Politically correct? Nope. Bashed by an angry reader

There I was last Saturday at 4:30 a.m. on my computer, enjoying the emails so many of you sent, responding to the article that had quoted Gale with a reference that she was not the Red Cross.

The comments received didn't focus exclusively on any aspect of the article; they were vast, varied and interesting.

Mary Lou shared a positive story about a widower, since deceased, who had become her best friend, although she stressed, "not a friend with benefits." Her comments about the widower were so positive, I added them to the "Widower Dating" ebook I published last week. Here is the link to that page:

Widower Dating. Gold Mine or Mine Field?

Marta said, "Gale's Red Cross woman story made me laugh." She went on to share a tale of having dinner with a woman friend, during which the friend showed Marta proof that the man she was living with and engaged to had contacted the woman friend on an Internet dating site.

Marta added, "Angered and adrenaline-fueled, I drove home, and with one arm, picked up this much taller and heavier man by his belt and lifted him out the front door in one fluid motion. I could not move my arm the next day, but the feeling of satisfaction and look of shock on his face when I told him I knew ALL was worth it."

I smiled, picturing Marta doing that; I was enjoying your responses.

Ghazala asked if I could provide information about singles cruises. I replied that I would research the topic and told her to check out Marge's Tours on the Internet Marge's Tours Website. Marge is one of our readers and a wonderful hostess,--people love touring with her--but her tours are not singles tours.

I added, "In April, I will be doing an article or two about a cruise that my partner Greta and I are taking, which will include observations of the appropriateness of singles activities on board. We're taking the Holland America Line from Rome through Croatia and the Greek Isles for ten days."

The editor of the newspapers I write for in Southern California -the Dana Point News and other papers--has asked that I write a series of articles about the challenges of traveling now that my partner and I are older.

Besides the cruise, Greta and I will visit Rome, Greece, and Istanbul for three additional weeks and will be posting our articles to a blog, to which all of you will have optional access.

Back to the comments from last week's newsletter that I was enjoying so much.

Phyllis simply said, "Thanks for the new term," referring to the Red Cross reference.

Donna emailed, "Kudos to your article today." After a few other comments, she added, "Independence with some testosterone now and then can be wonderful."

Dan challenged our readers: "Please stop. Male/Female, Venus/Mars, Ying/Yang, etc. We are human, we are going to make mistakes and hopefully we will learn to move on. Stop living in the past, try to remember the blessings you have and move forward. Where are the positive stories?"

But there was one nagging issue that Saturday morning. I had received a telephone call at my Dana Point, Calif., deli late Friday afternoon that I could not participate in because I was on a very important call with my other former stepson, the brother of the missing stepson.

So the employee who answered the phone, Korbin, a 20-year old, got an earful. He said the call was from one of my newsletter members who lived in the Midwest and she was very upset with the Red Cross reference in the newsletter.

When I opened the final two emails, the hammer came crashing down. Those emails were from the same person who had telephoned the deli. She wrote, in bold red letters, "I am a Red Cross Disaster Team Nurse. The insinuation that someone who allows herself or himself to be taken as a fool is very insulting." There were several more paragraphs in that email.

The second email ordered me, again in bold red letters, to "Change your headline ASAP by identifying Red Cross volunteers and recipients of help negatively does so so so much damage to our cause."

Holy cow! It didn't occur to me that the Red Cross reference would in any way disparage that organization or its volunteers. In fact, I am a regular donor to the Red Cross, particularly with the Haiti and Chile disasters this year, and have donated blood on multiple occasions.

So there you have it. I never know what to expect when I ink a newsletter. I try to be politically correct and walk on eggshells. Guess I didn't quite get it right last week.

© 2010, Tom Blake

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Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50. He has appeared twice on the "Today Show" and has written more than 500 columns on dating and relationships. His "Single Again" column appears in The Orange County Register in southern California, is read worldwide and is often featured on msn.com. He is a professional speaker. He spoke at the national AARP convention in San Diego in 2002, and in Chicago. His book, Middle Aged and Dating Again, is a humorous account of his first year of dating after his third divorce. His second book is Finding Love After 50: How to begin, where to go, what to do. His latest book is titled How 50 Couples Found Love after 50. To ask a question or receive Tom's free weekly column on middle-age dating and relationships by e-mail, click on www.findingloveafter50.com or E-Mail.

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