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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, January 09, 2006

You Think You Got Problems

Try being handicapped and single.

At first, when I saw an advert on TV earlier today, it hadn't occured to me that there was such a thing as a handicapped dating service.

This admission becomes doubly embarrassing when you consider that:

  • As someone who has been around health professions since birth, I've seen my share of handicapped, disabled or mentally-challenged individuals, to put it mildly...


  • One of my dearest friends, with whom I have sadly lost touch during my many moves, was a lovely wheelchair-bound gal*, who however, found no difficulty dating. Men adored her. But then she was rich and beautiful...


  • But there I was, lying on my bed, tuned to the cable news channels, amusedly listening to Mr. Bush give his Alito pep-talk in the Rose Garden (Cliff Notes version: "class"), after which, the station went to commercial break.

    The first ad?

    RealPeopleMeeting.com were having a local get-to-know-you on 14 January.

    Alas, when I went to the site to research for this blogpost, it was down due to having been suspended.

    My first thought was not, 'they couldn't pay their bill', but 'wow, they must've been swamped and went over their limit'.

    At least, that is my hope, because well, after the first shock of a thought that has never occured to you before, to your chagrin, you realise that what they have going on is some kind of wonderful.

    Obviously, Googleisyourfriend (which, by the way, is not registered, hint hint) helped me to find similar dating services, to see what the other link might've catered to.

    For being a person who, a few hours back, hadn't thought of such a thing existing, I didn't blink an eye when I saw the many handicapped dating services around.

    I realised there are a lot of people in this world, and like their ambulant or physically-sound brethern, they wanted love and friendship too.

    Obviously, there would be a fair share of Friendsters just for them.

    Here is a smattering of them, showcasing some member profiles.

    Note: When I browsed for profiles to show you, I noticed that their search strings defaulted to that ubiquitous 18-to-39 range.

    Now, there's nothing wrong with targetting people this way, but it seems to me that if you chastise (as a few did in their introductions) other sites for not being sensitive to the handicapped out there, that perhaps you shouldn't narrow yourselves to similarly "normal" categories.

    Shake it up a little. Show yourselves as the true alternatives, not just a dating service catering to a specific need.

    Oh, and that goes double for "Male". Each time, I had to scroll down to female. Humph!

  • First up, from the UK (!) Whispers4You.com tries to bond people all over the world, but it seems to be headquartered in England. Well done guys.

    Founded in 2002, they now have over 17,000 men and women registered, and the free-sign up also includes a $100 chip to their online casino.

    HMMM...bingo is obviously much more popular than I thought.

    (They also have webcam chat, though it is not known if Hold 'em Texas poker is available throughtout)

    Some member profiles are very direct, and thought it's only a sneak peak for the unregistered, it's a window unto their self-visions.


    Paul4812

    Hi !
    I'm Paul4812 from cardiff, glamorgan, Wales.
    I am 29 years old. I have Green eyes and am 5ft 8in tall.

    Life Challenge: Fibromyalgia



    He has indeed, very nice eyes and an open gaze, which I like.


    cotswoldian

    Hi !
    I'm cotswoldian from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.
    I am 30 years old. I have Hazel eyes and am 5ft 11in tall.

    Life Challenge: Epilepsy

    I am an energetic and hardworking single man. I like to enjoy myself with friend .........more>>


    My fellow Cotswoldian! He looks kindly, shy, perhaps a little hesitant standing up against his kitchen shelves, but definitely a go-er.

    This one below was interesting for me, considering he looked a positive hottie when I saw him -- a young, slim Alberto Tomba.

    I wondered what his life challenge was, and then I read his profile.



    noire

    Hi !
    I'm noire from rome, italy, Italy.
    I am 38 years old. I have Brown eyes and am 5ft 11in tall.

    Life Challenge: I am not disabled, but do not mind dating someone who is.



    If I am honest, I have a dual-thought about this Signor Noire, from Rome, Italy, Italy.

    That he may be a freak looking to get some kind of perv-on with the disabled.

    OR

    In more charitable moods, that he is a magnificent human being, made even moreso by the fact that with his good looks, and presence, he could get any physically UNCHALLENGED woman he wanted.

