Monday, May 23, 2011

The Arrangement

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

General Schwartzkopf
Hello Eritrea
While it is true that it was only a high school prom which in the 50's, even in the wild and progressive northeast, was a fairly staid, polite and predictable event, still there was something about the invitation that took me a while to sort out.

One day, in my senior year, a middle age woman was sitting at the back of the class room. She was introduced to us as Mrs. somebody from Boston. She seemed to be a quiet, genial type so we didn't pay much attention to her. If we moved to another room she followed us and was with us for the whole day.

The next day the principal of my school came up to me with a big smile on her face. She said she had wonderful news for me. It seemed that Mrs. somebody from Boston had been sent there by the parents to find a good date for their daughter to accompany her to their own senior class prom in Boston. And Mrs. somebody had checked out all the boys in my class and decided I was the one. My travel and accommodations would all be taken care of. "Isn't that wonderful" the principal seemed to say. I agreed.

But that evening I thought about it. There was something that bothered me. I couldn't identify what it was but it was enough so that the next day I told the principal I didn't want to do it. Fortunately Mrs. somebody from Boston had made some alternative choices and so another boy went in my place. He was an amiable fellow who laughed a lot and was much better at meeting new people and chatting them than I was. He came back saying he had a good time.

I went to talk with an older person whose knowledge and opinions I respected. I explained to him what the deal had been and tried to explain why it bothered me. It wasn't like a blind date. That's when a mutual friend tries to join two people up because they might like each other. I had been on blind dates and they never much worked out. In talking with this friend I gradually began to see what it was that bothered me. If the girl in question had come to my school, looked us all over and picked me I might have gone. But the parents sent a woman who wasn't a member of the family to arrange a temporary boy friend for someone none of us knew.

That was it. It was an arrangement. On the simplest and most innocent level Mrs. somebody from Boston was a pimp. And I had an unconscious realization of that and it bothered me so much I turned the invitation down. To this day I'm not sorry I did. My conscience is not sorry I did.

Ironically about 2 years later I met the girl quite accidentally when my sister and I paid a visit to the family in Boston. I didn't know it was the same family or the same girl but she reminded me of the whole event. She was a pleasant, intelligent person, not pretty but not ugly. We spent about a half hour together and it seemed clear the way it worked out back then was better for her, and if she had had the right to choose for herself, which she should have had, she most likely would have chosen the other fellow anyway.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.
(This is not a contest)

Come on. The Rapture is over, now let's get back to the question of Mars.

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

Only 6 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.



pacifica62 said...

It most certainly was an arrangement and I am sure one of many made during that time. The term "matchmaker" comes to mind and some people do this for a living. It is not something that most people can subscribe to easily. Brings me to "arranged" marriages. I know of some that are very, very, successful, but I have also heard stories of a few that were not. I suppose it just depends on what your expectations would be. For some, exercising the right to choose ends up in disaster and last I heard at least 50 to 51% did not make the right choice.

Big Mark 243 said...

One of the many things I took from this entry is how often have we listened to that quiet voice in our souls and followed to the end where the directions led? Wouldn't life be even more beautiful had we done so??

Arlene (AJ) said...

What an interewting read DB, seems like your conscious was in full geer the day arrived and picked you, glad you went with what you were feeling. One has to be able to live with theirself and feel comfortable mentally when such things come up as you were.