Back out there, first date

The first official try at dating was a bit of a disaster.  Fearful of dating sites, I thought I would start out with someone I’ve known a very long time.  A man who had kids the same ages as mine.  I had worked with his wife years ago, and they’d actually socialized at my house, but had divorced about 10 years ago.  I knew him … so no worries about his sanity.   Call him Fred.

So Fred had asked me out several times in the past year or so, and I’d always declined.  The invitations were to stop by his place for a drink, or hey, the kids will be home on the weekend, why don’t you come over and see them.  I never felt inclined to do so, simply because he wasn’t my type.  So, one night I’m out for dinner with a friend, and my friend says to me, “The next time someone asks – go.  Don’t over analyze, don’t think twice, just go with the flow.” Ironically, after we finished dinner and as I am heading home, I duck into the grocery store, and there he is – Fred.  And, as always he says – come over for a drink.  Just a quick one, before you head home.  I say yes.

Looking back I realize that my concern had always been that by going to his house I would lose all my power.  Just like when you get into a car as a passenger, you cede control to the driver.  I am, most assuredly, a control freak.  So, it was outside of my comfort zone, especially on a sort of informal first date, to spend it in a man’s home, and yet I made it through.

As I left his house a couple of hours later, Fred asked me if we could get together again, and I said sure.  It had been a pleasant evening, we had lots in common, why not?  By the time I got home I was plagued by guilt, filled with doubt and all the emotions associated with infidelity (at least I think that’s what it was).  Was it right, what would the kids think, what was I doing, what would Kevin think, what would my friends think, was I even ready?  The emotional churn was exhausting.  But at the end of it remained the ultimate and most important question: did I, do I, want to be alone for the rest of my life?  I knew and I know that I don’t.

So I resolved to give this a dating thing with Fred a try.  A day or so later he asked me out for the second time to a party set a couple of weeks away.  I accepted, totally unaware he was taking me to a family pre-Christmas party.  Who does that on a second date?

About the Oscars

It was not an easy thing to do, to turn on the Oscars.  This was a ‘Kevin’ thing – when there was an occasion to celebrate music, art or theater – Kevin was on it.  He regularly watched these types of shows, so it was hard to tune into it on Sunday, but it would have seemed odd not to.  But as usual, Kevin was there in my head.  I could hear his voice throughout the ceremonies.

He would have objected to the opening monologue by Chris Rock.  It simply undermined the entire event.  It made the celebration of excellence secondary, it tainted the accomplishments of the artists and creative geniuses involved.  It likely increased the pressure on the actors, directors and supporting cast to find a cause to grandstand, because, really without a cause you’d get no ink; you would be judged as having no substance or depth.  It added a political element into the entire event.  The political element or the awareness piece is already embedded in the films that were selected, there were plenty of takeaways there.

The Oscars are supposed to be a celebration and supposed to be entertainment, instead it was frustrating, slow, and rather awkward.  I suspect the way the commentary went it was supposed to make one uncomfortable, more conscious of injustice.  What it did for me was reinforced that discrimination is an easy thing to fall into.  The host did it himself, when instead of promoting awareness of injustice to all non-whites, he focused his comments on blacks.  It’s rather easy, isn’t it, to want to take care of your own and forget about everyone else.

It would be far better for the Oscars to focus on their sole purpose, which is to honor the best of the best within the film industry.  Take us on a journey that is exciting, glamorous, fun and upbeat. Let the movies provide the drama, cultural awareness, education, sadness and joy.  If someone within the industry believes passionately about a cause, then go support it, every day in every way; don’t figure a few statements at a gala event make you a better person.  Live it, lead it and land it.