Photo by malerapaso on iStock

I was not actively looking to date, but when I heard the message from the director of the matchmaking service I had hired almost a decade ago (and had not spoken with in over eight years), I was intrigued. And surprised. Not only because it had been so long since I last spoke with her, but because our last call had been to tell them, in no uncertain terms, I was done with them. I had even considered retaining legal counsel to get my money back but realized my attorneys might end up costing me more than the fee I had paid.

Hindsight should be 20-20, but at the time I put my membership on permanent hold, I thought it was because they were not listening to what I said I wanted in a potential relationship. (Do not get me started on the difference between "hearing" and "listening.") But the reality? They are a business and are playing the numbers game. They take your money, arrange the required number of dates, and if your requirements are fairly generic, can probably "match" you up. If you are a little more challenging (or have deeper pockets), they attempt to upsell you to a VIP service.

So, I agreed to their proposed date, and as I told my sister the morning after,

We met at about 6:30 p.m., and the conversation flowed easily, with many shared interests and attitudes (even politics, even though I have been told that is never something to talk about on a first date). Before you knew it, we were closing the place down four hours later. We had talked about this website, and he wanted to know how to find it, so I gave him my business card. And, he gave me a gentlemanly kiss on the cheek when we parted at valet.


Later that day, the service had one of the administrative assistants call me for a debriefing. They apparently had a checklist of questions (what did we discuss, how long did the date last, what did I think of his physical appearance, etc.) and concluded with whether I would see him again. I hesitated, saying that I would – but that my gut told me I was probably not what he was looking for in terms of a romantic partner. (When I told Red the same thing, she said I still should go out with him again and see.)

So, imagine my surprise when the director of the matchmaking service called me late that afternoon, leaving a message that she wanted "to gloat." When we ultimately spoke, she told me that she was right when she thought that we were perfect for one another. That he had said he really enjoyed getting to know me, that I was a "firecracker," and a very interesting person. She reiterated how good she is at matchmaking, and that I should keep her updated on how this develops.

I have not heard from him. And, if not for the director telling me differently, I did not expect to as I did not think I was what he was seeking. But, imagine if I had gotten my hopes up and was anxiously awaiting his call.

So, I wonder … should I call her and merely leave the message,

How do you retract "a gloat"?
Photo by Epiximages on iStock

Black's Head Black

I appreciate that bullet points may not be the typical approach to Mother’s Day, but it seems appropriate to me …
  • Be sensitive to those people whose mothers may no longer be with us, especially given how many have been lost to COVID
  • If you have lost a mother, remember they are always with you – in your heart and in your memories
  • Remember Mother’s Day also includes all those “unofficial moms” and “mother figures” who are like second (or replacement) moms
  • And, last but not least, If you’re a mom, try to enjoy the day by doing something for yourself, as today may be the one day you can get away with it

red head red head

This year I write about Mother’s Day with a heavy heart and still much raw emotion, as our mom passed in December. My pragmatic side (yes, that’s usually Black’s area although she did sound somewhat warm and fuzzy above) knows that she had been 94 and led a full life, but that really doesn’t make it any less sad or fill the emptiness. But I find myself, when I least expect it and triggered by the most unexpected things, finding comfort in wonderful memories. And although Black’s first bullet point hits too close to home for me, I’ll try my best to focus on the other bullets.

Wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day!

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

At speaking engagements, Black will often ask, “Who likes math?” followed by, “Who likes money?” As you can imagine, a lot more hands go up in the air for the second question than the first. But imagine if she asked if money made them laugh. It’s probably safe to say no one would say, “Yes.” Although they’d be wrong because people laugh (and learn) at basic, but potentially life-changing, stories about Red and how, when it came to money, she was clueless and intimidated.

It could be the story of Red putting her theater degree to good use as she freaked out about vocabulary. Especially since she was a straight-A student and avid reader who prided herself on her vocabulary. (If words set her off, Black could only imagine the “scene” that would have occurred if she had asked Red this handful of questions.) But Red’s financial crisis did prompt the ever-pragmatic Black to envision the power of a sitcom with entertaining money episodes because … Money IS A Laughing Matter!

Want to read other columns? Here’s a list.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash

red head red head

I had no idea that April was “Second Chance Month” until you sent me the official proclamation. I find it interesting that in the midst of juggling our usual million and one Red & Black things, your interest in criminal justice, which I know you consider a “passion project”, is as strong as ever, maybe even stronger.

Black's Head Black

It is not intentional, sometimes “passion projects” find you. And, when you least expect it.

red head red head

Or where you least expect it! Only you would take a “field trip” to a men’s prison.

Black's Head Black

I will not get on my soapbox about how our education system contributes to the criminal justice problem. I will never forget a friend of mine who was formerly incarcerated telling me, “Rehabilitating people makes the assumption they were habilitated in the first place.”

red head red head

When you stop and think about that statement, it’s pretty powerful! But I have to smile as once upon a time you, and I, used words like “offenders” and “prisoners” until we learned how our choice of words could be dehumanizing.


Says the woman who once believed in the idea of “lock ’em up and throw away the key”.
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