Thursday, July 24, 2014

the risky business of match-making

I'm going to my bestie's wedding this weekend in Malibu and she and her husband met the way most of us wish we met our spouses.  Not through Tinder.  Not in a drunken haze during last call.  And not on  They were introduced by a mutual friend.  And not just any mutual friend.  One with serious match-making street cred.  After this weekend, she will be responsible for THREE marriages.  That is seriously hot.  But also-- seriously risky.

We all love the idea of being the person who brings two people together who fall in love, get married, and make beautiful babies.  To this day, this remains a passion of all of my Persian aunts.  One of which insisted on introducing me to her Iranian co-worker over email when I was still in college.  A few years later, he and I would finally go out on a date that was fairly disastrous.  My aunts don't have the best track record when it comes to setting people up-- mostly because one half of the match is secretly gay.

I'm pretty much the worst kind of match-maker.   I have two qualifications when it comes to setting two people up.  #1 They're both single.  #2 They're both attractive.  Due to this formula, I've never been responsible for a successful match.  I have been responsible for several very unsuccessful matches.  Like... people sometimes ending up hating each other after I set them up.  Years ago, I worked in a cafe and I set my cousin up with one of our regular customers.  At first, there were major fireworks.  I was getting "thank you" phone calls from each side.  The L word was being passed around.  And then it all ended very abruptly and there were a lot of hurt feelings. My cousin went through a really difficult phase after the break-up and I felt SO responsible.

And then there was the two friends I set up at my wedding.  I purposely seated them together, hoping they would hit it off.  I gave him a heads up during cocktail hour and during the reception, he came up to me and said "thank you, she's amazing."  If you saw photos of them from the wedding, you would think they'd been together for years.  They ended up spending the weekend together and I was convinced that at their future wedding, everyone would toast me and my mad seating chart skills.  There was only one slight problem.  She lived in LA and he lived on the east coast.  It didn't work out and I'm still not over it.  Actually, I'm clinging to hope that at some point they end up together.

I've also known people who've set friends up and instantly regretted it.  Like, suddenly they realize that if their two good friends are now dating-- then hanging out with them will forever be different.  They'll suddenly feel like the outsider and the third wheel.  And oops, maybe they kind of had a secret crush on that platonic friend and now it's SO weird to see him dating someone-- especially since he's now off limits because you can't date someone who dated your friend.  Or a success story might make you feel shitty about your own relationship status.  (Note: I do not recommend match-making when you're single).

In the end, match-making comes with sacrifices, life and death stakes, and a shit-ton of guilt if it doesn't work out.  Unless we already have a brilliant track record (like my friend VGL), maybe we should leave the work to computer algorithms, alcohol, dimly lit bars, and iPhone apps.


  1. It also comes with great power. I like to remind Jesse, "I gave you Alison, and I can take her away." Clearly, this is completely false, but it makes me feel mighty either way. Happy Wedding Weekend, Jesse and Alison!! You're welcome. Love, Cupid.

  2. My ex-wife and I set up a couple who split up a couple of years after we did. It was sad to see them go -- it was as if we'd actually done something nice in the world, and now it had to be erased.

  3. Can VGL set me up? ;)