Sitting at "The Matchmaker's" dining-room table, I began filling out the forms she said she'd give to her private investigator to complete my background check.
From where I sat, I could see into her bedroom, where her bed was still unmade. It seemed incongruous that a businesswoman who's so clearly focused on appearances would not only have a guy totally unknown to her up in her apartment without as much as checking him out, and that she would leave her bedroom door ajar as well, exposing a messy pile of sheets and blankets.
The forms I was working on were extensive, with personal questions about family, criminal records, previous addresses and income — not just salary, but investments and other assets, too. I left the financial questions blank, which probably would not help my case with the 30-something woman she called "the Lovely Judy."
While I attacked the three pages devoted to personal history, "The
Matchmaker" put on a show of her own by calling some of her clients, "checking in," wishing some "a good Shabbos" and others just a quick "hi." She was so sugary sweet on the phone that I wondered whether there were really people on the other end listening. Each call lasted no more than 20 seconds. This little show was obviously meant to demonstrate for me that she really cared about her clients.
All I had to do now was provide her with a medical report from a doctor with a series of blood tests to prove that I had no communicable illnesses or STDs.
Once I was free and clear, we could proceed to the next stage with this perfect, successful, beautiful girl waiting somewhere in the wings.
Hence, I had to get the physical. The next night at dinner with my parents, my mom found some of "The Matchmaker's" demands offensive and invasive, particularly the blood test.
"That's crazy," my mom said. "The doctor's going to think you're doing some kind of crazy sex thing. This is outrageous. Are you going to get the girl's medical report after you meet her?"
Defective Products — Feh!
As my dad usually does, he counterbalanced my mom's outrage, telling her, "Look, when someone's spending $20,000, you should make sure you're not getting a defective product. It seems reasonable."
A few days later, I went to the doctor for the physical. The intake personnel wanted to know why I was getting a physical and what I needed checked. I simply bluffed by saying it was for a job application.
"Oh, is the employer going to pay for this, then?" she said. "That's usually how it's done. Who is the employer?" I simply said I was paying for it.
When I finally got to see the nurse practitioner, I had to be a bit more forthcoming. However, the nurse and the doctor were not buying the "job application" story, especially when I told them the kinds of blood tests "The Matchmaker" had written down.
Explaining this entire story to the doctor was about as comfortable as having another man inspect my — well, you get the idea.
'The Lovely Judy' Awaits
A couple of weeks after returning from my vacation, the Matchmaker called to say hello and give me "the Lovely Judy's" telephone number. I'd been out of the country, and "Judy" was at her beach house. The Matchmaker said she would be waiting for my call.
Actually, I was surprised to hear from her. But just like our other conversations, the Matchmaker was so sugary that it did not even sound remotely genuine.
A couple of days later, I called. No surprise, "the Lovely Judy" was not available, so I left a voice-mail message. I thought I left a polite voice mail but was not surprised that there was no call back.
Ten days after my call, the Matchmaker called me to see if I had called "the Lovely Judy." I told her the day and time I called, and she assured me that she would speak with her client and I'd hear back from her shortly.
Two days after that 20-second conversation, the Matchmaker left a voice-mail message for me, saying "the Lovely Judy" was having problems with her telephone and had been out of town, but would call me soon. She must have forgotten to tell me that it was her cell phone I had called.
In Matchmaker lingo, not calling back a person you're uninterested in constitutes "telephone problems." I'm still waiting for "the Lovely Judy" to call me back. But I'm not holding my breath. Actually, I'm not even that broken up about it.
Though I'm not usually one to find silver linings in the rearview mirror, I suppose there is a positive way to spin this story. Aside from getting a clean bill of health, there's also something complimentary about a professional matchmaker thinking I might be a quality match for a rich girl based solely on my appearance in an Italian suit.
Roy S. Gutterman is a Syracuse, N.Y.-based writer. To contact him visit: www.Lrev.com.