bette midler

365 Challenge: Day 152 – Matchmaker

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Matchmaker: a person who arranges relationships and marriages between others, either informally or, in certain cultural communities, as a formal occupation

dolly

Ever since I saw Hello, Dolly earlier this week, I cannot get some of the songs out of my head, nor the other famous one: “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match…” All these tunes prompted me to make today’s 365 Daily Challenge word ‘matchmaker.’ At some point in our lives, we’ve all met or been exposed to some form of this meddler, the (wo)man who takes it upon himself or herself to set up other people, trying to bring joy and happiness into a new couple’s life as they meet for the first time. It’s a divisive topic. Some say “bring it on,” while others scream “mind your own business.”

Looking back throughout my days, I’ve been setup on a date with someone else a few times; it never worked out. I luckily have no horror stories to tell, as the worst that ever happened to me was that the guy was quite fickle. A friend from high school thought we’d be perfect together, so we all up met up for drinks. The match brought one of his friends (a girl), I brought one of mine (a girl), and then we had the matchmaker (a girl) who brought us together. Date seemed to be going fine, but the girl he brought kept sitting on his lap, crossing the line between very friendly and ‘did you two need a room?’ Though I would usually just ignore it, the entire situation puzzled me, as we were kind of on a date, yet tried to make it a casual group thing. I felt forced to ask the question… explain my point of view… but my words fell into a deep hole, and I’m not sure an “ah-ha moment” ever actually came out on the other side either. Nonetheless, I doubt you care to hear the end of that story. The point being… matchmakers… always trying to meddle in other people’s lives assist their friends.

Dolly is a matchmaker in the 1880s in New York City and Yonkers. She’s a widow who holds hundreds of jobs, always with a business card and a new title for whatever you need. She brings together couples all across the bustling city, ignoring her own needs until she’s simply grown too tired of it all. Enter a somewhat charming and rich older man who is searching for a wife… oodles of antics occur and in the end, many couples are united despite all the chaos that ensues. It’s an overly simple summary of a truly remarkable show, but since these posts won’t be as endless as they’ve been in the past (I hear you cheering — NOW STOP THAT!), it shall suffice. I’d heard of the show before the revival came to Broadway, but had never seen it. My friends were absolute crazed when it came back to life with Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce in the lead roles. They insisted on tickets, I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure, sounds fun, do what you will…” I said. They shot me furtive glances, I heard the whispers… “Has he lost his mind, it’s Bette.” Then I watched a performance on the Tony’s and thought, ‘oh, this could be good.’

And yes, the show was amazing, despite the concerns that grew inside my head over the course of the following weeks. You see, some ladies in my apartment building had been gossiping about it weeks ago when we were all at the gym. They sat on a weight bench for about thirty minutes admiring the lovely equipment. I was doing some weird form a squats and lunges, listening in as one does in the gym when seventy-ish women are talking about the show you’re soon to see. “Her voice wasn’t as good as I expected.” “She called out a couple of days and might not finish the run.” I tried to complete my routine, but it just wasn’t working anymore. Not because my life would be over if I missed seeing Bette. But W’s life might be… he had his heart set on seeing her in the show. And I don’t like seeing his heart in a bad place.

And a funny thing about W and me, at least in as far as how he and I met; it was through a matchmaker of our own. I know, crazy how things come together despite what I said earlier. But I promise, there’s no trickery at hand here. This particular matchmaker was quite pushy. Every day I had a message, a reminder, ‘You two should really meet. You’d be good together.” There’d be side-by-side pictures displayed on a phone screen with a few comments dropped to convince me. “You’ve got so much in common. And you live so close to one another.” I believe there were even percentages and blocks being discussed. And then on a weekly basis, a reminder would show up. “You haven’t checked anyone else out this week. Aren’t you forgetting about someone?” You see… our particular meddler was none other than “Match.Com.” Yes, we met through the Internet. And each day, it would tell me he lived a few blocks away from where I worked. Our profiles had 95% in common. And that I still hadn’t exchanged a message with anyone else on the site. But I digress… online dating… perhaps a topic for another day.

