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.|