The calligraphy said “& Guest”, but as I opened the envelope yesterday it mattered not. Sure, I appreciate the gesture— but what’s the point of bringing token “arm charm” just because I can? Absent meeting someone special real soon, I’ll be flying solo that night.

What’s wrong with me?

This summer marked fourteen years of divorced life. Do the math: 1.5 relationships later I’m still a party of one. What gives?

Inventorying my past is revealing, but not necessarily dispositive. Should I look closer in the mirror? Am I thinking too much? What IS wrong with me?

What do I lack? Am I too old, too heavy, too poor? Must she be a Clevelander? Jewish? Normal? The entire world seems to be coupled. Why can’t I find that special connection?

I don’t isolate. From meetings to groceries to theater to…whatever…It’s not about not being out there.

And it’s not about being too particular, or fear of commitment, or settling.

So what is it?

I’ll tell you what it is: It’s Wieder’s fault! At least this past year, anyway. Last fall I witnessed his catch of lightning in a bottle….so……

Where’s my lightning?

Mid-2008- I was minding my own business…content, dating a bit, not really thinking about it…when the phone rang.

“B, I’m getting married. In October. We want you there,” proclaimed the only person I know that’s broken bread with Larry Zelina, Jack Tatum AND Bill Ayers.

After all these years Wido was proving once again that G/d works in mysterious ways. Alan, the least probable candidate for a JDate liaison, met Joanie, New Jersey native, ON LINE. Say it ain’t so! And he was going coastal—moving to (of all places) Oregon. You tell me what a Jew does in Oregon…please.

Seeing truly is believing. Last October Walt, Mary and I found our way to the South Carolina beach wedding. You had to be there. Alan never looked happier. Ever. (And that includes the night we upset Angelo’s Pizza at Kirtland Field, making softball’s Sweet Sixteen).

Returning to Ohio I hopped back on the web. JDate—even Notta. Some nice ladies/some not-so-nice ones. I made friends, but no lovers. And that’s OK.

There was that nut last July. She not only used an alias, but understated her age by fifteen years. Taken aback, I looked her dead in the eye and asked if she was in the Witness Protection Program. Coffee ended moments later.

And there was the widow that unceremoniously dismissed me twenty minutes into our meeting at Fairmount Circle. The lady announced she had to go, (which was fine). Standing to say good bye, I noticed something weird: only one of us had risen to leave— and it was me. Ouch! Then, catch this: this same JDate gem called me out of nowhere but two weeks later, seeking to get together. I took a pass. I may be crazy but I am not nuts.

So where does that leave me? The play closes Sunday. I’ll have time on my hands. Hey, I’m not looking for miracles here—just the right hand to hold. Still, why take a date to the wedding if I don’t want to dance with her?

No, I’ll just go about my business and wait for the lightning. More internet? We’ll see. A fix-up? Maybe. A chance meeting? Perhaps. Matters not. I’m ready.

You see, I’ve gone to Carolina in my mind.


  1. Aunt Helen says:

    Isn’t that just like that friend of yours (Wido),
    it hit you from behind.
    Yes, you are going to Carolina in your mind.
    Say nice things about me.
    Yes, you are going to Carolina in your mind.

  2. Stacy says:

    I’ll be your date, Dad. I love you. Some lucky woman will find you very soon…I’m sure of it.

  3. Jackie says:

    Ditto…your daughter is a very wise woman!

  4. Aunt Helen says:

    Please advise of the exact date.
    I am probably available, too.

  5. alan wieder says:

    To think I am both a curse and a role model — Charles Barkley will be proud. Seriously, I do feel so, so lucky and if it could happen for me it can certainly happen for you. Also, your writing continues to be so goooood! Besides getting me to repeat, as I do every day, how fortunate I am, I get to have memories of Angelo’s Pizza and see Zelina, Tatum, and Ayers in the same sentence.

    thanks Bruce

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