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After Work: Matchmaker, Matchmaker

…Once, way way back, when my soon-to-be husband and I had formed ourselves into a cozy couple, we looked upon the world with a blurred around the edges vision. It was the myopic vision of the newly in love. And we decided all our friends should experience this most blissful state of affairs….

But one matchmaking success does not a business make, as Dona Gibbs ruefully reveals.

For many more of Dona’s exuberant words please click on After Work in the menu on this page.

Once, way way back, when my soon-to-be husband and I had formed ourselves into a cozy couple, we looked upon the world with a blurred around the edges vision. It was the myopic vision of the newly in love. And we decided all our friends should experience this most blissful state of affairs.

So we became matchmakers. Self appointed.

I had a beautiful, energetic friend at work. Petite. Perky. She laughed without embarrassment. Often.

My later to be husband had a friend from law school. The friend was almost a double for the actor and director Woody Allen. He possessed the same comedic timing and knife-edged somewhat nervous humor.

Once on the crowded subway car, he noticed a woman staring at him. He tried looking away. Still her eyes were on him. He looked her straight in the eye, returning the stare.

“You know,” she said, “You look just like Woody Allen.

“Well,” he replied, “I was about to say the same thing about you.”

With that he left the train.

So we figured a woman who laughs well should meet a man who is a cause of genuine laughter.

They dated for a while. Their parents met. That worked. And after a respectable period of time, they married amid a bower of flowers.

They had two lovely daughters, both carrying the humor gene. They’ve gone on to marry and have little ones of their own.

So my husband believes that we have the knack of matchmaking.

Me, I’m not so sure.

Case in point. I had a friend who was desperate to be “in like” or “in lust” if not “in love.”

At this point in the story, please sing along, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.”

She told me on many occasions, “At this point, I’d go to the opening of an envelope, if I thought I’d meet someone.”

It wasn’t that she hadn’t ever met anyone. She had. Two marriages and two children. And that and other factors impeded on the possibility of a third walk down the aisle.

“You’ve gotta play golf with me—at least three times before the 23rd,” she pleaded.

Now hardly anybody begs me to play golf with them, except my husband. And that’s when it’s raining and windy or scorching hot and not one sane man will join him on the course.

“Why?” I asked. She had started to grip my arm.

“Because, “ she replied, “I met a guy who loves golf and I told him I do too. So I have to play a lot before he flies in on the 23rd to play golf with me.”

She waved away my concerns that she really didn’t love golf.

So Mr. Golfer came and went. By this time her good-byes to men were out numbering her hellos.

“I bet your husband knows a lot of single guys in his office.”

Uh oh.

My husband, reflecting on our great success thirty years prior, was enthusiastic and up for the challenge.

So we trotted out Batchelor Number One.

It was a dinner date. My husband and I with our respective friends. The ones who would find true marital bliss over risotto.

As luck would have, my husband had to work late. So I was faced with being the third wheel with two potentially wobbly other wheels.

My husband’s guy friend was right on time. My friend was thirty minutes’ late. Together, my husband’s friend and I had a rather nice white wine paired with many anxious glances toward the restaurant door.

In came she, sweeping with nary an apology.

Then it began. My husband’s friend biting sarcasm was unleashed.

She parried and thrust. Cut for cut.

I scrunched down in my seat.

On and on it went.

She laughed. She thought she was Nora Charles, playing off the witticisms of Nick.

He was just plain annoyed at her lateness. And wasn’t laughing.

Now mature adults would have enjoyed the Chilean sea bass, made polite conversation and gotten the hell outta there.

Our friends, and me by default, closed the restaurant.

As soon as I got in the door, the phone rang.

“Well, I think that went very well don’t you?”

I could only stammer.

My husband’s friend never called my friend, but I could have predicted that.

Long ago, we had one big success as matchmakers. I’m glad we didn’t try to make a business out of it.


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