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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

The First Date

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

At this point, we are the only two persons left in the entire complex! No music, no lights, no noise, no other people – just Martha, me, and 87 acres of deserted shops. It reminded me of those fabricated cities the Defense Department used to create just so they could nuke them. At this stage, I'm waiting for Rod Serling to walk out onto the terrace, look into a camera, and calmly say, “First dates and hell – they're one and the same.... in the twilight zone.”



Okay, all you single folks know how tough the dating scene is out there. Personally, I don’t know which is worse – not having a date at all, or having to endure the dreaded “first date.”

Now, lest there be any confusion about this, when I say “first date,” I mean the first date with a specific person – not the first date of your life. I may be a little slow – but I’m not that slow.

That reminds me of a question an MTV reporter asked the unmarried, would-be presidential candidate, Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey: “Senator Kerrey, every president needs a first lady. So tell me, do you remember who she was?”

From then on, it was all downhill for the Kerrey campaign.

And the first date is always toughest when it’s with a lady you really want to impress, and you haven’t had a date yourself in a year and a half. I know, “Be natural; be yourself.” But what do you do when your real self is hopelessly shy and pathetically clumsy? Decades ago, poet Ogden Nash summed up his approach in his poem “On Getting Acquainted.” With great insight, he wrote, “Candy is dandy; but liquor is quicker.”

So... I went with flowers. I bought them early in the day so that I would have a good choice and wouldn’t have to hurry. But I made the mistake of leaving them in the car all day, and by 6:00 p.m., the flowers looked more like something the cat ate -and then threw up. So I rushed out to buy some more – but of course, these were far too small and not yet in full bloom. Without revealing the ugly details, I explained to my date that these were not actually the ones I wanted to get her. She said, “I understand – you were not my first choice, either.”

Okay; understood. We’re off to a rocky start here.

I had decided to play it safe, and go for dinner and a movie for the first date. The object of my desire – let’s call her “Martha" (surely she would not want me to use her real name) – suggested, “Since you’re paying, why don’t you decide where we eat.” Okay. My first choice was the revolving restaurant atop the Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta – dramatic, elegant, charming. A superb choice, except that the Peachtree Plaza Hotel was 450 miles away. A little too risky, perhaps.

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