Well I recently moved closer to overt compassion questing, by revealing the vision impairment in my telephone profiles once more. Since then, responses showing interest have filtered in at the usual trickle rate, but none from any hot women yet.
Of course, that’s been the problem all along, whether I mention the handicap or not. I’ve revealed it at times while, at others, kept it secret. In both cases, positive replies-per-week remained few, as long as I didn’t lie.
I don’t believe in puffing (that overemphasizing the good parts) that car dealers often do. Nor does it feel right to mislead, for example, by painting myself as well-to-do at the front of the ad, only to reveal in the “fine print” below that I have little money. Of course, blatant falsehoods are out as well, and the fact that I don’t willfully embellish and distort who I am may contribute to the empty inbox. But I’d rather be alone and truthful, than accompanied and deceitful.
However, though I openly offer my handicap these days, I’ve noticed an upsurge in positive responses now that I’m not too specific about the kind of lady I want. Perhaps this lesser detail helps positively offset my low vision admission. True, these aren’t attractive women responding so far. And perhaps the net gain from omitting exhaustive preference lists will be zero. But at least, I won’t [offend] the ladies I really want because they’re not as likely to deem me shallow. In fact, they may conclude that I’m profound if I don’t put it right out there that I want someone tall and thin. Some things we need to say up front – like the handicap. But others we’d do well to keep quiet – like detailed personal preferences in mates. More on this below.
Because historically, positive responses from babes have been few no matter what I’ve tried, it’s not clear if disclosing the handicap really hurts my already dismal chances. After all, how much worse could the odds get? But, to the few who enjoy serving the less fortunate, my candor would implicitly telegraph my need for what they have. Perhaps those with [Parker's wife's] psychological makeup will identify and hopefully answer. I’ll let you know how it goes. I still haven’t asked for their pity directly. Let’s see how just telling of the vision impairment works first.
Sadly, before omitting my weight preferences, I got many hostile quips from heavy women and thin women alike, saying how shallow I was for preferring the thin. Ironic that the thin would be offended, particularly since they embody the trim ideal themselves. Strange that those women spend much on looking slim and envy other females who sport sleek and slim bodies. They prefer clothing modeled by the thin over that displayed by heaver ladies. Yet they fault men who openly seek leanness. This may have been a factor in why that ballerina girl deserted me last fall. Though I offered nothing other than sincere praise for her healthy physique, she took great offense. Though thinness had been essential in her career, she, though meeting that standard well herself, clearly resented having to meet it and anyone who seemed (as I did that day) to advocate it.
But you know, whether its weight, IQ, income, status, specific values, where they live, the car they drive, or whatever, someone will say we’re shallow for wanting that, especially if they can’t offer it themselves. [...] Even if they can, they may consider someone directly asking for it obnoxious, especially if though they can provide it, they don’t like providing it. It’s sad that women see a man’s draw to the thin as a sign that he’s not appreciating their totalities, rather than a good reason to strive to live healthy. But that’s the way it is today. I’ll certainly avoid compliments on specifics in the future. I’m not here to change the world, but rather, only to find a small piece of it that works as I think it should.
Though ladies claim to respect honesty, it’s so easy for a man to overdo it, as we’ve both learned — you with your past, me with my preference for the slim. Thus, my new strategy as I said, is to keep what I really want quiet. I need not tell women I want thin in order to get the thin. Should I find someone desirable, and then If they ask what I like about them, I’ll offer something truthful though general and nebulous like: Well, I love your personality and how pretty you are. It’s okay to tell them in holistic terms that they’re cute. Just don’t say precisely why. Or if you must, then just say that you like how they think and act. As I’ve found, getting too specific leads them to think that we don’t appreciate their wholeness. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Women want honesty for sure, but only the honesty they want to hear. They hate bad, though truthful news, especially when they already know the news. Most women believe for example, that men in general prefer slender females, but resent the man who says it, because his words insult their intelligence. Why would he, they ask, tell them something they already know?
Some even abhor premature divulgence of the handicap. Indeed, one woman argued last January that by declaring my impairment too soon, I was not giving women fair opportunity to know my good side first. Can you believe it? Though she herself responded favorably to my ad of full-disclosure, the fault she said, for my modest dating success, was likely mine due to my excess honesty rather than due to women’s for their prejudice. She thought that my goal, rather than detecting prejudice and then ruling it out if found, should instead be, upon seeing it, to help women get beyond it. This would be like the slave offering to enlighten his master while the master is beating him with a stick. Go figure! While Martin Luther King Jr. advocated such a tactic when he advised blacks not to resist the violence done to them by the whites (passive resistance), I cannot.
