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My favorite podcast is one just about people talking about their life,  http://www.thislife.org .  Each show has a different theme.  Last night I listened to “The Matchmakers”, show #347.  It had segments about 1) a bad date, 2) two development workers in Afganistan giving their driver money so he could afford a wedding, 3) a women who donated her kidney and is know an organ donor “matchmaker”, and 4) a disturbing story of what happens in a store when the white baby dolls sell out.

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1226

1) Blind Dates

Blind Date

Ah! The adrenaline rush of pure horror at seeing the guy pictured above is your blind date.  It might be a little worse if your female date looked like that to.  You might find that hard to believe but you have never seen some of the women I have dated.

You hope and pray no one you know will come by.  You want to flee in terror.  It will do you no good.  A blind date will always find you.  “Hi.  I thought that might be you hiding behind the garbage dumpster.  The men’s room was a little crowded so I came back here to take a piss.  I know lets go dancing!

Show producer Jane Feltes tells such a story.

2) A good year for grand gestures.

From the American Life site:

“Miriam and her husband were development workers in Afghanistan.  They had a whirlwind romance themselves, so when they heard that their driver was in love, but didn’t have the money to propose to the girl, they made a grand romatic gesture: they gave him $10,000 to pay for the dowry and the wedding.  It was a move they probably should have known wouldn’t work out so well.”

3) Organ Donor

“Chaya Lipchutz, an Orthodox Jewish women from Brooklyn, donated her kidney to a stranger.  After that, she decided to spend all her time trying to match up potential donors with kidney patients.  It’s incedibly hard to make a match, and for a year, she had no success.  Then, she gets her first break: her brother is going to donate.  For, Chaya, a single, middle-aged woman who was supposed to get married decades ago like everyone else in her community, being a kidney matchmaker has become an obession.  She needs this surgery to succedd.  Roporter Mary Robertson recorded Chaya and her brother as the transplant day approached.”

A link to the National Transplant Society:

http://www.organdonor.org/ 

4) Racism In Baby Toys

“Elna Baker reads her story about the time she worked at the giant toy store, FAO Schwartz.  Her job was to sell these lifelike “newborns” which were displayed in a “nursery” inside the store.  When the toys become hot new toys , they begin to fly off the shelves.  When white babies sell out, white parents are faced with a choice: will they go for an Asian, Latino or African-American baby instead?  What happens is so disturbing that Elna has a hard time telling it.”

I grew up in the racist world of the 1950’s.  I did play with black kids at school, but we never invited each other to our homes.  I never thought of black girls as being attractive.  In high school things got better and worse.  Blacks and whites began to socialize more and to fight more.

The Army probably did the most to change me.  When you are in a fox hole and need help you don’t care what color the hands is that is reaching towards you.

When I was growing up it was thought that blacks and whites should not get married.  It would be bad for their children.  Looking at Derek Jeter and Halle Barry I think we were pretty stupid back then.

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