Hello, Dolly was all that you’d expect it to be. It’s one of those shows that is unafraid to truly connect with the audience. Certain lines in the show that related to problems in today’s political dramas garnered funny facial expressions from the actors, tons of laughs from the audience. Bette and David took the art of repetition and doing nothing to extremes. In at least 4 or 5 moments, they did zilch on stage for at least two minutes, but it was captivating. Sometimes she was trying to feed him, others she ate food herself while nothing else happened. How many marshmallows can one woman stuff in her mouth? I think they were marshmallows. And every night? Poor Bette, that’s not good for the body. I should know. It’s how I eat my cookies. When I get them. Someone told me I couldn’t have them anymore.

The voices were good, not stellar, but when combined with everything else, it transported you to the setting and you felt absolutely enamored with it all. I knew none of the music, yet it enthralled me. I knew none of the actors other than the two leads, yet I have a few selected to follow to other shows. Though the story took place nearly 150 years ago, it was timeless. The staging was marvelous. The entrances and exits were unexpected yet what we’d all predict if we had a moment to stop being entertained so we could actually process what was happening. It was non-stop shenanigans with a fresh breath of comedic timing and the humor we absolutely all needed. If you’re going to be in NYC, pre-plan as it’s hard to acquire the tickets. But if you have the chance to see the show wherever you are, it’s definitely worth it.

Have you ever seen Hello, Dolly? Been to a matchmaker? Suffered through online dating? Think of the stories we could share…

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • In honor of this lovely show, I am not including a Recommended Blogger to know today. It deserves the spotlight all on its own. We’ll return with regularly scheduled programming over the weekend.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 151 – Vocal

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Vocal: expressing opinions or feelings freely or loudly

ocal.png

Yesterday was quite a day, leaving me little time to draft the 365 Daily Challenge post for today. Though I previously preferred drafting the posts early each morning, after consuming at least two cups of coffee, I’ve now become more comfortable writing them late afternoon in preparation for release the upcoming day. Yesterday I was not able to accomplish my goal. I had a prolific writing day for Father Figure, pushing me to a few extreme moments of hair-pulling crazies and watery eyes that refused to listen. Suddenly, fear permeated throughout my weakened body, when I looked up to see it was 4:30 pm. I’ve not written the post. I’ve not read anyone else’s blog. I’ve ignored social media. And I had to leave my apartment by 5:45 for pre-scheduled plans. I had 75 minutes to accomplish everything, which was no small feat. Curious how I did? Oh… you’re not gonna like the answer.

First, I changed into gym clothes. I can’t go to the gym without those, now can I? OK, task one complete. Then Ryder looked at me with the “I need to go outside” expression. Fine… handled that. Distracted by trying to start the draft of this post. Couldn’t focus. Picked out my clothes for the event. Ugh, @#@$@$ it’s hot out. I have to wear pants and a shirt. I don’t like shirts. I hate pants even more. “Why must I be punished by wearing clothes?” I ask myself. Someone answered me via text, reminding me they were a necessary evil so that I am not locked up in prison for streaking the neighborhood. So, I looked at the clock… needless to say, 30 minutes had passed before I was actually able to leave for the gym (given the tantrum I threw over pants in my closet choosing the lightest possible fabric and loosest-fitting yet smallest shirt possible), but that wasn’t enough time. So nothing got done. Just a lot of back and forth trying to juggle way too many balls in the air, lacking clear priorities. Definite new number one task for later today: Prioritize everything you need to do.

So… shower, change, head off to dinner. It’s #@$#@$@# hot in the city in August. I was a sweaty mess by the time I arrived in midtown, across from Times Square, at the restaurant we all agreed to have dinner at. Ah, tourists… have you ever wondered what goes through people’s minds when they look down at their phones, stare up at digital signs, point at everything that means nothing because they can and they’re there, but it’s something they could do anywhere, yet in NYC, it seems cool, and you’ll never see it again, but in truth… it’s just another human in a weird costume having a good day because that’s what you do when you live in NYC so that you can get the attention of tourists and hopefully make a few bucks? (I haven’t done that – @#$@@##@$).

Five people standing too far apart yet too close together to pass by them, their arms linked across the entire sidewalk with a full crowd in front of stores containing people entering and exiting, no one paying attention. Are people just truly not aware of their surroundings? I gave a few looks of death, as I’m pretty good at mastering that in-between look of ‘I will shoot daggers at you in the hopes I’m letting you know that you are completely screwing up my timing and if you don’t get out of my way way…’ until they realize it and I can then dial it down to a ‘Oh, thanks so much for letting me pass by, have a wonderful day,’ unless they don’t get it and then I elevate said look to ‘You’ve got 3 seconds to get your #$@$# out of my path and use your #$#@$#@ brain to realize that you are so rude and unaware of the traffic problems you are causing right now so move the #$#@$#@$@ away right now.’

