Friday, December 20, 2013

Screw It: My Sister Tried to Get Me a Date and a Job

It's not uncommon for friends and relatives to help out when you're looking for a job. Or someone to love. It's also not uncommon for their best laid plans to backfire.

My sister Lee twice misfired when it came to helping me.

Before I started dating Gilda I was not seeing anyone. Always the considerate older sister, Lee thought she had stumbled across the perfect person for me to call, a girl whom I had gone out with in summer camp when we were both all of 13.

Our conversation was short, awkward and embarrassing, at least on my end when I called her. When I asked what she was up to these days, she said she was to be married in a few weeks. A quick mazel tov ended the conversation, followed by another call to my sister remonstrating her that the next time she thinks to set me up with a girl it might be wise to first check the young lady's ring finger.

Not content to try to improve my love life, Lee next tried to help me find a journalism job. In the early 1970s, she was a social worker at New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare in lower Manhattan. With two co-workers she went to lunch one day. Seated next to their table were two men in their  30s. They started talking. She remembered one had long hair. He said he was a publisher of a magazine. 

Saying her brother recently graduated with a masters degree in journalism, she wondered if he might have a job for me. Maybe, he answered. She asked him the name of his magazine. He gave her his business card—Al Goldstein, publisher of Screw. Lee had no idea what Screw was. I did. “ARE YOUR CRAZY? I'm not going to work for a f-ing pornographic magazine,” I screamed at her when she excitedly told me about her referral.

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