Long Island Columnist Recalls Her Experiences With ‘Lesbian Ping-Pong’

The latest from (very) occasional East Hampton Star contributor Hinda Gonchor.

Do yourself a favor and be sure to read Hinda Gonchor’s second column for the East Hampton Star. Although with a headline like “Lesbian Ping-Pong,” maybe you’ve already beaten us to this content punch.

Gonchor, now in her 70s, divides her time between East Hampton and New York City. In the piece, she recalls how at age 60 she became part of a weekly NYC ping-pong league. A league that was not fully explained to her at the time of the initial invite:

Sunday two-to-five rolled around and I showed up. I saw about 30 women, some playing, some observing. I observed this: These women were all gay. I wasn’t. I became panicky, but so electrifying was the ping and pong from the tables, I ignored my anxiety. I decided on a reverse “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach.

Most of the players had short hair; wore mannish trousers; no makeup. My M.O., purple nail polish and bright red lipstick, was a definite no-no, so the following week I showed up plain. I was desperate to blend in. It took time. I kept to myself, spoke when spoken to, played fair; went overboard favoring my opponent when there was a score dispute. I suffered in silence.

Much of the rest of the column is flat-out hilarious. If you enjoy the piece as much as we did, may we suggest a few other nuggets beyond her inaugural East Hampton Star contribution “The Good Mother-in-Law:”

On a Steady Diet of Not Going on a Diet
[New York Times; December 27, 1981]

Metropolitan Diary
[New York Times; February 19, 1986]

Metropolitan Diary
[New York Times; November 18, 1987]

Letter to the editor
[New York Times; September 16, 1986]

By the way, Gonchor’s 1981 NYT item contains the following passage. Read today, the observation is a reminder that some media things never change:

The pressure to look thinner, younger, more beautiful imposed on me by every branch of the American media (ceaselessly preying on my insecurities) had to be stopped. How long must I go on taking those ”10 steps to a better me?” When am I going to be all right already?

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Guardian Blogger Swims High Above Central Park with ‘Extreme Cougar’

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