Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blind Date!



Ever go on a blind date?  Ever had an offer to go on a blind date?  I can answer "Yes" to both questions.  How about you?

And folks, I can also tell you that all my "blind dates" have been unmitigated disasters.  Why oh why did I ever go on a blind date?  Well, partly to please my so called friends who were doing me "a favor", like I needed a favor.  Friends, actually I can do quite well myself, I don't need any help.

The other kind of "blind dates" I've been on probably couldn't actually be considered blind dates because I was answering a personal ad.  A gay personal ad.  This was back in the day before computers and e-mails.  The Philadelphia Gay News used to run personal ads.  I put my big toe in that Pool of Unknown and came away with some mighty shockers.




Then in my early forties I succumbed to the temptations of the new Internet age and answered digital personal ads.  It didn't matter whether the person showed a photo of themselves or not prior to the meeting, when I actually met the person portrayed in the ad they bore little resemblance to their photo in their on line ad.  

No, I'm not going to go into the details of these clandestine rendezvous this morning (those details are too salacious for family viewing of this blog), rest assured blind dates are an endeavor that I will never repeat again in my life.

Then there were those times when well meaning friends, co-workers and relatives thought "Ron needed to meet somebody" and they would set me up.  Perhaps the most notorious was the time I was invited to the home of a favorite former classmate (and widow) of mine for dinner.  Not only was I the only male at the dinner but there were FOUR OTHER WIDOWS at the dinner!  Hey folks, if one didn't hit the jackpot maybe another would.  Female class reunion organizers are notorious for trying to pair off single or widowed male members of their former classmates.   Naive me, it took me about four class reunions to realize that I was primed for pairing.  No matter that I was gay, that's was only a minor hurdle to some of these ladies.  Not that I can blame them.  After all who wants to spend their senior years alone.  But folks, I can make my own choices thank you.




So I bring up this subject because  good friend of mine, who recently retired told me about an e-mail he received yesterday.  The wife of his former boss sent my friend an e-mail suggesting that perhaps he would want to go out on a blind date with a widow friend of hers.  She said .."she doesn't want any relationship, just a friend to go to the movie or go on vacation, etc."  

Um......excuse me?  "on vacation, etc."  The "vacation" part is scary enough but the "etc?"  Uh Houston, I think we have a problem here.

Of course my friend can make any decision he wants to. From what I know of him he has his life pretty well organized and is quite happy leading the single life and doesn't need any help from friends with "companionship" but "on vacation, etc?"  So when they make the hotel reservations would that be one king bed or two queen beds?  Just saying.




I remember one year when a good friend of mine invited me to his house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I thought that was mighty generous of him until I arrived and discovered he had also invited his single cousin.  Oh....how...convenient.  Now this "friend" knows I've been with Bill for umpteen years but as has been my experience with many of my well meaning straight friends, they tend to discount my relationship with Bill.  I'm not really looking for anyone and if I was I can handle it myself.  I.....don't.....need.....any.....help. 

Thanksgiving dinner at friend's house 2003 - my how time flies


I remember back in my 20's when I was young and handsome and on the cusp of a very lucrative career at the bank.  Nary a day went by that I wasn't being setup or pounced upon by some, young, nubile female looking for a boyfriend.  I finally put a stop to it when I responded to one of my co-workers in mid sentence when she was setting up her latest trap for me:  I told her "I'm sorry Ann Marie, I can't go because BILL and I have plans that night."  She paused and the whites of her eyes got a little more prominent and she slowly asked "WHO....IS....BILL?"  I said "Bill is my roommate." I watched her face closely as she processed that word roommate.  It took her about thirty seconds to translate roommate into gay and all of a sudden her Dolly Levi face disappeared to be replaced by one that looked like she just ran over a skunk on the highway. Well folks, she never tried to fix me up again and as a matter of fact for the rest of my banking career the ladies left me alone.  Of course since "the word was out" my banking career didn't progress much further either (see yesterday's posting about coming out) but that was worth it just not to have to contend with well meaning folks seeking to pair me off with  the opposite sex.



Me 1974 - when I was a "hot" ticket

I've even had a friend try to pair me off with a member of my same sex.  A straight friend who I used to work with but who had left the bank called one day and asked me out to lunch.  I met him and much to my surprise he brought along a very obvious, effeminate gay man.  A real dandy.  After an awkward and uncomfortable lunch, I called him and asked "Who was that and why did you bring him to lunch?"  He said "He gay and you're gay, I thought you would be interested."  Geez Louise,    thanks.....for nothing.  As I said before, I can take care of my social life quite well by myself.  Do I look like I need help?




So this morning I'm sympathizing with my friend who has been put in this untenable position by his well meaning friends.  What would you do?


Me today, no longer a "hot ticket" but doing quite well thank you.  Don't be pairing me up with any widows please.