Might revealing the handicap up front constitute playing the honesty card too soon? Certainly, it hasn’t uncovered much compassion so far. Whether I advertise the impairment or not, women still brow-beat me for my preferences. At least, they did, until I stopped mentioning them. In fact, some thought that being handicapped would make me more accepting of heavy women, and were surprised to find that it didn’t. They felt that since my handicap would surely place the perfect ten women beyond my reach, that I’d have learned by now to settle, without settling, as one woman put it. She thought that I would have come to see the fours and fives as tens, as they were the best I’d likely be able to do, and was astonished when I told her that it doesn’t work that way. Even the handicapped I told her, deserve shots at the best life has to offer – the best for anyone, not just the best for the impaired. We deserve the best, just like you, I told her, whether we’re handicapped, or black, or in some other way, socially downtrodden. It didn’t sink in though. Instead, she viewed me as audacious and presumptuous for wanting to date up as she called it. Well, clearly, she didn’t see me as her perfect ten.
When will women learn that it’s foolish to argue with a man’s passions? Its funny how thin women, though they do gripe sometimes, complain less about those who like the slender than do the heaver women. But for me, their wrath won’t be an issue anymore because I’m keeping secret my lust for the thin. They’ll never know it. But keeping the handicap a secret on the other hand, is quite another story, and in fact, may be less detrimental to a budding relationship if revealed, than admitting that one likes thin women. More on that below.
Could a love relationship that grew from pity ever be truly legitimate? Would it last? Could it be as fulfilling overall as a union with more selfish, uncompassionate, truly lustful beginnings? Doesn’t seem so, does it. But I know of one example where it did and several others where it’s likely to have. At least, it did for all meaningful intents and purposes.
When the Hesleys lived on North 3rd Street in Bellwood, we had a neighbor named [Ferrell]. Now [Ferrell], several years older than Mom, suffered a debilitating neck injury as a teenager. In the dark after a party, he dove into a swimming pool thinking it had water. However, it did not. The result of his hitting the head on the pool’s concrete bottom some eight feet below ground level, was a severe spinal cord injury that left him almost entirely paralyzed from the neck down to mid body, and then completely paralyzed below the waist. I only ever knew him after the accident, and so have no memory of him without his wheelchair.
All through the sixties and well into the seventies, he lived with his family. They took care of him, and he seemed to accept his plight gracefully. You could find him at every home Bellwood football game and hear him cheering for the team he loved so much, his voice often the loudest. The locals built him a wooden stand with a high rim, upon which his wheelchair could be lifted. With that, he could better see the game without fear of his chair rolling off. That stand was a permanent fixture at the football field for close to three decades. What symbolism it might have conveyed to future generations had they left it intact.
[Ferrell] coached little league football for Bellwood’s north side, and actually founded the program in 1969. Clearly, any shame he had for his condition did not keep him hidden inside his house, and he didn’t mind others seeing him, crippled as he was. The fact that he was willing to sit on his stand at the games and while coaching during team practice proves this. That platform stood between three and four feet off the ground, situated in an open area between the bleachers so that anyone in and around the field could see him. Everyone therefore knew [Ferrell], or at least knew of him from the games. He was never long invisible.
But you can well imagine the extensive care he needed. He couldn’t urinate without skilled help to change his bags, replace catheters, look for infections daily, and so on. Ambulances frequently came to alleviate the inevitable and numerous medical crises that typically befall the head-injured folks like [Ferrell]. In most every physical sense, [he] was indeed an invalid, about as helpless as one can be while still conscious. He could do practically nothing without help.
So needless to say, the news in 1975 that [Ferrell] found himself a girlfriend shocked the neighborhood and became the talk of the town by young and old alike. His romance interested everyone; even those who avoided rumor. His marriage a year later became the de facto inspiration in Bellwood for gossip, speculation, conjecture, philosophical discussion, and church service themes. Everyone wanted to know who this woman was and what drove her to consign herself to a life of intense toil, while [Ferrell's] life was made so much easier by her presence.
I never got to know her well. But she was a handsome woman whom I’d rate an eight point five out of ten. Fully functioning herself, and shapely, she had a soft and sexy but powerful voice. Her hair, short, dark, and thick made her look much younger. A mother of two teenage children, she was friendly and my sisters still speak highly of her to this day. And it’s not easy to please my siblings. So she must really be someone special.
She and [Ferrell] stayed together until he died in 2002. Impressive, and inspiring wouldn’t you say? I’ve toyed with the idea of seeking an interview with her. Perhaps she could shed light on how to target other women who, like her, have great amounts of compassion. At times, [Ferrell] was barely able to speak let alone move any part of his body. So there was [likely] no sex, at least not in the biblical sense. Oral sex, perhaps. Hand sex, [maybe], when his arms worked well enough, which they rarely did. But not much else.
