It was Monday, Valentines’ Day 2001. My wife was five months pregnant at the time we moved into this wonderful neighborhood smothered in US Naval glory. After I came back from work the next day, she told me a kind old man stopped her as she was wheeling out the trash bin. She said he hobbled from across our quiet street lined with peppercorn trees then kindly wheeled them out for her.
I found out the “old man” was a World War II combat vet. Worse yet, he was a sailor in the Pacific – he fought the Japanese in World War II.
“Holy crap,” flashed through my mind, “What if he finds out we’re Japanese?”
Twelve years later, I was honored to have been a pallbearer at his funeral.
I was so far off base about my first thoughts on Old Man Jack that even George Burns could have…
Hattip to my friend Jay Anderson for advising me of this tidbit of history. Today is the 178th birthday of Mary Custis Lee, the eldest daughter of Robert E. Lee. She could be a pill. Described by her siblings as “bossy” and “stern”, she asked only one thing out of life: her own way. She did not suffer those she considered fools gladly, and she was never shy about reminding people that she was the eldest daughter of Robert E. Lee.
On June 13, 1902 she and her black maid had sat down on an Alexandria street car, laden with packages. Miss Lee was now in her 67th year, so no doubt she was tired. She and her maid sat in the back of the street car. A “Jim Crow” ordinance had recently been passed in Alexandria , and among other odious provisions it mandated racial segregation on street cars, with…
1 February 1942 is the earliest mention of a Kamikaze attack, but it was more likely an opportunist rather than a planned event. The USS Enterprise was damaged by the crashed plane. Admiral Takijiro Onishi did not create the Special Attacks Groups (Tokubetsu Kogeki Tai) until 19 October 1944, and gave them the title of Kamikaze after the ‘Divine Wind’ that scattered the Mongol invasion of Kublai Khan in 1274 and 1281.
These men volunteered mainly out of a sense of duty, generally university students, in their 20’s, being taught to “transcend life and death… which will enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with unwavering determination…” — an excerpt from the Kamikaze manual kept in their cockpit. Three times as many men volunteered as the number of planes available and experienced pilots were rejected. They would prepare for their fate by writing letters and poems to…
I wrote out several blog titles prior to choosing the three-word title you see above. A few sounded corny, some awkward, and a couple others seemed too … confrontational. And the last thing I wanted was to wade into controversial waters. So I thought the simple title of ‘What I Believe’ would do. Enough to make some go ‘huh?’ But hopefully not too much to make others go ‘ugh.’
However, I know by bringing up the topic of belief, of faith, I risk offending when I wish not to offend. And I risk arguments where I wish only to explain my own personal feelings. For I cannot speak to my own belief system without at times referencing, whether explicitly, or by implication, other systems of faith.
I have toyed with the idea of listing some rules of courtesy and what I will and will not tolerate with regards to comments. …
There. I wrote the words. After all, this is WordPress.
Marge and Carol from the Greatest Generation would be so dismayed that I would be searching online for a gal. Marge met Mr. Johnson at a USO dance in WWII. Carol met Old Man Jack at his mom’s house in Eagle Rock during one of his two furloughs from warring on those “stinkin’ islands”. The commonality? They met face-to-face and it wasn’t at a bar. And it wasn’t at 2:30 AM before they were to ship out to war. (Clicking on the highlighted links will take you to one of their stories.)
Online dating began for me last month…I mean, online searching. Duh.
Dating comes later – if at all.
Unbelievable – an old fart like me is using the internet to “shop” for a lady. I’m now a (nearly) 60 year old rookie up against lady pros who reportedly have been picking and choosing “online” for their PERFECT man…for the last three years some of them write. Gee, think of the tricks they must have up their sleeves against old geezers like us.
Frightening…especially since they have the upper hand. A royal flush, ace high. Why is it that the woman always has the right to pick and choose and not the man?
The thought of online dating really repulsed me; it still does. A last resort for social misfits unsuitable for mainstream society, I thought. I also envisioned it as a “meat market” of sorts. You know, pick out the best side of beef by looking at your screen then bid on it. The highest bid wins and it is just that in substance.
