Words & Banter

It’s Just Dating – It’s Just Business

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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"?
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It’s been two years since President Biden signed the anti-Asian hate crimes bill, but making something illegal doesn’t stop it from happening. Hate crimes, including against Chinese Americas, continue at an alarming rate. But imagine if instead of hating someone for being different, we looked at what we had in common and their contributions to American culture and society? After all, that’s what makes America such a unique and special country.

May is Asian American Pacific Island Month (which prompted our conversation below about Jews and Chinese food), but we should treat all our fellow Americans with respect and kindness every day.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Have you ever wondered why Jews love Chinese food so much?

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No, but what prompted that? Did you take in Chinese food this weekend? Or, did President Biden signing the anti-Asian hate crimes bill make you think about how Jews can relate given all the antisemitism in the world?

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Only you would connect those dots. I was straightening up papers in the kitchen and noticed how Chinese takeout menus look the same as they did when we were kids, and how we've laughed over the decades about how much Jews love Chinese food. But now you've reminded me about how we've recently talked about the recent increase in hate crimes against the Asian community . I simply don't understand how people can hate an entire group of people based on race or religion.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

You are the history lover. It is not a new phenomenon. And, the reasons have not changed – Ignorance, prejudice, feelings of supremacy; the list has many "reasons". What I find scary is that people form stronger bonds with others based on what they hate than they do on what they love. But, there is no question that the Asian community and Jews have experienced hate for a long time.

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I know, but in America of all places, that just shouldn't happen. Ever. We're a country built on immigrants, and the contributions of Asian Americans and American Jews have been so significant. From scientists to doctors, artists to activists, the list goes on and on.

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The lists of contributions can be sliced and diced in so many different ways – gender, race, religion, nationalities. There are not enough months in the years to celebrate them all. However, some groups tend to be forgotten or overlooked, which is why President Carter signed the first proclamation celebrating Asian/Pacific Americans , which eventually led to May becoming Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. But now, with hate crimes increasing against them, celebrating by learning about their cultures is even more critical.

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Well, I admit that I personally didn't know any Asians before I lived in Hong Kong, and then Shanghai, several years after getting married. Until then, all I knew was that I loved Chinese food. I know that might sound condescending, but that's not how I mean it.
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I’ve always been a proud redhead, even though I used to wish that I could tan like those glamorous models in fashion magazines. Or maybe I just got tired of Black’s sarcastic comments about my white skin. Except for the one time when we played a rare round of golf together (see below), which ended up becoming one of my favorite memories! Although I do wish I had known back then about how important it is to protect our skin from the sun … So, now I invite everyone (regardless of hair color) to join us in not only observing Skin Cancer Awareness Month but also celebrating National Sunscreen Day.

I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.

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This Mother’s Day, Red will be visiting her best friend from elementary school, both of whom have lost their moms, so they’ll be sharing lots of stories and warm memories. (And since she’ll be in NY, she’ll be “visiting” Mom at the cemetery.) Meanwhile, Red’s youngest daughter is looking forward to having dinner with her second mom … Black!

Mother’s Day is a celebration of moms – those with us and those in our hearts and memories. And that’s why we’re repeating last year’s post (that, and because Black was borderline warm and fuzzy) …

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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

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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!