We all know someone who wants to get fixed up or someone who needs to get fixed up … or someone who probably wishes they never got fixed up.
My marriage is the result of a fix-up, but more about that later. The great romantic fix-up is like playing the slot machines. You can either win big or lose miserably. Nevertheless, matchmaking has its advantages, and I was inspired by a story I recently read about a devoted son, who’s so concerned for his mother that he is offering $10,000 to find her the guy of her dreams … or maybe just a guy who is decent and respectful.
Marc Guss of Manhattan posted a $10,000 reward, or perhaps we should call it a “bounty,” to the track down a man who would be a suitable match for his mother Esther, who is in her 70s. He’s so committed to her that he told the New York Post he spends almost three hours a day overseeing her online dating profiles in addition to paying $12,000 for glamour photos and professional matchmakers.
Esther says her ideal catch, or match, would be a “caring, respectful, fun and energetic” Jewish man in his 70s or 80s who loves dogs and would be willing to take walks with her and her chihuahua PeeWee. Marc says that before anyone can claim the cash, there has to be a committed relationship between the fellow and Esther, whose husband died in 1986 and whose partner passed away three years ago.
I have to confess that my marriage is the result of being fixed up with my wife — I hate to admit this — by my mother. I had reached a dead end on the dating scene. Next stop would have been the French Foreign Legion or a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas for a life of celibacy, meditation and matcha.
Then, along came Mom, who introduced me to Sandy, who tells everyone she went on a date with me just to make my mother happy. She didn’t want to ruin a good friendship by saying no. I still don’t know who was more desperate, me or my mother. I suspect that she wanted me out of the house.
To quote my wife: “He wasn’t my kind.” Years later, that’s still true. You’ve heard how “opposites attract”? Well, our experience has been “opposites butt heads.”
Old-fashioned matchmaking, without the assistance of a computer or a hookup app, generally falls into the category of “no good deed goes unpunished” or more accurately “no stupid deed goes unpunished.”
We all know somebody we want to fix up, or somebody who wants us to fix them up, but doing that can be riskier than insider trading. You think you’re headed for something big, but end up with regrets or behind bars. (For the record, I’ve never been involved in insider trading, largely because I don’t have any money to invest and don’t know any insiders.) Against my better judgment, I’ve tried to fix people up, although I was never paid a $10,000 finder’s fee.
Everyone is looking for love in all the wrong places, as the song says. Matchmaking is precarious and perilous in the era of computer dating. People who lie on their resumes probably lie even more on their dating profiles.
The lovelorn masses are addicted to computer dating, while others are so afraid of returning to the dating scene they sit at home alone watching “Game of Thrones” or reruns of “The Bachelorette.”
Older people tend to be more cautious and particular in their tastes than young people, who have transformed the dating scene with the hookup culture and apps like Tinder that let them have anonymous sex anywhere and everywhere without a relationship or emotional attachment.
I wish Esther well. She has high standards and values, and the younger generation could learn from her. She even established ground rules. No guy will be coming inside her house on the first date … and probably not the second or third.
Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.