Well, I haven’t learned enough during my years on this planet so I was ignorant enough to have tried it out…mostly because I knew I would likely end up in a “Why did I do that?” moment if you found your “soul mate” at a bar half-drunk out of your wits. That would also include her, too. The other reason was that I don’t like to mix with large crowds for one reason or another. So where would I meet my Disney princess of dreams, I thought?
Ergo, online dating. Old Man Jack and Mr. Johnson must be shaking their heads at me from above.
Well, this is what I’ve found out so far… and it’s my view only:
Because of “PC”, women do have the upper hand. Delete or reply. One sweetheart of a gal told me she gets over a hundred emails a day from interested men. Over a HUNDRED.
Nearly all of the women say on their “profile” that LOOKS are certainly “a plus” BUT they are “truly” looking for HONEST and loyal men…not players. However, nearly all of the ladies post photos of themselves taken years earlier or they are blurred. Many also understate their age – a few by ten years! Honesty starts with oneself, ladies. Practice what you are looking for. 🙂
Nearly all of the women – even little 5’1” Asian women – seek Caucasian men a bazillion feet tall and who look like this famous wounded Marine amputee and poster boy (above). Me? I’m but 5’7”. (Kinda like the actor who said, “Look! Zee plane! Zee plane!”)
Nearly all of the more “attractive” women expect to be taken to the Maldives, Paris, Sedona, sailing, a winter ski vacation in the Swiss Alps…on a regular basis. Well, you get the message. With me, they’ll be lucky to be taken to Chuck-e-Cheese.
Some women state in their profile their ideal man must earn over $150,000.
One story that was told to me was that one attractive woman told a man at their first meeting that she wants $3,000 month (starting now), a luxury car, and an $18,000 wedding ring for the opportunity to “date” her. You get the message on this one, too.
Nearly all of the women are of Christian/Catholic faith. I’m not. That’s understandable.
Nearly all of the women are divorced as well but their kids are now adults. I can’t blame any of them they don’t wish to live with a man with two teens even if get A’s and B’s… Well, most of the time. They’ve had their share of stress already.
In essence, online dating isn’t working for me. Perhaps I’m more towards the Walmartian level than I choose to believe or many ladies are not including “Asian” in their search criteria. Tripped up at the starting gate even before the “race” started… Yes, that’s supposed to be a pun.
I even added a couple of links to some of my short stories here on WordPress. Perhaps six ladies actually went so far as to click on the links.
Old Man Jack and Mr. Johnson were right in shaking their heads from above.
Oh. Forgot. If I did get an email from an “interested” female, they were likely from the Philippines or were most definitely specialists in “night activities” – call girls. That was how I got “conned” into purchasing membership to be honest. You were alerted “someone” was interested in you but you could only see them if you paid up. How fortunate for the internet site!
So in summary, if you, as a male my age is wanting to seek a lady via online dating, you will have great success if:
You are Caucasian;
You are a bazillion feet tall (i.e., a few feet taller than ‘Zee Plane’ dude);
Built like Superman and look like him (body suit and cape optional.);
You are a Powerball winner and will take your lady traipsing all over the globe (on your dime);
Earn over $150,000;
And your own kids do not live with you.
But in summary and in logical thought, online dating is very similar to what Old Man Jack and Mr. Johnson did 70 years ago.
The only difference back then was the eligible lady is there in front of you. No fake profile pic or dishonesty of body type. You didn’t ask a gal to dance if she didn’t strike your fancy. And your chances for a girl increased exponentially if you were the varsity football team’s quarterback, had a hot car (I do) and moolah (I don’t). And Mr. Johnson cheated, by the way. He wore the dashing uniform of a United States Marine.
On the positive side, you don’t have to feel the rejection when the gal tells you “no” when asked to dance. They just don’t reply to your emails now.
Perhaps I should be dishonest and classify myself as Caucasian. Nah. That’s as bad as ladies using photos of themselves from 20 years ago.
Maybe I should realize I’m a Walmartian in the eyes of eligible women.
Or perhaps I should go back to the tried and true Japanese method that’s worked for centuries – contract (arranged) marriage, or お見合い. Just exchange pictures and you’re set. Both sets of grandparents met that way.
Oh, dang. I did something similar to that the last time.