27 comments:

  1. oh my!

    I met todd thru an ad in a local washington dc newspaper (pre-internet age). I also met a buncha losers that way too. but, 21 years later...

    and I don't think you need to be set up 50 years later; you and bill are settled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne Marie,
      My nephew met his current wife through an Internet ad. They have been happily married for many years now. I'm not knocking Internet ads, only that I had all horrible experiences. Might have been me being too picky. Oh and then there were the many folks who lied about their age by multiple years. It was an experience but one that I would never repeat, especially in today's dangerous environment.

      Ron

      Delete
    2. One good thing about bloggers, at least you get to know them first. They're not complete strangers.

      Delete
    3. tru fax dat! last year's blogger meetup was a gathering of known friends.

      yeah, today it's a bit more sketchy with those ads. no, you're not picky, you respect yourself and want only the best for you.

      Delete
    4. Anne Marie,

      The problem I constantly ran into with the ads was so many of the guys either didn't show up or when they did they had totally misrepresented (lied) themselves. You were lucky with Todd as was my nephew when he met his future wife.

      Ron

      Delete
  2. This is so funny - - you had me laughing all the way through it, undoubtedly because I could relate to so much of it. I think we've all had well-intentioned matchmakers trying to "fix us up". The one question I HATED to hear is "Do you have a girlfriend?" or "When are you ever going to get married?".

    The only time I ever placed personal ads was when I was very young (long before computers and email). I always placed my ads in the L.A. Free Press and - incredibly - I found several serious lovers, lots of friends, and some harrowingly wild times.

    The very first time I ever placed an ad in the Free Press I was nineteen. I received over 60 letters and I put them away in my closet and forgot them, because I went to New York for the summer. My mother found the letters and completely freaked out. There is no way to describe what a major catastrophe that turned out to be. I still shudder when I think of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jon,

      Oh I got that "when are you going to get married?" routine a lot. It stopped though when I informed my co-worker of my "roommate" Bill.

      I did place a personal ad once myself and I got about the same number of replies (60). In fact I think I still have those replies around somewhere, I never throw anything out. By then my Mother knew my whole story and, if she didn't quite agree with it, accepted it.

      These days I would never answer a personal ad or put one in. No way, no how. I did have an app on my iPhone for a while called "Grindr". That was interesting but got off of it when I saw my dentist on it. I didn't want to go there.

      Ron

      Delete
  3. I wish someone would fix me up with a date - any kind of date! I've been out of circulation for so long that I've forgotten even the basics, it seems.

    Funny post, Ron!

    Peace <3
    Jay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jay,

      I hope you get back into circulation. By the way, the "basics"? It's just like riding a bicycle, it comes back to you automatically.

      Ron

      Delete
  4. Randy in NEB4:51 PM

    Ron, I've only had a couple of people ask if I have a girlfriend or when you getting married, all women. Humour will through most off. As far as you thinking you're no longer a "hot ticket", I think you're still very good looking, you still have your looks now you just have them longer than when you were twenty. Also when I saw that photo of Paul Lynd, what comes to mind is... Really? How wonderful,lol. Well 6 more months,180 days to Bloggerpalooza 2014! Randy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Randy,
      Thank you for giving this old man (I'll be 72 in a few weeks) hope that I still have "something" that doesn't scare folks away.

      You like Paul Lynde too? I loved him. He always made me smile.

      I am looking forward to meeting you at the Bloggerpalooza in April. I am confident that you will be a hit.

      Ron

      Delete
  5. Ron,

    Ah, I had one blind date in my life and it wasn't suppose to be. It was this dark beauty that was supposed to be your dance date, just conveniently pretending to be my date to get me into your high school dance, with my girl pretending to be your date, but somehow I found myself with two girls and in the end lost my old steady, but began dating the unintended blind date.

    Lar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lar,
      Ah yes, Carmella Bigger of Cressman or.......whatever her name was. I never did get it straight. By the way, who was my date at the high school dance? I forget. The only thing I can remember is Carmella's father's (whose name was Mr. Baxter - there is yet another name!) silk smoking jacket. Wow! We entered a different dimension that night didn't we Lar? I don't know about your father, but my father didn't posses ONE smoking jacket. He smoked in his wife-beater T-shirt.

