My mom is one of the sweetest women I know—which makes her almost impervious to the harsh realities of the dog-eat-dog world of dating. For her, phrases like "give him a chance, you never know" and "the worst that happens, you make a new friend" are blithely uttered about men she's never seen, knows nothing about, and who most likely have zero compatibility with her darling daughter. Well, except for being Jewish. It was that ineffable qualifier that prompted her—without a second thought—to give my number to her friend Natalie for her friend Sheila so her daughter Cathy could pass it on to her friend Marcy for her brother, Morty.
My mom didn't get why I was annoyed. "You gave out my number?" quickly escalated to "You gave out my number to a guy named Morty?" What did he look like? How old was he? What did he do? Mom didn't know; it had never occurred to her to ask. Why would it? Morty was Natalie's friend's daughter's friend's brother. Why wouldn’t I want to meet him?
I have been on few blind dates, mostly because I quickly discovered that "Jewish" and "single" were pretty much the only criteria being applied, resulting in the disquieting realization that my friends obviously found me less attractive than I'd thought. But with my mom, it was different: This came from out of the blue, from a woman who, though she had never previously betrayed any anxiety about my dating life, probably should have been a bit more interested in the qualities a future son-in-law brought to the table.