I was recently asked if I am gay.
To which I responded, "I am a practicing heterosexual, even if my practice is by myself." Heck, I'm willing to put in the hours just in case I get a partner down the line.
Still, my spirits are not down because I know there must be a woman somewhere on the planet who desperately wants U.S. citizenship or completely hates her parents. There really is no bad time to piss off Mommy, and I remind disgruntled women of this fact.
And every so often I get an encouraging sign from a woman that keeps me on my toes..
For instance, just days ago I went to visit a friend, Phil Burke. Phil is exactly like me except that he is a tennis professional and he's tall, elegant, graceful, thoughtful, and loved by all ladies, from 4 to 104. I visit Phil and his brother Bryan because they are always fun and generally surrounded by adoring women. Essentially, we could not be less alike unless instead of being a man, I was a microbe.
So, upon meandering into the shop, I see both Phil and Bryan with a Beautiful Brunette tennis-attired girl of about 30. Nothing changes for the Brothers Burke.
We talk for maybe 15 minutes. The Beautiful Brunette says very little.
It's not that she isn't paying attention to the conversation. In fact, she is paying close attention, almost like a court reporter.
At some pause, "BB" says to me very matter-of-factly, "I know you."
"No you don't, because if I knew you I would never forget you," I say.
"Oh, I know you," she says. "You're Michael Fechter and you have a son and we used to date."
At this point the Burke Brothers are laughing at me.
I am caught completely off guard. I'm positive that I could not have dated this girl. I know that I have a lot on my mind — 16 million orphans and all — but there is no way a practicing heterosexual could forget this beautiful girl.
I pull myself up to my full height and look BB in the eye and say, "Young lady, I do not know who you are but it's not nice to lie to strangers. Especially older strangers that wish they had dated you."
At this point, the Brothers are really laughing. They are saying things to the effect of, "What kind of idiot could possibly not remember you?"
In front of the Brothers, with no wiggle room, BB then proceeds to dissect our past. She tells me how old my son was, what I was doing at the time, and where we went on our dates — to the deserted end of the beach at Folly where the Naval Shacks used to be and to an Italian restaurant in Mt. P.
Now, I'm really concerned because these are exactly the kind of places I would take a date. And it hits me: "Oh my God, we did date. And I do not remember her at all." What is wrong with my mind?
And then it hits me, perhaps I can salvage this public humiliation, and my public admission of very early onset of Alzheimer's, with a question: "We didn't kiss, did we?"
Without flinching and with direct eye contact, BB responds, "No, we didn't."
And then I proudly proclaim, "Well, young lady, we did not date. We may have gone a couple of places together. But if we had ever kissed, I never would have forgotten you."
Everyone laughs, and it's agreed by committee that we did not date and that it's OK to forget someone from almost a decade ago when you have a child to raise.
Two days after our encounter, I called BB at home... for a date.
And I hope that we kiss. I'd like to never forget her again.