I am the worst match-maker in history

February 13, 2008

Herman and I hit it off. We met through a mutual friend initially on a group skiing holiday. The ski holiday was an annual event with this particular friendship group. Herman joined us for at least three years in a row. In between ski holidays we caught up regularly at dinner parties and various functions. Once at a friend’s wedding Herman and I spent the whole night dancing with each other. The young man at the bar commented, “you two are the grooviest couple here tonight”. We laughed because we could never be a couple, just good friends.

We talked about anything and everything: our respective upbringings, our separate aspirations for life, past and present relationships, work, fitness, children, cooking etc etc. Herman was raised in the country with few resources. However, his high intelligence saw him excel at every thing he put his mind to. He was also a perfectionist. He was a triathlete. At the time he worked as a financier for merchant banks. When he asked me if I had any single friends that he might be interested in, I felt that I knew him well enough to give the match-making thing a go. I attempted it twice. Both attempts were dismal failures for completely different reasons.

In the past I found that friends of mine from different aspects of my life, usually got along well when introduced. It made sense. If I like both of them, its likely they would have things in common.  The first attempt was his idea. He wanted to host a dinner party for me, the hub and my chosen single friend. Herman cooked his usual dinner party fare: bread to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for starters, lentil soup, risotto with porchini mushrooms and pears poached in red wine syrup with low fat ice cream. The food was excellent. The conversation was mostly easy. My friend Judy and Herman found that they both went to the same University at the same time (her to study maths education and him to study chemistry), they both were into the outdoors, he talked about trout fishing and she talked about bush walking holidays and skiing.

Things were going fine until she found out he drove a Porche and he told her that he subscribed to The Australian Opera. She voiced her opinion against opera strongly. She believed opera was elitist and divided society into have-s and have-not’s. After this we had dessert and the conversation returned to lighter topics. However, I felt that Judy’s socialist tendencies clashed so fiercely with Herman’s extravagant life style and liberal views that future dating between the two of them was unlikely. I was therefore not surprised the next day on the phone when Herman expressed to me that he would not be pursuing the friendship with Judy further. What I had not expected was the reason for his decision.

“Jenne”, he said, “I’m sorry but I’m just not into pear-shaped women”.

The second time I tried to match-make Herman. I decided a less confronting situation was in order. I invited a group of friends out to go clubbing: two girlfriends from play group along with Herman and Dana. I introduced Herman to Dana within the group and let them dance together or chat as they saw fit. Dana is a very attractive woman. She is lively and great fun to be with. I have often said that were I a man, I would be in love with Dana. I could not imagine a man who would not be interested in her. Dana was single after a heart breaking divorce. Like Herman, Dana was raised in country Victoria. She had left teaching (where I met her) and was running her own business close to the town where she grew up.

Although she was a self sufficient and successful business woman, she was looking for a man to look after her. In her words, she wanted to meet “a man in a suit”.  I thought Herman could be her guy. She arrived wearing a revealing outfit. She seemed subdued and slightly nervous. Dana and Herman found time to talk to each other. They danced for a short while. Neither of them looked relaxed. Dana had invited some of her friends from her home town to join us.  She became more animated and relaxed when they arrived but spent more time dancing with them than she did with us.

Later she left us to kick on to another venue with these friends. Our remaining group of four opted for a quieter end to the night. We found a cafe and drank hot chocolate before heading home our separate ways. Herman seemed to get along better with my two married friends than he had with Dana. I held hopes that perhaps he may have been interested to see her again at least. However he was not interested in the slightest. His assessment of Dana: “she’s just too agricultural”.

Later I caught up with Dana. “No, not my type”, she told me, “too neat and tidy. He looks gay”.

After that, I gave up! I have never and will never attempt match-making again.

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