The art of matchmaking has been around since at least the 1600s. In a society where everyone is being pressured to pair off, for some, matchmaking services seem like the best way to find love. I had neither met a matchmaker nor attended a matchmaking event until recently.
My friend Jennifer put me in touch with Estelle Berrebi-Hurst of Estelle Matchmaking to do some copywriting projects. The extent of my knowledge of matchmaking did not venture outside that song from Fiddler on the Roof (a movie I've never seen), and Millionaire Matchmaker (a show I've never seen), so my expectations were non-existent and clearly based on popular-culture things that, well, I've never seen.
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So the other week, in the pursuit of both education and as a reporter, I attended my first matchmaking event. The gathering, which was in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, included cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in an art gallery on the Upper West Side. Singles, from their mid-20's and up, mingled and shared business cards. I brought Jennifer and watched in shock as she manned the room like an expert, graciously talking to everyone who approached her (and there were many), while I, always the awkward one in the group, trailed after her like a little sister trying to learn some well-needed social tips.
Estelle, a lovely petite woman with the ever-sexy French accent, made her way around the gallery making sure each person was having a good time, but being the professional she is, she didn't linger too long. The attendees consisted of clients (those who pay a yearly amount for Estelle to find them a match) and candidates (those who pay a one-time fee of $50 to be set up with clients, and the majority of whom are women).
In typical wallflower fashion, when I was not following Jennifer, I leaned myself against one of the few spaces that was not covered by paintings, and watched. Except for a handful, everyone was dressed to the nines with women in cocktail dresses and the men in perfectly tailored suits; and similar to a high school dance, it took a bit of time for the two genders to mix, but when they did, the group became boisterous with flirty laughs.
As for how many love connections were made that night, I'm not sure. I had wanted to set up shop at the door to inquire, but thought that might be a little strange and bad form. As someone who has tried online dating for a total of 72 hours, but found it disappointing and exhausting, the matchmaking event was a rare insight into what it looks like when you hire someone else to do all the work for you. And to be honest, I'm a firm believer in having others do all the legwork, so when I'm ready, I'm thinking matchmaking might be the appropriate route for me; but considering my track record, "ready" might be a ways off — my poor parents.
Read my tips on making it through your first matchmaking event on The Gloss: 7 Tips For Making It Through Your First Matchmaking Event
Have you ever attended a matchmaking event?
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