At that point, one of two things generally happens: (1) they move or (2) I move. Because I’m the kinda guy who may think all those things, yet I also know tourists make or break a town, and while NYC is in no shortage, I don’t want to impede someone else’s happiness the way they’ve chosen to momentarily impede mine. Ah… arrive at dinner. I was the third of five of us — even two minutes early! The bartender asks me what I want to drink. I search the menu about ready to pick a lovely cocktail to tone down my little mental tantrum when someone give me that look, surreptitiously and silently reminding me: ‘You committed to not drinking for 21 days until the beach weekend, right?’ #$#@$#@$#@ (Yes, I’m doing a lot of that today). On a different note, seltzer has such amazing qualities, between the flavors and the bubbles, it’s just…

Dinner was great. We rushed out at 7:30 and made it to the the theatre. As we turn the corner, one friend says “These people are just standing everywhere blocking my path. Get the @#$#$# out of the way. Oh, I hope that’s not the line to Hello, Dolly.”

  • Point 1: I wasn’t the only person thinking that! Someone else relieved my shift and handled the tantrum business.
  • Point 2: It was the line to get tickets which we had to pick up at Will Call. I counted about half way down it as we walked to the door. 289 people wrapped around the block.
  • Point 3: I was going to Hello Dolly with Bette Midler!
  • Point 4: W somehow got a nice, friendly security guard to let us go thru the side entrance and we suddenly were at our row within 5 minutes. The others had drinks. I did not. #@$@#$@#
  • Point 5: Please do not be angry with us… Bette called and needed us in our seats. Couldn’t help it.

So, I’m sitting in my seat, and it’s about five rows back, so amazing… and… well, now that I think about it, this post has already gotten quite along. And the word of the day is vocal. I can’t remember if I meant vocal as in not sharing the thoughts in my head, or vocal as in screaming about them to anyone who will listen. And if I keep them in my head, does that mean I am not vocal? Or was the point to talk about the vocals at Hello, Dolly. Unfortunately, we’ve run out of time today with this post, as my priorities dictate it’s time to move on to writing the next Father Figure chapter. I’ll be back again tomorrow where it might be time to dish about the show last night. Dolly will have to wait 24 hours.

YES, YES I AM

 

Love,

#$@$#@$%@# JERK @#$@@#$@# RUDE  #$@@$#@$@# (AKA Insensitive Me)

 

Aside: While all this was true, I hope you know I’m just being humorous today… and I promise to talk about the Broadway show in tomorrow’s post… I just have to be vocal about that!

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Linda @ Maine Paper Pusher. Linda and I met online about two months ago through another fun blogger, and I feel like everyone already knows this wonderful woman, so why would I need to include her in my Recommended Bloggers… right? But on the off chance you don’t know her, you should be clicking the link above to peruse her site and then click the follow button on hers. Start with the post from earlier this week where she tells us how she is like a porcupine. Yes, a porcupine. So on point! Linda is always an extremely funny poster and comment writer — I never know what to expect but it always provides an undeniably interesting and funny perspective that will make you tilt your head and say “what is she talking about… oh, wait… that’s totally true!” We’ve had some good banter going back and forth, all starting when I tagged her on an award or some other post. It was a doozy of a tag that would cause her hours to decide on what content, so she let me have it — in a totally hysterical way. It was the start of a great online friendship which makes me smile each day. I read all her posts and try to keep up with the wit, though I usually fail miserably. If you’d like to learn more about her but not from me (maybe you don’t even like me!), check out what is on the site’s About Me (AKA Life is Good in Cornville) section:
    • “I wear many hats: dog mom, silly auntie, baffling wife.  I’ve been “retired” for 3 years following a diagnosis of epilepsy that continues to stump the docs.  Mostly, I just hang out in our old farmhouse in Cornville, Maine.   Our house is in the country so I get to watch deer and wild turkeys in my back yard.  Bald eagles fly overhead and the view from my living room is a horse pasture.  Life is good in Cornville, Maine. On the inside, the house is a circus.  I have two Great Danes, two cats, a collection of fish, and my ever-suffering husband Bill.  Yup, life is good in Cornville.”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.