I’ve Just Seen A Face

There’s a fresh kerfuffle over an imagined proposal to use Neanderthal DNA to produce a clone of our prehistoric cousins.

The professor who supposedly made the suggestion claims his comments were poorly translated and misunderstood. Ethicists say it’s a bad idea in any case.

No one is enthusiastic about the concept of bringing back to life some distant relatives who might have been boyfriend/girlfriend material for early humans in the unregulated, romantic days of yore.

Far flung, anything-goes Yore.

Yes, everybody’s against cloning the Neanderthals, though I’m guessing the songwriters would see some intriguing possibilities in the adventurous sexual dynamic that could develop. Imagine, if human / neanderthal dating had been a possibility when The Beatles wrote this:

It might have come out more like this:

I’ve just seen a face,
that was extinct. With hairy grace
I think she winked. She’s a Neanderthal
but I don’t think my folks will care at all.
Na na na na na na

Had I loved some missing link
I might have worried what they’d think
Neanderthals are just like us
Except they’re stronger and they never cuss
Na na na na na na

Cloning. Let’s do some cloning.
Start Twilight Zoning them back again.

I love every ridge
of her thick skull. Her name is Midge.
She’s never dull. A prehistoric Miss
My human heart, each time we kiss, is full.
Na na na na na na.


Yes I’d like a chance
To take a fossil to the dance
It’s not impossible to clone a date
No love affair has come as late as this.
Na na na na na na.

Who was your least (or most) compatible date?

49 thoughts on “I’ve Just Seen A Face”

  1. Good morning. When I was in grad school I was active in the Peace Union which was a group of war resistors. Two of the leaders of the group stood out from the rest of the mostly scraggy bunch because they looked like Archie and Veronica from the Archie comic books. They were a couple, but some times they thought that they should date other people. I got up the nerve to ask Veronica, her name was actually Margo, out on a date.

    The date went okay even though I didn’t feel that I was really the right person to be going out with her. She was one of the most attractive girls on the entire campus and i wasn’t in her league when it comes to looks. Although we had a common interest in the peace movement, we didn’t seem to have many other common interests. I guess we weren’t really a match putting aside my awkwardness about going out with such a highly attractive girl.


  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    During my sophomore year in college a very nice local young man from band (trombone player) asked me (clarinet player) out to a movie with another couple. To see the movie we had to travel 25 miles to Sioux City. I had heard he drank a lot. That was an underestimate.

    He showed up for the date drunk. And he was driving. Even in 1972 I knew this was a bad idea. It all went down hill from there. At the young age of 19 this poor guy had a terrifying start on alcoholism. He brought his beer with him, drinking WHILE driving to Sioux City, drinking during the movie, and drinking afterwards when we went out to eat. I thought maybe he would pass out after consuming so much beer, but he never did. He stayed awake to continue drinking.

    I was terrified the entire time. I do not remember the movie, only the date himself.

    Months later, in the spring a bunch of us decided to party at his house, but his mom would not let us in the house. So six of us climbed the large apple tree in the front yard with some beer and pizza. Same story that night. He drank and drank. Even at that young age I had little ability to tolerate alcohol–I just get drunk too quickly. I might have had 3 or 4 beers that night. A real binge for me. But I drank enough that getting out of the tree was difficult. When I left to walk home, he was still up there drinking.

    I don’t know what happened to this guy. He was not at the 2004 Band Reunion. Probably the story is not one I want to know. But a good date he was not.


