Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Muppet Show

I am trying to figure out how much the personal taste of a match maker actually goes into deciding who to set one up with - as opposed to the match maker being able to truly decide what a great match is based on another individual's preferences.

My Chicago match maker is a gorgeous, young, totally put together brunette. She looks somewhat akin to Jaclyn Smith in her "Charlie's Angels" heyday. On the other hand, the New York match maker is a sassy, older, cosmetically enhanced woman with a serious Brooklyn twang to her accent. Imagine Fran Drescher, in her 50s, with straight hair and a year-round tan - and there you have her.
So, basically it seems that I have a Charlie's Angel and the Nanny both scouring the United States for my ideal man at the moment.

Incidentally, both are single themselves - which is good and bad. Good, because they are not tied down in a relationship and can be out there day and night searching for eligible bachelors and bad because maybe they are keeping the good ones for themselves? Who knows? In any case, thus far Jaclyn Smith has set me up with one gorgeous, smart, successful jerk and Fran Drescher has set me up with a successful, boring, mutant with an overly botoxed face.

The Nanny has two more men up her sleeve for I went out with last night (and I will get to him in a minute) and the second is a Jewish gynecologist who lives on the Upper West Side. I do like the sound of a doctor, but a gynecologist is definitely an idea that I would have to get used to if we ever got past second base. God knows how looking at va-jay-jays every day can affect a man?

So, my date last night was interesting. Not a failure or a success. All I knew about this guy was that he is an entrepreneur, Jewish (again!), never married, and that he wants to settle down. That pretty much sounds like all of Fran Drescher's clients, but I suppose that is what we are all lining up meet people who want to settle down. I just wish she hadn't say that up front. It just sounds weird - and desperate. Especially the concept of a man who is dying to settle down. I mean, what does a guy like that do in his spare time? Look wistfully at a copy of "Modern Bride" at a news stand and then blush and quickly look away? Does he browse for engagement rings on his own....just because? Does he see children in a playground and hear some sort of biological clock ticking inside of him? Ugh- I certainly hope not!

In any case, the entrepreneur showed up at the restaurant perfectly on time (one point.) He had a reservation (another point) and he offered me the seat with the view (he is on a roll.) I must admit, that I was perfectly under-whelmed by his appearance. He had a slight build, he wasn't really tall, his nose was huge, and his eyes were large and bulging out of his skull. He was also clearly at the back of the line when God was handing out "shoulders" because he certainly didn't seem to have any. In fact, this man looked almost like a human Muppet. He was sweet and cute like a Muppet - but there was certainly nothing sexy or overtly alluring about him physically.

The dilemma was this....he was really nice. He was courteous, well natured, and thoughtful. He was bright and has clearly made himself a small fortune. He has a house in the Hamptons with a pool and tennis court; he just finished renovating his large apartment on the Upper East Side - and best of all, he has done well enough to essentially retire - but he has a few more businesses that he would like to start up - just for least until he has a family. The Muppet was truly a respectable set-up. However, he didn't make me laugh really hard, I didn't feel any physical chemistry with him, and he reminds me of a stuffed animal when I look at him.

The Muppet made me question if I was really shallow because I could honestly care less if he calls me for a second date based mostly on his looks (or lack thereof.) However, looks should count for something? I suppose the answer is how much and when (if ever) can you get past wanting a super hunk and start finding guys like the Muppet attractive.

Oh - I just wish I could like this guy. He seems great...but I am just not feeling it. He said he would call after the Labor Day weekend, so we will see? Maybe he wasn't feeling it either and I am off the hook?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Reality Bites

Hedge Fund guy sounded gorgeous on the phone. His voice had a perfect pitch to it that leaned a bit to the gravelly side - which is totally sexy. We had a great conversation and so I was totally excited about our date set up by the matchmaker in Chicago.

He placed his call to me from the Windy City just before getting on a plane. He had to host a board meeting in his Greenwich, CT office and then he had a meeting in Manhattan. He was able to slip me in for a quick dinner after his last meeting and before getting on another plane to go God knows where the next day. He sounded perfectly in control of his hectic life. He didn't try to seem overly important and considerately booked a restaurant across the street from my apartment. I liked him already. Well, the only irritating thing was that he double-checked that I would convert to Judaism if it came to that ("that" meaning "marriage", I suppose)...and I quickly agreed. If Charlotte on "Sex & the City" could do it to marry Harry, then I am sure I could too? I think.

