the “hard” becomes “almost not worth it.” Kristin Beale shares stories of her crazy family, the unique and often lousy ways people interact with her because of her disability, and her often failed attempts at dating in a wheelchair with a strained, but ongoing determination not to give up. Relatable for many people who have dated in the 21st century, Date Me offers a different perspective from a wheelchair user and how to interact with them. With a few extra indiscriminate stories thrown in, Kristin’s stories keep readers entertained as she reveals the struggles and triumphs of living in a wheelchair in today’s world.
This vulnerable collection of single page gag comics centers on the author's experience online dating as a disabled single woman. Beale writes that there are three things she'll never turn down: "A date with a boy, a kiss on my face and a sugar cookie." Yet on two different occasions she deletes the dating app from her phone, and on another celebrates when her date cancels. The endless string of mediocre dinners and coffees with men she never sees again will be familiar to many, and the casual cruelty she encounters being rejected after disclosing her wheelchair, one man laughing in her face when she shares plans to stay celibate until marriage, snarky comments about her legs are recorded deadpan. Pages often end with Beale gazing into the camera, a tear drawn on one cheek, silently asking the reader to bear witness to her trials. The stick-figure drawing style becomes visually repetitive, with characters facing off casually in six-panel grids without backgrounds, serving to emphasize the bland interchangeability of the men from these dozens of dates. Beale effectively relates the superficiality of casual dating, but the brevity of the stories leaves the reader similarly stuck in the mundanity of anonymous meet-ups that she's trying to escape.