I know you come to my blog to read about the horrors of my dating life, and I assure you there will be plenty of opportunity for that. In fact, I had another disastrous date today. But, I simply cannot go to sleep tonight without acknowledging this tragic news. Actor Leslie Nielsen, who was most noted for his role as the accident-prone Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun comedies and the hapless doctor in Airplane! died today at a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 84. How is this relevant to a dating blog, you ask?
In my mind, it’s extremely relevant. Whenever I am asked to describe my father, I say he was a cross between Leslie Nielsen and Donald Sutherland. Like them, my father was a tall, handsome, silver-haired fox; highly educated, extremely charismatic, he could perform a flawless fox trot, carry on intellectual conversations or simply sit around with a bunch of guys and crack jokes. He was chameleon-like, as actors are, and could be just as comfortable in a tent full of Bedouins or a conference room full of Nobel Prize winners. When my father entered a crowded room sporting a smile as wide as Texas, the entire room lit up from his presence. Everyone wanted to be his friend. Not only do I aspire to be as gracious, gregarious and well-loved as my father was, but I aspire to find those qualities in a man. This is no small task.
I ask myself, on the eve of Leslie Nielsen’s passing, are these characteristics of an endangered species of man? Do I have to date men that are old enough to be my father in order to find graciousness, manners, and style? Or, is it possible that some fathers have passed these remarkable qualities on to their sons? I would hope so, or I am forever destined to be single. Maybe I am looking for a Canadian-born man such as Nielsen, Sutherland and my father. If only it were that simple. The thought does give me pause.
It is a very somber day as we have lost one of the greatest comedians of our time and a truly great man. In honor of his passing, I leave you with this:
Frank: It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girl dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.
Frank: No, the worst.