Hedge Funder was the kind of blind date you dream about initially. He looked exactly like Michael Douglas. Not Michael Douglas of today, mind you - but Michael Douglas of the 80s (Wall Street, Romancing the Stone, you know what I am talking about!) - he was just plain gorgeous. He was perfectly on time and wearing what was clearly a ridiculously expensive suit. We were offered a small table and he asked for a booth - and we got it - despite booths only being for parties of four or six. Way to take control, Hedge Funder.

We ordered a bunch of appetizers and some cocktails. We decided to hold off on ordering the main course until later. And then the Spanish Inquisition begun.....Hedge Funder had 10,000 questions and he shot them off at the speed of a military assault rifle. He prefaced the Inquisition by saying that he was not wishing to waste anyone's time and that he has a good idea of what he wants and what he is looking for. I guess you could call me warned?

He asked if my parents were divorced (yes); Do I have a close relationship with my Dad (no); What was my longest relationship (3 years); have I ever lived with anyone (yes); Am I an only child (yes, but only because my brother died when we were both in our late teens); Do I have more male or female friends (about equal); How many children do I want to have (1-3); could I raise children in Manhattan (maybe); City I would like to visit next (Prague); and on and on and on....until finally he asked if I had any questions for him. I just looked at him and laughed.

What was he thinking? This was a date not an interview....or was it? It was supposed to be an easy exchange of information - not a Q&A session. I didn't prepare a list of questions before meeting him - I was too busy fussing over what to wear than thinking about specific topics of conversation before I had even met him. I stammered and asked if his parents were still married - even though I really didn't care - and they were (of course!) for the past 47 years and they were still madly in love. Hmmmm, O.K., good for you, Wally Cleaver.

He then did the absolute unthinkable. Our second round of drinks had just arrived at the table. We were not even half way through our appetizers - and he threw $80 on the table and stood up. I remained seated looking up at him on the other side of the table with my mouth slightly agape and he said "This is not going to work. I have a car waiting for me outside and I need to go." He wasn't kidding and he picked up his jacket and started putting it on while I remained seated staring at him incredulously.

I asked if he was seriously just leaving - and I regret asking that question. He turned and said to me "Listen, having divorced parents - you didn't have a good view of what a healthy relationship looks like from a very young age. Clearly, you have been abandoned by the most important men in your life from your father leaving the family after the divorce and by your brother dying. Even though you "seem" normal, I am quite sure that you have serious issues with men as a result of your background. I am sure a lot of men will be interested because you are pretty and smart - but I doubt anyone will stick around. A girl like you just doesn't have the skills to be successful in a long term relationship. Sorry!" and with that - he walked out.

I felt sucker punched. He just left me in a crowded restaurant, with three plates of hardly touched appetizers, two full drinks, and a small stack of $20s on the table. I felt like there was a huge neon arrow hanging over my head pointing down at me with the word "LOSER" written right above the arrow, blinking off and on. The waiter scurried over quickly to the table to ask if everything was O.K. I suppose everyone within earshot had heard what he said. I took a few more sips of my drink and had a french fry while I tried to gather up my dignity and regain feeling in my legs so I could get out of there and far, far away from the apologetic looks of strangers after my rather public rejection.

I walked back home burning with shame and wondered if anything he said had any truth to it. Obviously, it is beyond my control that my parents marriage didn't work out. I always wanted a good relationship with my father, but he married a much younger woman and had a new family that I am just not a part of. My brother died of cancer and that was neither his fault, nor mine. I suppose the hedge funder wasn't saying these things were actually my fault - but more just the fact that they had happened and thus I am damaged goods, due to history that I had nothing to do with. I am a product that no one will want and I am incapable of achieving the picket fence dream, well...according to him, that is.

The worst part of it is that I finally met a guy who is gorgeous, brilliant, successful, well-traveled, athletic, with great personal style....who really wants to settle down and have kids and he literally looked at me, right in the face, and said that I wasn't even worth sitting with for a main course, let alone dessert, or (gasp) an entire lifetime together.

This is the first time I have ever been abandoned in the middle of a date and I seriously hope that was the last time. Ouch.