    And yet he chose to open himself up as a human being.

    But then I suppose, that's what everyone else on these general types of sites is trying to do, isn't it?


  • The site, Disabled-world.com was unfortunately downdie to a crash of server problem.

    I don't want one person reading this to make a "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up" joke, y'heardme?


  • Disabledmatchers.com seems to be newer, which may account for the limited database as yet. Here I had to claim I was a man looking for a woman, because the other search string was so paltry.

    For my deception, I was rewarded with a vision of a lovely young woman, with an arm in a cast, and seated on a wheelchair.

    And you gotta love her sense of humour, shown by her member "handle".




    weewheelie
    37, woman

    fun loving, easy going female looking to see who's out there

    seeking:
    Friends

    Penpals I'm 36, been in a wheelchair 13 years due to a spinal cord injury. I have blonde hair, hazel eyes, thin. I enj ...



    She looks and sounds a love.

    Have you noticed that a lot of these members have hazel eyes, though?

    Either people don't want to own up to having light-brown eyes (NTTAWWT), or they think green eyes sounds too diabolic. As indeed it does.


  • And then there's D.A.W.N without Tony Orlando.

    I didn't explore this too much because, well, because my personal dislikes got in the way of a good look-see.

    (A) I don't like acronyms, BTW
    (B) DAWN stands for Differently Abled Winners Network


    Look, I'm the first one to put a positive spin on anything. I'm the original "glass half full of champagne" person.

    But "Differently abled" is much too PC for me, and Winners Network sounds defensive.

    However, the site has articles or essays titled "Holiday Blues", and "On target or shot in the dark", etc. so it tells my quirks may be putting me off from meeting really nice people, who furthermore, have a good brain on their shoulders.


  • But that's everything, isn't it?

    Each one of us deciding what is good for us, with our personal tastes very much in evidence as we click here, and choose there, or move on when someone doesn't please us.

    That too is life.

    And I think when you have a good sense of yourself, no matter your physical abilities, your personality will out.

    Pity is what handicapped people don't need.

    Being treated normally, warts and all, is what they should command.

    I don't know about you, but I am always reminded that there but for the grace of God go I.

    Let's hope that love is not the first thing that goes out alongside it.

    (*This post is dedicated to my inestimable friend, who was not only worthy of all life had to offer her, but taught others to savour life at its fullest)

    7 Comments:

    • You point out such a wonderful benefit of the internet, usually, distance being the downside but it even opens up conversation absent before. Sometimes, heartache resulting, sometimes not.
      I don't know the number of disabled, I still use that term with no malice, but to think how many it covers who seem to move in another world, forced often, it staggers me.
      There are those at Walter Reed learning to use newly acquired artificial limbs, burn victims on up to non-visible disabilities like Fibromyalgia looking for friends and love. Just like us. Because they are us. In the next minute, it could be us.

      I've always wondered if I could be human enough to be with someone severely disabled, usually when I see someone in such straits on TV, and then I wonder could they live with me.

      By Blogger Paul, at Mon Jan 09, 12:33:00 pm GMT-5  

    • You point out such a wonderful benefit of the internet, usually, distance being the downside but it even opens up conversation absent before.

      Absolutely.

      What did we do before computer chatting (including that of forums)?

      Gosh, it's been so long, that though I had a pen pal when I was in school (to a guy in the island of Reunion), just thinking of waiting 2 weeks for a mail reply is literally UNTHINKABLE a mere decade later.

      Sometimes, heartache resulting, sometimes not.

      I've never been much against heartache.

      Sounds cold? Yes. I know.

      I've had heartache, and I know people out there, even people reading this, have unbearable burdens in life.

      But heartache is often the springboard to art, to discovery, to IDEAS.

      My friend, the wheelchaired one to whom this post is dedicated, always said that.

      I reckon, I can too.

      Besides, living the vida Paxil has never been my cup of tea.

      I don't know the number of disabled, I still use that term with no malice,

      Oh, is disabled a "bad" word these days?

