Continuing the story of how I met Neal…
After I sent in the postcard, I was invited in to the Great Expectations (GE) office for an interview. I discovered that the place was a quality outfit, doing criminal record and financial checks on all potential members. And I liked the procedure.
Every member had photos taken by a professional; one was dress up, the other casual. Then a professional videographer interviewed you for a VCR tape. You wrote a bio, and answered questions about yourself and whom you were looking for.
When you finished all that, you were entered into a notebook (this was before internet dating) and you were placed on the shelf alphabetically in the Candy Store – a joking name for the library of members.
You came into GE, passed Security, and visited the notebooks set up in a kind of library with coffee and tea available. If you saw someone’s page who looked interesting, you asked for the video. If you liked the person you saw in the video, you let the “librarian” know and she sent that person a postcard (this is before email was common.)
The postcard recipient then came into the library at their convenience and looked at your photos, bio, questionnaire, and video. If they wanted to meet up, they were given your telephone number. (No mobiles yet, remember!)
On the phone you both agreed to an appointment, arriving in separate cars, in a public place. Just having coffee was encouraged, but dinner was ok too. You paid for your own meal. People were discouraged from going to the other’s home on the first date. Physical contact was discouraged on the first date. Counseling was available in the GE offices.
This was a pricey deal. GE was manned by quality folks. It was on the up and up all the way. They even threw picnics and parties to help people become acquainted. They gave seminars on various topics such as dating, relationships, etc.
I became convinced that this investment was worth making, because I wanted to see New York City and other places in the NE but not alone. (Thanks to an inheritance from my mother I had the $1500 fee.) I figured that the companionship and opportunities were worth the money even if I did not find Mr. Right. It was the safety and seriousness I liked.
It definitely turned out to be a worthwhile investment for many interesting reasons.
I wore a turquoise nubby silk blazer and black turtleneck and Cheyenne beadwork jewelry for my photo. My hair was salt and pepper and very chic; I wore long black leather boots and a smile. I can’t remember my casual photo. I wrote a pretty sexy bio heavy on the intellect and compassion angles. In those days I was hot to trot and I was not coy about it. But I was not brazen. You had to be a thinking man to “get it.”
I was looking for sophistication, intelligence, adventurousness, health, taste, an interest in the arts, and financial security. And a good dancer. My sons said to be honest! Most importantly, this man had to have good father potential. I would rely on my Mama Bear instincts for that one.
Let the fun begin….