I was working in construction…and each morning we would meet at the home of the foreman, the boss’ son-in-law. He drove us to the work site.
The foreman and his wife, Kim, had on several occasions mentioned a friend of theirs—a young woman they thought would be a good match for me. They wanted to set us up on a blind date.
Frankie, the crew chief, ever the pithy promoter, had informed me that the young woman was good-looking although with “kinda small tits” (his words); had a great personality; and an unusual sense of humor. “I really think you oughta meet her,” he said, “you guys would go good together.”
So after several months of this, I finally said, “Go ahead, set up a date.”
I was very reluctant to do so! My last blind date had been with a gorilla, literally and figuratively. She was a girl completely lacking in everything I look for in a woman. In fact, the only remarkable thing about her was an outstanding mustache. And she was huge—heavy and tall. I am a tad less than 5’ 8” when I stand at rigid attention—and have never weighed much more than 150—so it was a mismatch. Obviously the “friend” who set up the blind date had some laughs in mind. I ended up taking her to a local movie house where a re-release of King Kong (the one with Fay Wray) was playing—I kid you not.
Anyway, like I said, I warily decided to give the blind-date route another go with this friend of Frankie and Kim’s.
Next day, when I got into the truck next to Frankie, he had a mournful look on his face. Thing is, in all the time he had worked on me to go on the blind date, he hadn’t checked to see how the young woman (Nancy) felt about it. And when he and Kim laid the plan on her, her “unusual sense of humor” kicked in.
“Tell him to submit 8 x 10 glossies,” is how she had replied.
“But don’t worry,” said Frankie, “Kim will talk to her. We’ll set up the date.”
At this point, I let Frankie in on something he did not know about me. The job I had previous to this one was in New York City—teaching at the largest bartending school in the world. And one day at that job, while going through my spiel about “part of being a good bartender is to be a philosopher of sorts”—I said words to the effect, “If you put your mind to it, you can do anything.”
Well, many of the students at the school were wanna-be actors and actresses looking to learn a skill that would make them some money, but would free up daytime hours for the auditions that are so necessary to that craft—a situation that bartending nails perfectly. Several of the wanna-be’s protested that for actors, good intentions were not enough, nor even talent; they were convinced that luck was the biggest factor. And after some give and take which had me shoving my foot ever deeper into my mouth—I took my students up on a dare to go on some auditions to see if I could land a part—for which the first step was getting headshots taken.
“Back home,” I informed Frankie, “I have several dozen left-over 8 x 10 glossy headshots complete with my name running across the bottom.”
Wow! Talk about a reaction! We all were late to work that day. Frankie damn near caused a major traffic incident turning the truck around and heading over to my apartment to get the photos. Didn’t even want to wait until after work—wanted them immediately. This would be a chance to go one-up on Nancy and her “unusual sense of humor” in a way that would never be re-topped!
And after the submission of the glossies, what could Nancy do! I didn’t have a third eye in the middle of my forehead, as she feared. She said yes; we went on a “blind” double date with Frankie and Kim; and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
We hit it off better than either Frankie or Kim conceived in their rosiest scenario. That was over 25 years ago—and we’re still together in a relationship better than anything I could possibly have dreamed up. She was, and still is, the nicest person I’ve ever known. She’s the soul mate who easily handles the “difficult side” of me.
I’m crazy ‘bout her!
(The submission! Boy, sure had a lot of hair back then. Wish I had it now!)
(The soul mates on the beach at Seaside.)