[Ferrell] lived modestly in a duplex, and his wife never did much conspicuous consuming once they were married. Unless they hid their wealth very well, they appeared [rather] poor. It seems then, that he did not offer her what so many women say they want in a man; the ability to provide for them in very real (read it, [abundant] financial) ways. Yet she stayed. And what’s even more interesting is that she married him as he was in the first place, severely crippled. I mean, it’s typical to see a woman stand by her man should his health go south after they’re married (Christopher Reeve, Nancy Reagan, et al). But what’s so much less common is to find women like [Parker's wife] and [Ferrell's] wife, who begin relationships with people already physically challenged. But rest assured. As I hope this story shows, these very special women are out there. Our difficult but achievable job as yearning handicapped men, is to find them.
Can we do better than handicapped women? Well, Parker did. [Breeze] did, [Sammy] did, [Cristobol], [Gerald], [Lanny], [Sabbo], Chuck Vidunas, [Sherwood], Chuck Boalo, [Kirk], [Roberto], [Francis], [Bart], [Tanner], [Billy Bob], [Denny] [...] [Gabby], [Tiny], [Ferrell] sure did, and so many others did too. [Ferrell's] story really underscores the point because he managed to attract a good lady despite his profound physical hardships. Now assuming that Dr. Joy Brown in her book Dating For Dummies is correct in her belief that independence augments a person’s perceived desirability, then clearly, you and I have more going for us than [Ferrell], as we are more self-sufficient than he was for most of his life. It follows then that our chances of meeting attractive though accepting ladies, dwarf [Ferrell's]. Yet he did it, and he had little, if any, independence at all. So we ought to be able to do it too.
I’m familiar with the mates of most of the guys mentioned in the previous paragraph. And I just don’t see these particular women (mainly ones like [Parker's wife]) turning a man away who, given his handicap, openly seeks compassion. Maybe Parker didn’t explicitly ask for it. But when [his wife] met him, surely she inferred, if not on a conscious level, his need for pity. She knew of his handicap before ever talking to him, even if he didn’t voice his special needs. Yet talk to him she did, and so much more. She stepped up to the challenge and has been with him now for going on twenty-five years. Now women who don’t have the right stuff (lacking maturity, gross selfishness, little life experience, and so on) will indeed turn us away. But this does not make us the more wrong for asking. If she’s properly equipped psychologically, she’ll hear our call and answer it, just as [Parker's wife] answered [his]. She will not denounce our call as overly expository, a symptom of deprivation, desperation, and so on. So we need to call, and keep calling until someone worthy responds.
I never mentioned this to [our friends]. But one night on Black Street, I slept on their couch prior to the flea market the next day. They must have figured I was asleep and also that their bedroom door was more soundproof than it was, because shortly after bedtime, the unmistakable sounds of passion filled the living room where I lay, listening. I knew I shouldn’t listen, and back then, couldn’t figure out what drew me to the moans of ecstasy so much that I had to get up and stand outside their door, pondering. But now, I believe I understand.
The only moans heard, were [his wife's], and all I heard from [him] was heavier-than-normal breathing. Even though by this time they’d been married a few years, I found [her] noises intriguing and out of place, perhaps due to the supreme irony that she should be so excited over a guy like [our good buddy]! What, after all, did he have that she found so irresistible? I’ll be darned if I could see it. He was obese; his posture terrible. He lay around a lot, rarely smiled, and was virtually impossible to deal with over sustained periods. He resisted rather than embraced new ideas, complained much, and had no concept of how to put himself in another’s shoes. What could he with his pristine American family background, know of hers, the hard life of a migrant orphan girl raised by non biological parents, not her same race and culture, outside her native country? He couldn’t even empathize with us. And we grew up with him in the same country, roughly the same culture, and we’re all the same race. How could he really relate to her, and what’s more, how could she love him if he didn’t relate well? Plus, she was sighted, and he blind, a clearly implied power imbalance in the wrong direction.
Traditionally, the male has the upper hand in setting the tone of the relationship. Up to this point however, their relationship appeared backward, much as it does today. That is, [she] has always held the real power, a fact made even plainer to [him] by her leaving him for a time. You remember. They separated for a few months in 1986. She really humbled him then by illustrating with action that she didn’t have to take his [arrogance], and wouldn’t. Obviously, it would be much harder for him to leave her than vice versa. He can’t do much saber-rattling while relying on her so much for everything from transportation to sustenance. Even if he did leave, he’d probably have to get her to help him pack and move his stuff. The point is that he’s really quite subordinate to her, and hasn’t done much in their marriage without her assistance.