  3. Priscilla had a pretty face. When I participated in an online dating program, Priscilla wrote to say she was interested in me. We met at a bar on Grand Avenue. I learned that Priscilla had a cabin fifteen miles from mine, so we shared a love of Lake Superior. She had been married to a U of MN History professor and she herself had taught literature in various colleges. We had a great deal in common.
    We agreed to meet for a second date. Priscilla picked the day and time, then told me she had a special request. She was involved with a group that was meeting on the night of our date. Would I mind dropping by this meeting for five minutes before we had the date?
    Her history was odd. When her English history professor husband died, she lived seven years with a man whom she described as totally incompatible. “The only thing we shared was wild, animal sex,” she said.
    I became dubious about this group she belonged to, something she called “The Forum.” She was curiously evasive about what it did. She emphatically said the Forum was the most transformative experience of her life. When I suggested it sounded like group therapy, she rejected that.
    I began putting the pieces together, learning that this was an outgrowth of Werner Eckhard’s “EST” program. The Forum was a commercial enterprise that changed peoples’ lives. It often acted like a cult, a commercial cult. By now I wanted nothing to do with it, but I wanted to show Priscilla that I was not bigoted. We could visit this meeting for a few minutes.
    My first shock was when the group insisted that I sign in. I had expected to be anonymous. My second shock was when I was introduced to the rest of the group—about fifty people—as a special guest with an interest in the Forum.
    When the meeting began, I saw that the whole thing was a sales pitch, very cleverly designed, and that I and other “visitors” were being pressured to join the Forum. I watched the group leaders working with other visitors, and soon I had boundless contempt for the manipulative way they created rhetorical boxes that pressured people to embrace the Forum’s strange formula for solving all of life’s problems.
    After 90 minutes of that, I was shaking with rage. At a break, Priscilla asked what I thought of things. I told her. She could tell I wasn’t going to swallow the Forum’s pabulum, so she released me, saying she wanted to stay. I drove home in a white-hot fury.
    Amazingly, Priscilla wrote me several months later. She thanked me for going to the meeting, which made it possible for her to work on her problems with the group. They all decided that the man with whom she shared nothing but wild, animal sex was her true love. Priscilla would marry him in a few months. She said she wanted to have two poems read at her service, poems I had shared with her, and she needed my help in tracking them down.
    I helped her by sending the poems again. I did not attend the wedding!


        1. For a second there, I was wondering if there was a connection between them until I realized that the name was wrong.


    1. I have been to a Landmark Forum arm-twisting meeting but they weren’t too brutal. It sounds cultish to me (and it sounds very cultish to a friend whose brother was involved with Scientology for a number of years).
      However, I have friends who SWEAR by it and say it has transformed their lives. They are quite amazing people. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be for me.

      I can see how/why you would be livid at having a date turn into a buy-a-timeshare sales pitch. Priscilla sounds like a piece of work!


      1. Lisa, I don’t condemn the whole group, but I believe I have fairly described the bunch I met with. They were slick and ruthless as they pressured people to join.

        I’ll mention here that I had another legacy from Priscilla. She was directly responsible for the bears that attacked my cabin. Priscilla had been a guest in a cabin near mine, and she didn’t lock up properly when she left. That caused the bears to get into the cabin. They were rewarded with food and that set them on a life of crime that ended when they savaged my cabin.


  4. Loving her was easier than anything ill ever do again. Kris kristofferson

    Sue Beese worked st the Mann France ave drive in 1971 as a girl who sold candy and hot dogs at the concession stand during intermission. My job was to come in the next day and pick up the popcorn boxes in the lot, put the speakers back on their stands ready to be installed in the next steamy window where they would offer really bad sound to an audience where sound fidelity was secondary. We were a match made in heaven. Our first date rolled into our second and then into inseparability and getting to know each other so well a curl of the eyebrow would be enough to win a game of charades. We traveled in the vw can to see the mountains and to visit her former home in l.a. and as much as I knew I was experiencing a relationship of perfection I was sucked away by the free love hippy movement of the time and told sue I just had to get out and experience life man. Well, that I did and when I realized she was close to ideal it wasn’t a possibility any longer and I got to write a couple of broken hearted , why was I a fool songs and go out looking for more than free love with a bong toting bimbo or two to fill my void.
    I called sues mom ten years ago and found she married a guy built their own log cabin in northern ca and had a fistfull of kids. She may have been a little smarter than I was.


      1. I was only 20 too. But I did date before that. If I remember correctly. Maybe they are all in my imagination. But they were all beautiful, sweet, intelligent, and companionable.


        1. ah, but to know what you wanted (and be right about it at such a young age)-that is a real gift.