      I don't mean that sarcastically. I'm out of it, PC-wise.

      but to think how many it covers who seem to move in another world, forced often, it staggers me.

      Yes. :(

      There are those at Walter Reed learning to use newly acquired artificial limbs, burn victims on up to non-visible disabilities like Fibromyalgia looking for friends and love. Just like us. Because they are us. In the next minute, it could be us.

      What a WONDERFUL reference, which I didn't think of.

      How about all those sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen who are mutilés de guerre looking for companionship?

      Sure many were married already. But surely there could be a dating service for those who wish to marry a soldier who so bravely gave a part of him or herself for his country?

      I remember reading about WWI and WWII, when even staid newspapers like the Times (our "London" Times) would publish the addresses of wounded BEF personnel, and they'd get replies by the bagful...

      I've always wondered if I could be human enough to be with someone severely disabled, usually when I see someone in such straits on TV, and then I wonder could they live with me.

      Well, my friend was married AFTER she was disabled, so it happens, however hard it is to do.

      But what you say at the end is you all over, Paul. You have a lot more to offer than what you say. :)

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Jan 09, 02:46:00 pm GMT-5  

    • I've never been much against heartache.

      That is the truth. It grows you, or it destroys you and it all depends on you.

      Oh, is disabled a "bad" word these days?

      Victoria, I do not know. PC is so rampant, that was a reflex by me. I've no desire to hurt anyone, who it would hurt, I do no know that either. Someone somewhere must be deciding these things.

      I remember reading about WWI and WWII, when even staid newspapers like the Times (our "London" Times) would publish the addresses of wounded BEF personnel, and they'd get replies by the bagful...

      How I wish that we could do that now but as "they" picket outside Walter Reed belittling our troops inside and their sacrifice, so they would receive filth from scum which should not be on this earth.
      In those days those lowlifes lived in fear of doing such a thing; the thrashing they'd receive.
      Now, they walk and act proudly, without fear, often with blessings.

      Well, my friend was married AFTER she was disabled, so it happens, however hard it is to do.

      I'm happy for her, I hope she still is happy. Hanging around you one would have a bright outlook.

      But what you say at the end is you all over, Paul. You have a lot more to offer than what you say. :)

      Already, with the first sentence, you know me so well. With the second sentence, you brighten a soul right up! Thank you, Victoria. I should like to think that is true. I shoud like to live in Miami. :)

      By Blogger Paul, at Mon Jan 09, 03:29:00 pm GMT-5  

    • Gosh, it's been so long, that though I had a pen pal when I was in school (to a guy in the island of Reunion),

      Okay, What? "to a guy in the island of reunion"? I so wish I was capable to decipher, what is that? No sleep tonight, I suppose.

      By Blogger Paul, at Mon Jan 09, 10:15:00 pm GMT-5  

    • Island of Reunion

      Basically it's a French outlying territory (a "Departement" IIRC) in the Indian Ocean, near Africa.

      Think of Guam, or the Marshall Islands in terms of the US. :)

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Jan 10, 12:54:00 am GMT-5  

    • Island of Reunion

      Basically it's a French outlying territory (a "Departement" IIRC) in the Indian Ocean, near Africa.


      No need to take time from your day to answer this, I've quite dominated these pages as it is. It's because it is interesting here.

      But. I though maybe my search for my island had ended and was considering asking France to give Reunion to me and asking the three quarter million inhabitants to leave, as I like my space. However, as it still has an active volcano, it's not exactly what I'm looking for. Seriously, I'd move there but for two factors; racial tension, been there, done that and I'd need to learn French unless they'd accommodate me and learn English, the Universal Language, regardless of what the French think.
      I note the Portuguese found it first. Those were the days.

      By Blogger Paul, at Tue Jan 10, 08:56:00 am GMT-5  

    • Hi!
      I like your story.
      But you'd better take a look here to find a really DIFFERENT dating site.
      Looks amazing, agree? :-)
      You can also find my pics and more about me on my page www.livedatesearch.com/jessica
      Read more about me or drop me a message from there.
      Chao!
      Jessica

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 09, 08:45:00 am GMT-5  

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