Yet here she was, clearly orgasmic. He seemed to woo her as other women say they want to be wooed. The difference between she and they is the type of man who woos them. They attribute their states of woo to men of power, ambition, success, leadership, popularity, physical fitness, and independence. [He] may have some ambition, but does he sport any of these other traits. I never thought so. But apparently [his] saw something in him that made her so shamelessly exclaim, “I love you baby. I love you!” Maybe she gets off on assuming the dominating position with men? I don’t know.
Possibly, I hoped to find fakery in her moans, like she was just doing it for his benefit. As mentioned, the rest of their relationship, outside the bedroom, seemed lopsided in that she did far more for him than he ever did for her. She seemed the mothering type, and up to that point, I figured that her “love” for him was more selflessly maternal than selfishly lustful. Her groans however, suggested otherwise. Cruel as it may have been, I wanted to find some evidence that she didn’t really love him, for as I saw it, he didn’t deserve her. But I heard no insincerity, not that night, and not ever, to come to think of it. Back then, I considered a relationship based on pity invalid, and figured that unbridled passion could never exist alongside sympathy. So I listened intently for signs of do-goodedness, boredom, and having settled in her sighs. But, there were none. What I heard were earnest expressions of unmitigated pleasure. Plenty of pleasure too. At least on this occasion, his manhood genuinely and overwhelmingly excited her, and by the sounds of things, she had by no means “settled” for [him] in her mind. Perhaps he settled for her. But not she for him.
Now according to Maslow [in his book, Motivation and Personality], any motivations beyond those at level one in his hierarchy, are composite. That is, they’re made up of numerous, perhaps even contradictory other motivations. People don’t like making money for example, just to make money. Instead, they desire wealth because of the greater respect and admiration from others that comes along with it. They like its security and material trappings, and the power to control which it affords. He suggests that even the sexual desire is not discrete, and thus comprised of other motivations unrelated to sex. One of those could be compassion for the beloved such as [his wife's] has demonstrated in abundance for [the blind husband]. Her compassion could have inspired her love lust. Maybe he gave her a greater sense of noble purpose than she’d ever known before, and this is what got her off. But more about that once I’ve read further in Maslow’s work.
Perhaps [she] married [him] partly to take care of a needy soul (pity). Maybe in the beginning, her compassionate, level five needs dominated her motivation to mate with him. In fact, at [...] McKee Place [...], when they first started, I rarely saw them holding hands or kissing, never walked in unexpectedly to find her undressed, and never heard them flirt with each other using lewd innuendos. No, until that night on [White] Street, indeed their relationship seemed devoid of any carnal passions. Rather, she could usually be found helping him read books, clean the bedroom, cook meals, get places, transcribe class notes, and such. Hers seemed more the interest of a caregiver than that of someone in mad, passionate love.
So hearing her that night in 1986, so lost in love with [him], completely shattered my impressions of the motivating forces that kept her loyal to him. Whether or not she pitied him at first, here was proof that a sighted woman could indeed, sooner or later, be fulfilled at level three by a blind man. Even the more pitiful among us can still inspire that genuine, binding force of love lust in the hearts and loins of the right women. The open need for pity it would seem, does not therefore discourage all attractive women.
Though, as you say, a relationship born of pity might have developed on shaky grounds, these grounds might very well sure up later on, as they apparently have with [this couple we've been discussing]. It hard to say if [they] are truly happy inside. They may not be these days. Yet at their parties, she plays well the dutiful, supportive wife. She loves her children, welcomes his friends and family, and if it weren’t for all the time she’s sacrificed to drive him to his numerous medical appointments, he’d have lost his battle with cancer long ago I think. He owes his life to her. No one more than [his wife] deserves to have her feet kissed every day because she’s certainly a highly loving, devoted wife in the most meaningful measures. The fact that her love may have sprouted from pity for [him] [has not] diminished its quality, or its depth.
There’s no evidence to suggest that she’s any less comfortable in their union today than after they reconciled in the mid eighties. So maybe you and I are attributing too much badness to pity. It could be that our need for extra consideration isn’t as romantically debilitating as we think. I hope not. I’m counting on not. Pitiful grounds may still yield strong, healthy trees via energies invisible to the outside observer.
- Avoid Distracting Compassion
- Compassion, Empathy, Pity
- Cruel Better Judgement
- Dating Blind Men
- Dating Blind Women
- Defending Pity-Gets-Love Idea
- Enthusiastically Compassionate Love
- Getting Love By Seeking Pity
- I Love You Emmy
- Love Born From Pity
- Pity-Born Love
- Seeking Pity
- Seeking Pity, Getting Love
- Seeking Pity to Get Love
- Using Emmy
- Weather, Pity, Liars, Weight