In recovery we’re urged to remain teachable. It’s a quality that facilitates growth; as they say, “Grow or go.” Frankly, spiritually, emotionally and financially flat as I was—it was a relief to admit what had become evident: that I had no answers. What a pleasure to heed others and secure some life skills.

In retrospect, the best years of my life have always been the one’s where I asked for help and sought counsel in others. Most of my stumbling came when my ego said I was “handling” things, or when I was to proud to admit I’d dropped the ball. Other than perhaps sliding into a base, the fact is I’ve never learned anything on my own.

In grade school days we’d cross the street to Rowland where the older guys taught us to hold a bat (against the grain). They said it reduced cracked bats. (Now I have no idea if they were right, but to the novice, it made sense). Moreover, while our Dad readily taught us to score Hollywood/Oklahoma gin rummy, he’d never thrown a breaking ball. It took the steadfast guidance of Steve Fromin to teach that. There’s no ego at age nine and, as such, no difficulty in accepting the wisdom of others. Frankly, a half-century later I still don’t know why…when I held my finger on the red stitching of the hardball just so……it broke.

One area where I rarely took advice was with women. Fact is you could count my high school dates on the fingers of Mordecai Brown’s right hand. (Junior Prom, Senior Prom, and one homecoming).

In college, buoyed by the confidence of contact lenses and a Mustang convertible, things improved. Evolving from total nerd to semi-neb, I was now being fixed up by Stuart and even Longert. No matter, I quickly forgot where I’d come from. Somehow, I thought I knew the game.

I was wrong.

Post-OSU, summer of ’72, Stuart not only knew what I didn’t know, he knew THAT I didn’t know. On the back of a Highlights Magazine sales report form, in a three-page letter, he suggested prerequisites for a life partner.

I ignored him.

Fast forward to this millennium and of course the more things change the more they stay the same. This is both good news and bad news. The good, clearly, is that today I eagerly take advice; the bad news is that every one I know now believes, based on his life experiences, that he is an expert. Solicited and unsolicited opinions pour in. As my Dad would say, “I don’t know whether to s___ or go blind.”

This all came to light again recently when I told my child I’d not follow up a December coffee date.

“What’s the matter Dad— no magic?” (came the sarcasm).

I was then instructed that at this “point” in my life I should look merely for someone to go to movies with… or out to eat with—that this should suffice.

“And besides, Dad, how can you tell in one hour?”
“I can tell, please…I always have.”
“What do you mean you always have,” came the inquiry.
“Because my entire life… everyone I’ve ever ‘liked’…I’ve sensed potential immediately…in seconds, ” I proclaimed.
There was a pregnant pause over the phone before the response:

“Well, Dad, maybe that’s why you’ve been so successful!”


Game. Set. Match.

I don’t always agree with my kid, but I am open-minded. Should I be
content with a dinner/movie companion? Should I 86 chemistry?
As I grappled with this so un-Brucelike concept the phone rang. It was
Dick calling from Chicago…about Hal. After bringing him up to speed on
my brother, we got down to small talk.

“So how are you, B?” He asked.
“Good enough.”
“Are you in love these days? You’re always in love.”

Well, Brother Baskin was wrong, but his joke brought a reality check. Why
short-change myself? I’m entitled to more; we all are.

Open-minded me…I needed reassurance. Who better then to contact than the self-proclaimed Jewish Dr. Phil, the paragon of propriety, the pride of South Euclid, Ohio….Robert George Snyder? How in the world could I consider this personal paradigm shift without his input?

And the Yoda delivered.

“You’re kid’s wrong!” he proclaimed. “You have to remember they think we’re old people. They think we’re done.”

I’d likened it my own perception of my father when, mid-40’s, he was dating. Bob went even further. “We’re younger now than they were then,” he pointed out. “It’s a different world.”

“But tell me, Bob…do you think I’m too old to look for magic?”

“No! Bullshit!” he shot back.

I took that to mean, in fact, that I’m too old NOT to look for it.

2 Responses to “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC ?”

  1. Jackie says:

    Don’t listen to your kids! What do they know? They’re all still in that loving, unrealistic world of the first five years of marriage! Chemistry counts. But, understand that you’ll never know when the “chemistry” strikes. May not be Jewish, may not be rich, may not be educated – but when that all elusive chemistry thing happens, you’ll know it. And, it’s always worth waiting for…in the meantime, what is better than being in bed alone eating Chinese food with a great bottle of wine?????

  2. bob says:

    Prime example, our good friend in Oregon found the magic and has never sounded happier. Last time I heard him talk about a women so much was about Barb Janko. You too will find your magic and it will be worth the wait.
    Hope Nemo is doing well.

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