Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Set-Up Tear Down

I am really bad at setting people up. I am the Hitler of setting people up. Everytime I set a friend up, the Sudetenland is ceded. The sad thing is that I really wish I was better at it. I’d like to be one of those people who can casually mention over dinner conversation, “Oh, yes, I set that gloriously happy couple up on their first date and they sent me a Cartier necklace to say thanks for hooking them up with their soul mate.” Alas, I am not that person. I may be as far from that person as is humanly possible.

My basic problem is that I think that if I like the person, everyone else will like them too. I’m slowly getting that that’s not the way it works. Here’s what happens: the guy is always thrilled, the girl is always pissed. I have never set-up a pair where this has not been the case. Usually, the guy, who is happy at first, soon discovers that his date is not only not impressed with him; she wouldn’t be caught dead with him at Wal-Mart on a Saturday night. It’s all downhill from there.

The first couple I set up was Steve and Abby when I was in high school. Steve was a trumpet player in the band who was only slightly nerdy. Abby was a cheerleader from another school who was a year older than Steve. He was so excited to be set up with a cheerleader. I forgot to tell him that Abby wasn’t just a cheerleader; she was a disillusioned cheerleader who was fast on her way to becoming a nihilistic punk with budding feminist tendencies. In retrospect, I can see that this may have been a problem. As for Steve, I don’t think he knew what hit him and his round tortoise-shell glasses. About a 1/3 of the way through the date Abby was in the back seat fuming while Steve was riding up front with me wondering how his dream date with a cheerleader was dashed by the ball of fire seated directly behind the bucket seat. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure that Abby and I ever spoke after that. Steve went on to grow up, get hot, and find a real cutie on his own.

The next attempt was in ’95 when J and I were dating. He surprised me with tickets to a Sarah McLachlan concert and asked if I could set up one of my friends with one of his friends for an evening of double-dating fun. Sure! I could set Anne up with, let’s call him Greg. I told J that this was all set, but what I really did was forget to ask her. On the day of the concert I called and called and called her, but no luck, she was out for the day. Greg had to find his own date. The next day I finally reached Anne and explained how silly I had been. She then said “Greg?! Greg Whosit?” I said, “Yeah.” She went on to remind me in non too lady like language that this Greg had been a complete jerk to her in high school and she still resented his extraordinarily rude and cutting remarks.
What is wrong with me? I nearly sent one of my dearest friends into a date with a man that she probably hates to this very day. Her kharma is the only thing that saved her from me. She went on to marry a Scotsman, make movies, and have a fabulous life—none of which am I remotely responsible for.
There are countless other examples that are too embarrassing and ludicrous to write about at this time. Some of my victims might even be reading this entry right now. Sorry guys, seriously. This is why I warn people that although I might try to set them up at a later date they should in no way accept. The best course is probably to feign deafness and hope your kharma will save you.

I don’t know why I’m driven to set people up on dates. Don’t fool yourself; it’s not that I want them to be married. I suspect it goes to my need to totally control the world around me. I aspire to be the puppet master—the puppet master that is adored, and thanked, for creating meaningful lives. I want to help, I want to fix it. I like to make new friends and to introduce other people to new friends. I’m good at matching books with people. I can recommend new music to you. I’ll even be able to tell you which movie you’ll enjoy this weekend. Help you find your eternal companion? Out of the question.

The truth is that people not only don’t need my help, they should probably run far, far away from me should I offer my matchmaking help. Let this entry serve as a reminder to all my single friends: The holidays are coming up; don’t let a momentary weakness or a quest for an office party date let you turn in my direction. It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than to survive a set-up by Azucar.


BowlerGirl said...

I feel your pain. Lately, my greatest failing is that my gay-dar is completely malfunctioning.

Example as follows....

Me: So I know this super cute
girl from the gym!
GB: Ummmmm, yeah girls...
Me: She's way into Martha
Stewart Appretice too!
GB: Ummmmm, really?
Me: Totally! I think you to would
really hit it off.

I then realize the mistake that I've made about 3/4 of the way into this embarassing conversation and use the final 1/4 of try to extricate myself as gracefully as possible. Good grief!

c jane said...

I have the opposite problem. I set people up and they get married and then I never see them again because what good am I anymore? Consider yourself lucky.

P.S. I know Anne (this small blogging world of ours!) and thank goodness that Greg was a jerk 'cause I just saw Anne and Andrew at the movies and they are IN LOVE and so cute.

Azúcar said...

So what you're saying is that we both lose friends, only your friends go away happy and fulfilled, and mine slowly back away making the evil-eye sign?

I was going to ask how you knew Anne, but then I used my incredible, near total, powers of recall to deduce that CK's profession might have something to do with it.

A&A truly are a loving couple. I have even had to write a letter and have it notarized to that effect.

Dear BG,
I think that being married skews your gay-dar. Still, he liked Martha Stewart's Apprentice? That's a total gimme!

La Yen said...

Now that W is in the Army, I only know lushes and lechers, and really, there is no fun in that. I mostly have to keep them away from my sisters.
The last date I set anyone up on, I was so excited about, and then next day he told me he was getting engaged to another girl. If he was serious, why go out on a blind date?! What a waste of my time, I tell you. (It's All about La Yen.)

