I have mentioned that I grew up in a colorful section of Detroit in my youth, surrounded by Damon Runyon and “Goodfellas” type characters. As is the wont of the era of the men that I had grown up with the term “the old lady” was used in a form of endearment when speaking of one’s wife. I used that term one day in front of one of my “uncles.” In my nationality I have more “uncles, aunts and cousins” then I would ever have in the real world. It is more a statement of respect and honor, especially when referring to an elder. Well my “uncle” took umbrage at the term I used and stressed that I should never use that term again. He said that it is a “Highway” vulgarity and it showed disrespect for one’s spouse and that I was informed that I was wrong to think it made me sound cool. I took that lesson to heart. Years later I found myself divorced.
I was devastated and was under the assumption that if my ex-wife divorced me, how was I ever to find a soul mate. This was a black cloud that hung over my head like the one character from “Lil Abner.” I had been single for about three months and very melancholy, when I was cajoled to attend a “Bond, James Bond” singles dance at one of the clubs in Dearborn. Up until the few minutes as I drove my car into the parking lot of the club, I was still unsure if I was doing the proper thing.
I walked into the room, bought a mixed drink and went to look for a suitable table to orient myself to this new environment. I met two other men that look equally ill at ease, when just at that moment the disc-jockey announced that it was a “Sadie Hawkins” moment and the ladies should go and find a dance partner. All of a sudden this attractive blonde in a gold lame blouse approaches to table that I was at and said “would you like to dance?” The other two men, both said yes immediately, but she held out for my answer and I responded in the positive, but said that I must find someplace to put my hat. She later told me she was sure that she had picked an “old fuddy-duddy.” We went onto the dance floor, then ended up getting another drink and started to talk, before I knew it the evening had come to a close and I wanted to prolong the evening.
I started to panic, as this was the first real encounter with a woman that I had since my divorce was finalized. I realized that I was so removed from the night life that I couldn’t think of a place that was nice to go have a cup of coffee, after she responded that a cup of coffee did sound like a good idea. My brain was a whirling-dervish at the moment trying to come up with a nice place, and then it dawned on me that across the street was the Ritz-Carlton. I surmised that it was a hotel, and all hotels should have a coffee shop (and even though I was a pauper in my current situation I figured that I could afford two coffees, even at the Ritz). I had chose right, and we enjoyed a couple of delightful cups of coffee and were even presented with a complimentary pastry while we in the lobby of the hotel. The rest is history as they say, and for years we would return for a cup of coffee in the lobby to relive that night. We are still together; alas the Ritz is no longer in Dearborn or any where else in Michigan.