The Guy They’ll Marry 6/4/22

Thoughts with Richard Bleil

You cannot imagine the number of times I’ve been reassured, always by women, that the reason I didn’t have a girlfriend (back then) was because I wasn’t the guy that women want to have fun with, but don’t worry, apparently, I’m the kind of guy they’ll marry.  I think they were trying to be reassuring and helpful, but basically I was being told that I don’t have the personality, the ability, the “equipment” to make women want to go to bed with me.  But I’m dull enough for them to want to marry.

It’s hardly a compliment, and apparently, it wasn’t true, either. 

Yesterday, if all went according to plan, my friend’s youngest daughter married.  I’m truly happy for her, as I know there was a time that she was concerned.  I’m hardly the guy to say, “don’t worry, it’ll happen” since when it did happen with me, it was tragic and short-lived.  But I’m really not surprised, and apparently, she married a very nice young man who I’ve never met so how can I give my approval?  Seriously, if he didn’t ask for my permission to marry her despite the fact that I have no significant role in her life at all, I just can’t give my blessing.  But from what her mom tells me, they’re a great pair and have a bright and marvelous future ahead of them.

It’s not that I’ve never had anybody interested in me.  In one of the more bizarre stories from my past, a jealous wanna-be boyfriend of one of my students decided that he wanted to get me fired.  Although he didn’t attend the very conservative Christian college where I worked, he did know people who worked there in the personnel office.  One day, he showed up to visit, and casually dropped the news that I had apparently sent his would-be girlfriend roses. 

Unfortunately, the rumor mill is just as strong (if not stronger) in institutions of “higher learning”, so the word got around.  As it turns out, she had received a bouquet of roses, with a lovely little card that read, “You are the first though on my mind in the morning, and the last thought at night.  Love, Dr. Blyle.” 

Okay, seriously?  People believed this? 

She brought the card to me, and I took it to the academic vice president and asked that he have a conversation with the people in that office.  But let’s be real, first of all, if I wanted to give her roses, I wouldn’t be so foolish as to have them delivered.  And if I did have them delivered, I wouldn’t have used my formal title on the card.  And if I had used my formal title, I KNOW HOW TO SPELL MY OWN NAME!

At the same college, I used to use the overhead projector, and displayed it on the whiteboard so I could annotate the slides live.  One day, the screen was uncharacteristically pulled down when I arrived early, as usual, to set up.  A few students had already arrived and seemed oddly silent.  I raised the screen, and underneath was a derogatory statement, the exact wording I have long since forgotten, but read something like “Dr. Bliele Sucks” or some such thing.  Ironically, I’ve only seen this spelling of my name once, and that student was in the class.  I left it up as the remainder of the students filed into the classroom, without saying a word.  When class began, I casually pointed to the statement, and calmly said, “this is not how my name is spelled, and only one student in the class has ever spelled it like this.” 

Seriously?  If you’re going to pull these kinds of pranks, learn how to spell the name correctly. 

There were days, at that same college, when I would see lip-prints on the window to my office in the morning.  See?  I really was attractive at one time.

But not so much anymore.  Today, I sit alone in my large and lonely house, my only companion being Star, who is keeping me company on my desk as I write this.  Tonight I’m going to see a show here in Omaha, the tickets of which were sent to me by a married friend who cannot use them, and I’ll be bringing a male friend along because, of course, I haven’t had a real date since Obama was in office.  I’m the guy they’ll marry?  Even today, the words ring hurtful, hollow, and insulting, but for a very different reason than when I first heard them.

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