From the archives: Thanks, Dad, but I think I’ll stay single


From time to time, we will visit the Wayback Machine to read stories from The Senior Times archives. This story by Norm King was published June 7, 1989.


There are singles clubs, dating services and marriage brokers. I, on the other hand, have my father.

I’m 31 and happily single. I have no one to make me pick  my clothes off the floor put a bathrobe on when I’m walking around in my underwear (at least indoors).

My father wants to change all that. He’s the type of person who believes if something is good for him, everybody should try it (I hope he never gets a lobotomy). So he’s trying to get me to tie the knot — around my neck.

His matchmaking efforts are well-intentioned. And you would think that since he married my mother he would display excellent taste in selecting dates for me (my mother’s taste in men is another matter). I’ve even told him what I’m looking for in a mate. But he has this unfailing back for choosing — I guess I’ll call them women — who make the priesthood look very inviting.

“Have I got a goil for you,” he says in a thick East European accent.

“Why do you talk like that?” I ask, hiding behind the chesterfield. “You’re from Toronto.”

I exaggerate, you say. Well then, let me give you an example.

One of his prospects was a certified schizophrenic who was spent time in a mental institution.

“Is she good-looking at least?” I queried.

“No, but she has great personalities,” he replied.

I don’t place too much emphasis on looks but if you saw the ex-wrestlers and motorcycle molls he hooks me up with (I didn’t know that female bikers wore beards, too), you’ll understand why I’ll probably be celebrating (that’s no typo) by my 32nd birthday.

But his intentions are good. And he’s always concerned about how my dates turn out. Here’s one recent exchange after a typically disastrous evening.

“How did it go?” he asked.

“Well, Dad,” I replied, “I found out that she bathes once a week and tonite wasn’t the night. I thought you told me she was fetching.”
“I thought she was.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t think you meant balls and sticks.”

You may wonder then why I choose to subject myself to these situations. I wonder, too. I think it must be morbid curiosity or some macabre sense of humour that only my father can elicit.

Whatever it is, this whole experience has certainly altered by views on what makes a good mate. I used to want someone who was intelligent, well-read and sensitive. Gee, thanks, Dad. You made me see the light.



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