By the time this column is published, I might be dead. My friend Geoff threatened to kill me last night.
We were sitting next to each other at a restaurant when he turned to me and flashed a smile that wasn't really a smile. Rather, it was one of those faces a dog makes right before he bites you. Geoff wrapped his arm around my shoulders and whispered in my ear, 'I'm going to kill you.' I gulped loudly and slid a steak knife out of his reach.
The reason Geoff wants to kill me is because my attempts at matchmaking have ruined yet another dinner party. Last night I insisted—against Geoff's wishes—to set up our friends Matt and Phil. It didn't go as well as I had hoped.
About the best thing that could be said about the evening is that they didn't punch each other. (So, it was a vast improvement over my last attempt to match-make.) They simply ignored each other while I desperately tried to convince them of all the things they have in common. ('Phil, did you know that Matt has both of his lungs? And so do you! Isn't that amazing? It's like you were made for each other.') They grunted with indifference as they stabbed at their mashed potatoes. ('And you both love to play with your food! Marriages have been built on much shakier foundations than that.')
After the meal, as I helpfully jotted their phone numbers onto slips of paper and shoved them into their pockets, Geoff grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and dragged me out to the parking lot.
'How many painful evenings will I have to suffer through before you stop doing this?' Geoff demanded. 'You can't even manage your own romantic life. Why do you think you can manage anyone else's love life?'
'But that's the point,' I told him. 'No one can manage their own romantic life. We'd all be better off in arranged marriages.'
Let's face facts. When left to our own devices, most of us do a miserable job in choosing a mate. When you want to sleep with someone, you are not fit to judge whether this is the person you should sign a 30-year mortgage with. As a result, we wind up picking very sexy people who drain our bank accounts and run off with our best friends.
We'd do much better in letting an objective outsider (i.e. someone who doesn't care how big his pee-pee is or how large her rack is) to make the selection. Case in point: My only criteria in entering into a serious relationship is that the woman looks good in a picture hat. And it doesn't hurt if she's underemployed and treats me with cool indifference. On the other hand, if I let my parents choose my spouse, I'd be happily married to a solid citizen, who makes a lot of money, cleans up after me, and welcomes my parents' constant intrusions.
So I will continue to ruin dinner parties until I manage to arrange happy, if passionless, relationships for all my friends. Or until I am murdered.
Whichever comes first.