Emmie said...

I met Steve on a blind date - a date I refused to even consider at first because I'd had several horrible "there's this guy you HAVE to meet" experiences. I've since been asked to set people up, but the ones doing the asking are single Mormon guys, and the only single girls I know are:
a) Beehives and Mia Maids
b) Non-Mormon actresses
It's not working out too well.

Azúcar said...

I know LOTS of great single guys & girls. For one, my sisters pictured down below. If you like the looks of them, pass 'em on. I have a few tasty cousins that I'd love to set up, but that would make family reunions difficult.

You should join Friendster so that my friends and your friends could hook up.

Of course, being that you/they are in So Cal might be an issue...

Jen, it sounds like you're slowly falling into my kind of set-up funk. Congrats.

Emmie said...

I don't think any of the single guys I know are deserving of your sisters. The boys would be THRILLED, but I think your sisters might be less so . . . However, I'll definitely keep a look out. And now I must ask you - did you watch Rupert's Sherlock Holmes last night? I thought of you whilst watching, and wondered what you might be thinking. I confess I was disappointed. I missed my Jeremy Brett. Not wanting to hijack your comments, and realizing your other readers might not care about this quite as much as I do, I give you my email address for correspondence if you so desire:

Azúcar said...

I did not. I saw it on the TV schedule but then realized that it would conflict with Grey's Anatomy. I had to make an executive decision. I'm afraid that Ronnie Miller won and Rupert lost.

This is my only issue with PBS. They think that they can end a show any time they damn well please. So the show starts at 8pm, reasonable, and then ends at 9:17. WHAT IS THAT?! They think that they can just bend the fabric of the TV space-time continuum to suit their selfish desires? It's worse if you're trying to tape something because you never know when the show will REALLY end.

Many is the night that I've found that, despite letting my VCR tape for four straight hours, I've missed the last SEVEN minutes of whatever Forsyte Saga is running at the moment.

Of course, now, in the clear light of day, I figure that I could have set the VCR to record Holmes. Stupid, stupid. I blame the total lack of sleep over the past 36 hours. Thank goodness KUED will re-run the episode sometime in the middle of the night on Tuesday. I'm sure I'll miss the last seven minutes when KUED pulls a fast one and airs Civic Dialogue in place of The Detective.

Emma said...

Maybe the trick is to match up people who have something in common, not two people you just happen to like...

Azúcar said...

You'd think that would work! But my black thumb has gone beyond that reasoning.
Hey! They both like independant films, long walks on the beach, and fine dining...

There should just be a law against me trying to fix up anybody.

BowlerGirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BowlerGirl said...

Well, if you are really desperate to shack up your friends and roommates with the perfect someone you could always this tactic.

These fine folks are so determined to marry off Lance they resorted to a web page dedicated souly to this purpose. I think that this is super funny. It not the only one out there, but I think its one of the funniest.

tiff-fay-fay said...

i totally know the data lance guys. they're hilarious, but most of them (except obviously lance) are married.

BG -- I don't need gay-dar. They tend to flock to me & my honey.

Emmie -- i saw the first part of the Rupert-Holmes and was very disappointed. I agree about Jeremy Brett

metamorphose said...

I'm obviously missing out on some excellent public television.

I'm hesitant to let anyone set me up anymore because it seems to come down to, "well you're single, and he's single, you'd be perfect for one another!"


Hopefully your puppetmaster needs are being fulfilled otherwise. :)

Emmie said...

Jetset readers,
I now claim the official title of off-topic commenter with this comment:
Carina - what a wonderful, crazy coincidence to run into you at the temple!! I'm so glad I got to hug you as you were running by! Were you there for a wedding, too? (We'd been late to the ceremony that morning - lost car keys, and a car finally borrowed from a neighbor - oy!) Can I just ask how your hair managed to look like an Herbal Essence commercial in the middle of a rainstorm? You brought style and class along with your temple recommend, my friend, whilst I stood windblown and soggy in Steve's suit jacket.
First the grocery store, now the temple. I can't wait to see where we meet next.

wendysue said...

Carina, maybe you could take lessons from my mom, the queen of matchmaking!! Everyone knows who to call when they have a cousin, nephew, niece, etc. they need to set up. I guess it helps that she sends out about 700 Christmas cards and knows all the details of all of the families!!

P.S. LOVE that Ronnie Miller!! I love that Sunday night appointment with Dr. McDreamy.

Azúcar said...

Emmie! There is no such thing as threadjacking on my blog. Off-topic is welcomed and celebrated. How crazy to see you. I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer to chat, and I'm sorry I couldn't meet Steve properly. Yes, we were there for my friend Marga's sealing, I was late but it was beautiful. As for my hair: a ceramic flat iron, plenty of product, and a father who pulls up to the awning so you don't get wet. It was fun to see Paul crawling with kids.

Wendy, there are many of us who have fallen under the McDreamy spell. If you were here I'd invite you over for a cuppa and an episode. Ok, I know this just proves I'm a girl, but when he crawled into the hospital bed with her, I just about lost it!