      Ron

      Delete
  6. Oh, I beg to differ with the "not a hot ticket" routine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Rick! Think there is still hope for this old dog? :)

      Delete
  7. This sort of goes along with your "coming out day" and "blind dates." I was the manager of a hospital lab and one day at lunch, some of my female techs decided to set me up on a date. That only proves to me that I was coming across as straight and I wanted to, as I feared my job might be in jeopardy if anyone thought I was gay. (This was 20 years ago.) Actually, I was recently divorced with two grown sons and had moved away from my home city. So the gals tried to set me up with the medical librarian. I had done some research in the library and had met her. In retrospect, I think that maybe the librarian put my techs up to it, because she wanted to date me. I could not and would not tell them I was gay, so I said that I was recently divorced and not ready for another LTR yet. (which was true)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,
      It must be in "the ladies" DNA to set up single or recently divorced guys with eligible females. You're a very nice guy and I can see why they were anxious to get you hitched again. I understand your concern about your job. Once I came out at work I realized that my career would only go so far and I was right. While many of my co-workers eventually achieved assistant vice president and vice president status, I never rose above trust operations officer. I never even made it to senior trust operations officer, which was what I was hoping for. The irony was though that I had the responsibility but not the status or pay. A subtle way of letting me know that it wasn't a cool thing for me to come out as gay at work. That was the way it was back in the 60's and 70's in the banking world. I don't know if it has changed now. Probably doesn't make a difference anyway since everything is so automated.
      Ron

      Delete
  8. Ron

    Don't short change yourself. You indeed are still a hot ticket. But, yes, being set up is often awkward. Perhaps it has worked for some in the past. But when it's sprung on you without prior knowledge - it's often uncomfortable.

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat,
      Thank you again for your very generous compliment. Now I feel there is hope for this old dog (72 in a few weeks). I could never go on a blind date. Way to chancy and uncomfortable.

      Ron

      Delete
  9. I love the word untenable - I hardly ever hear anyone use it !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Spo,

      "Untenable" is in my vocabulary. I often use it. It sounds better than "I can't stand it!"

      Ron

      Delete
  10. Ron,

    Actually at that dance at your high school was SUPPOSE to be Carmella and my date was Peggy. Some how both girls thought I was their date. Peggy and I broke up after that dance. I have never figured out Carmella's last name either, and I went steady with her for a while after that night. Now, at my high school for the prom, you took Suzy Cannell and I took Pamela Wilson, but both Suzy and Pamela were my girlfriends and I set you up with Suzy so I could take both girls to the prom. Maybe a mismatch since you were 6 ft 4 and Suzy was 4 ft 11. I guess you could claim Suzy was your blind date.

    Lar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lar,
      Come to think of it Suzy was my blind date! Well, she was a great blind date. Of course there was no hanky panky nor did she put any pressure on me (thank you Suzy!) but we did have fun. I especially remember seeing the movie "Written on the Wind" with Dorothy Malone in your high school auditorium after the Senior Prom at 3 am in the morning. I guess that was to keep drunk teens off the highway and to prevent pregnancies. Thanks for jogging my memory!

      Ron

      Delete
  11. Ron,

    Just read your post. First, I'll agree with the other commenters, you are still a catch.

    I had one blind date in my whole life. The female who drove the lunch wagon in the plant that I worked in was about as butch a dyke you can imagine and her gaydar was spot on when it came to me. I tried to be as butch as I could in a manufacturing plant that was all male with air that was thick with testosterone levels. I don't think I was really successful back then (it was the early eighties) but I didn't get a lot of negativity from the workers, I was the buyer for plant materials with my own private office. She decided to set me up with her "friend" who came to my house. He was old enough to be my father and though age was never an issue with me, he was just one day short of needing a walker. I was afraid he would stroke out or have a heart attack just walking up the THREE stairs to my front door. I gave him a cold drink and sent him on his way. I was disappointed as at the time I was really ready for the possibility of a relationship. Such is life. Since then the blind date thing never happened again but I would definitely say no and just to be polite, say no thank you.

    Btw, I am thinking of starting a blog.

    Jack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jack,

      First, thank you for your very generous compliment that I am "still a catch." I've tried not to let myself go but things are starting to fall apart. I liken myself to an old car that has been carefully taken care of. But not matter how well taken care of some things just start to go.

      I'm glad to hear that you're thinking of starting a blog. You're a good writer and I suspect you have a lot interesting things to write about not only in your past but for the present. I know what you mean about blind dates. I met a couple of these guys online in person who said they were younger than me (not that I'm into young guy which I'm not) but man, some of these guys were one step away from the assisted care facility. I've always generally been more attracted to older men but what I didn't like about those men that I met was that they lied to me. I was honest about my age, why couldn't they be? Did they think they would fool me? When you start off a friendship or relationship with a lie, there's not much hope for that relationship going any further.

      Looking forward to reading your blog Jack. If you need any help give me a phone call (2302-644-2255) or you can talk to me on FaceTime if you have an Apple computer.

      Good luck!

      Ron

      Delete
  12. I don't let other people make "choices" for me. ESPECIALLY women, who have NO clue, usually, what gay men want or like. Except, perhaps, Anne Marie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got that right Tony! Except of course for Anne Marie. She does have a clue.

      Delete