  5. During the six years between my two marriages, I dated any number of guys. Most were just fine, but for one reason or another most were limited to a couple of dates. Only two stand out as absolutely horrible experiences; mercifully I can’t recall either of their names. The first one was a man who had invited me out to dinner and after dinner to attend a Winter Carnival ball at the St. Paul Radisson. Dinner was at Smugglers Inn in the Kellogg Square building in downtown St. Paul. Back in those days, smoking was allowed everywhere, and as luck would have it, we were seated next to a table with a man who within minutes lighted up a cigar. At that point, I asked if we could be moved, to which my date responded that had he known I disliked cigars he would have made a point of bringing some to smoke himself, this before we had had a bite to eat or a drop to drink. It went steadily downhill from there; we hated each other. At the ball he was interested only in drinking and not in dancing. When he finally took me home, I invited him in for a cup of tea (don’t ask me why, I already knew I hated him), and he accepted. This guy, who was a salesman for Schneiderman’s Furniture, promptly commented on my brand new sofa: “I bet they had a party the day the sold that one,” he said. Although I knew nothing about Schneiderman’s furniture, I snapped back: “I guess you have to be that obnoxious to make a living selling furniture at Schneiderman’s.” At that point I asked him to leave, there was just no point in prolonging the agony. To this day, Hans and I will say to each other “I bet they had a party when they sold that,” whenever either of us comes home with a new piece of colorful clothing.

    The other awful date was with a guy who had responded to a personal ad I had had in the Reader. We had met once for a cup of coffee somewhere, and had had a reasonably pleasant conversation, so I accepted when he the following week invited me to a concert at Orchestra Hall. I met him in the lobby, and was embarrassed to tears to be seen in public with him. He was filthy, unkempt and reeked of sweat. I seethed during the first half of the concert, and by the time intermission rolled around I had decided to leave; I did, and never spoke to him again. God, I’m so glad my dating career is over.


  6. Just one more sad story to share…………..six years ago, I met the man I thought I’d been born to be with. “Don” lives in Kauai but visits here to see his kid and grand kids each year. We were compatible on every level and, for the first time in my life, I fell madly in love with this gentle, responsive, and very affectionate being. A few months later, I invited him to stay with me for his
    several-week annual visit. Every day was magical and convinced me that I’d finally found my soul mate for the remainder of life.

    He’d been here for a whole month when suddenly he exclaimed to me, “I just can’t do this anymore!” The “this” was staying apart from a 22-year relationship with a women he’d fled to Kauai to avoid. I later learned that she’d found out he was staying with me and launched a full-fledged campaign to win him back. It worked and my heart was broken into a million pieces.

    I wish this was the end of a very sad story, but a couple of years passed and I got the cancer diagnosis. I established a Caring Bridge site onto which I spilled my heart every day. Somehow, Don tapped into this drama and began emailing and calling relentlessly, telling me that he’d broken off his toxic relationship for good. Telling me that, more than anything in the whole world, he wanted to be with me in my time of need. “I’ll wrap you in dryer-warmed blankets; I’ll change your feeding tube bag; I’ll sit up with you holding your hand all night”. I assumed that this was his way of repairing a heart he’d so brutally broken years earlier and, since I had no one who was offering to do the 24/7 physical care I’d be needing, I allowed him to return to my life just prior to the massive surgery at Mayo.

    He held me while I cried out of fear night after night. We made love so many times. Then, the night before I was headed to Mayo for an operation which would permanently change my life, he told me, “Nancy – I just can’t do this; I still love Sandy”. For a second time, she’d been leaving voice and emails pleading for him to come back, threatening suicide if he didn’t, and imploring him with their very complicated, long history. As a result of him leaving at the last minute and my having no back-up plan for care, I would go on to spend most of the next four months in one hospital or another.

    What I remain grateful for, however, is that just once in my life I got to feel what it was like to be madly, hopelessly IN LOVE. Many people never get to feel these euphoric feelings. Looking back, I came to realize that I was in love for both of us. This romantic trauma also ended my dating history altogether and has, oddly enough, allowed me to find peace and acceptance in living with only myself. This two-part chapter in my life is what it “took” to fully and completely surrender a lifetime of romantic fantasies. I guess that’s a good thing.


    1. Cb you sure have had your share of drama in your life. I sincerely hope that the peace and acceptance you have finally achieved in your life isn’t just another mirage.


