NOTE: Not long ago, a reporter for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Katy Reid, interviewed me for a story on what name to call old people. It has now been published and you can read it here.
That story is part of a whole section on aging titled, “The Good Life.” The main page is here. Katy wrote a lot of those stories too.
Recently, I heard or read somewhere that 25 percent of couples (undefined as to whether married, living together or dating) now meet online. I have no idea if that is true, but it sounds reasonable given how much time people – especially young people – spend at their computers. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number were higher.
That’s a far cry from your and my youth. The web wasn’t a gleam in anyone’s eye when we were first dating and marrying.
Funny story. Well, not so funny. Back in the mid-1960s, I was producing a radio talk program in Houston, Texas. A company approached us to hold a computer dating contest to find “the perfect couple,” two people whose interests and psychology most closely matched.
I recall that we all thought it was kind of weird that a computer could choose two people who would like each other based on some true or false and multiple choice questions but we were curious to see how it turned out.
By today’s standards, the match-up process was primitive. Listeners mailed in their requests for a form which was sent to them. They answered the hundred or so questions, mailed back the form and the company ran the results through a computer that came up with the closest match.
I don’t remember anything about the couple who won – except this: a month or so after their date, the man turned up on the front page of the local newspaper having been arrested as a pedophile.
Uh-oh. No more computer dating on our radio show.
The host of that show was my then-husband whom I’d met through friends at a coffee house in Sausalito, California, six or seven years earlier.
Back in those days, a high percentage of married couples met through their jobs and after my divorce, I met several of the important men in my life that way. One worked in a different department at ABC-TV and another was a newspaper reporter who had come to the office to interview the host of the TV show I was working on.
At some point in the misty past, I recall that there was a premium on “meeting cute” – having a good story to tell when people asked about how a couple had found one another. That may still be true but, sorry to say, I don’t have any such tales.
So today, I wonder if you have any good stories. Let’s see how we met our husbands, wives, partners, significant others, etc.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Lyn Burnstine: Plastic