The Match Up
by K. L. Jackson
My good friend since college was convinced that her major role in life was to find suitable mates for all her friends who were not currently engaged in what she called, “a love thang.” I had mostly avoided her match-ups because I didn’t have an appreciation for her choices in previous attempts. Therefore, I was very apprehensive when she began bragging about this wonderful woman she wanted me to meet. I was prepared to dislike her. I hated formal introductions because it compelled you to be accommodating whether you were interested or not.
At that moment, I was vulnerable because I was fresh from a breakup that had ended on a chaotic note, and I needed a distraction. She had set me up in the past to meet three very eligible women. None of whom had made a favorable impression. She called me picky, and I viewed myself as selective.
They had been smart and pretty with impressive credentials, but they had all failed to graze that private spark in a man’s soul that lies in wait to be ignited by a hypnotic smile or a charming laugh.
Therefore, as I drove to the restaurant for this latest encounter, I almost yawned in bored expectation at the prospect of another evening of trite getting acquainted with questions and distracted dialogue. This time, however, I was glad I had insisted on this introduction being made in a double date setting with my buddy joining us. I figured that such a setting would be appropriate because the tension would be less apparent if there was a chemistry mismatch. I also saw it as an opportunity to introduce my friend the matchmaker to someone who might have the potential for her.
When I entered the restaurant, I almost turned around when I spotted my friend seated at a table with a woman who was definitely not my style. However, it turned out that she was just visiting an old friend she had bumped into. When she escorted me to our table, I almost gasped at the beauty of the woman seated there. Suddenly, I regretted the presence of my buddy who was already seated and engaged in conversation with her.
After a while, it was apparent that he’d forgotten I invited him to meet Ms. Match-Maker, because he never looked her way after the initial introduction. Ironically, he ended up dominating the conversation with my date as if I wasn’t there. All during the meal, I kept vying for her eye contact, but to no avail. She practically ignored my aggressive attempts at conversation, by giving me one-word answers to my questions, while directing her attention back to my friend. She hung on every word that came out of his mouth as if her breath was dependent upon his words.
Before long, they were talking as if they were the only two people at the table. My friend, the matchmaker displayed enough disappointment on her face for the both of us. When they got up and left the table to dance, we shook our heads in disbelief and resignation.
By the end of the evening, my friend and I ended up leaving our “dates” who continued to enjoy each other’s company unashamedly.