  7. Pam. Fascinating and beautiful woman. Had fantastic stories and knowledge. Her grandfather had taught her American Indian herbalism/botany. She’d been involved in ‘subliminals in rock ‘n roll’ studies in college. She was a professional clown. And she’d been abused for most of her life. I was the best thing that had happened to her in a long, long time. After wonderful dating for a little over a month, she wouldn’t take my calls or talk to me. I tried for weeks to find out what the problem was. Eventually, I found another girlfriend. A few weeks after that, she called and said that she’d been in the hospital with double pneumonia. She didn’t want to say anything because she thought I’d be upset with her for getting sick. I still think of her.


  8. Tommy Steele! I never actually dated or even met him, but he was my first love. Colin Firth wouldn’t have to run very fast to catch me either. Happily, I’m blessed with a defective romantic gene, and I’m pretty sure I’d come to my senses before I did any permanent damage to my marriage. Imperfect as it is, we have both invested a 34 years in it.


  9. Two different times I was fixed up with a date who started out great, and by the end of the party (yes, plenty of drinking) swore he wanted to marry me. Was a big red flag and I never ended up going out again with either one. No idea of their names now…


  10. My sister and I were recently joking how so many of our relatives on our mother’s side look so much alike, including her and me. Wide nostrils, flat and wide face with non-prominent cheekbones, prominent ridge over the eyes with the eyebrows running straight across the ridge, cleft and rounded chin, tendency to scowl. Looking at the face in Dale’s attached photo, I think the scientists need only study the Wetter family instead of bothering to clone.


  11. A “dating” sort of story from my daughter: Jonah, my seven-year-old grandson, “Mr. Tuxedo,” was shown a sonogram of an expected child from a beloved aunt. So Jonah took a look at the picture, thought about it for a moment and said “Wow, Mom! YOU gave me life like that! Thank you!”
    After a pause My daughter said “Well…God gave you life, and your dad and I just helped.”
    “Wait,” Jonah said, “what’d Dad do?”


  12. This story might have been more appropriate for yesterday’s discussion about getting locked into something you’d like to get out of; I’m not sure it was really a date. I was planning to go to see a band play at a bar – the husband of a friend of mine was in the band. I was talking about it with a guy I kinda sorta knew, and he more or less invited himself along. I didn’t have a working car at the time, and it was winter, so it actually sounded like a reasonable idea to ride there with him. After we got to the bar, though, it became clear that he was a pretty serious drinker. He started ordering whiskey shots with beer chasers, and when he had a full glass he devoted his full attention to it till it was empty. When he had an empty glass he was motioning to the bartender to bring him another. My friend whose husband was in the band was supposed to be there, but she didn’t show up. Somebody from the band probably would’ve given me a ride home, but not till the gig was over and they had packed all the gear up. So I figured the best thing was just to leave after the first set.

    On the way back the car stalled. My “date” was a guy who tinkered with cars, so for awhile he kept trying to fix it while I sat in the car. Eventually I offered to call a cab and found a pay phone – this was back in the days when you could still locate a pay phone – and he pushed the car over to a curb where he could leave it overnight. When the cab arrived, the driver asked where we wanted to go, and my “date”, and I cannot emphasize those quote marks enough, gave him the name and location of a bar near the neighborhood where we both lived. An idea which I vetoed promptly.

    Should’ve just stayed home that night.


  13. The only date I’ve ever been on wasn’t bad or good. It just was. My friend set me up with a guy she had been chatting with (via AOL Instant Messenger) from my college. She thought we’d hit it off because we were both band geeks. We ended up going to The Reduced Shakespeare Company when they did Hollywood’s Greatest Films. The play was fantastic – funny, absurd, and right on 🙂 We did have a lot to talk about, but it didn’t go anywhere. The night ended in a handshake. Which is fine with me. I thought he was nice, but not for me. He’s engaged to a woman very similar to him. They met in college and are still together, so that’s saying something. Since then, I’ve been to busy trying to graduate, work, settle into a new town, become unemployed, look for a job, move home, get a job, move again, settle into a new town, lose another job, look for yet another job, move home, stay broke for a long time, get a new job, settle into yet another new town, move into a new apartment after the first one was flooded and burgled, and get settled again. Hopefully soon I’ll actually be interested in dating 🙂


    1. Alanna, good luck. You sound like you’re fully aware that even if that doesn’t happen, you’ll be just fine. Love your spirit!


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