When I heard the telephone ringing I had no idea that my life was about to spin into a vortex that would be one of the more hurtful, emotional, and rewarding battles of my life. It was going to elate me, depress me, reject me, and accept me . Ultimately the spinning would stop and I would come out the victor, but the price I had to pay was high. I often wonder where my world would have gone if I had not answered the phone that night. Was it my destiny that I should have to suffer through the vortex to become a stronger person, or was it just my world colliding with a world insisting that I be classified as ‘crippled‘.
It was January 1972 and my son are I were sitting in the bean bag chair that I had made him for Christmas. It was a very large bean bag and he had persuaded me to watch one of his favorite television shows with him. We were snuggled down into the cushiony cloud, warm and drowsy when the telephone range.
“I’ve been working with a man that I think you would really like. He’s divorced, doesn’t have a girlfriend, does have a great job, and he really wants to meet you. If you agree I’ll give him your phone number and the two of you can get acquainted.” My friend Jenny was trying to set me up for a blind date.
I wasn’t real enthusiastic, but I loved Jenny so I stayed silent while she listed all of the mystery man’s attributes. It took her awhile, but I finally agreed that she could give him my phone number. Just before she hung up she said, “Oh by the way, there is an opening where I work. Why don’t you come over and put in an application. I know you would love working here. I’ll call you tomorrow and give you all of the information.“
Jenny was a match maker. She was always trying to find the perfect man for the single women in her world. Once about six months prior, for a surprise birthday gift, she had signed me up for a dating service. She filled out all the forms, answered all the questions, and paid the fee. She was so proud of what she had done. She had met the love of her life through that same dating service. She wanted that happiness for me. I was apprehensive. A dating service was a fairly new concept. I had enough to handle without sifting through phone calls from men enrolled in a dating service. I smiled, accepted the gift, and decided that I would just tell them ‘No thank you‘ if I got any calls.
A week later I got the first phone call. It was from a very charming man that yaked and yaked until I thought something sounded very familiar about his life. I asked him if he knew a Jenny and his yaking all a sudden became a long silence broken with a small, quiet “yes, do you“? The ‘love of Jenny’s life was calling women’s phone numbers trying to set up dates. It was one of those chilling moments, but I have to give him credit. He hung up from talking with me, called her, and admitted what he had done. Naturally, she was hurt, but she figured that he never would have called ME if SHE hadn’t signed me up in the first place. She didn’t let it dampen our friendship.
And now she was setting me up for a blind date!
Continued on next entry