I dropped $5,000 for a matchmaker. That’s right. 5 G’s. Straight up, wrote a check, signed my name, ripped the perforated line, and handed it over with a smile. Didn’t even bat an eyelash. No installment plan. No credit card payments. No credit card points! 100% cash deal. They cashed the check the next day.
I’d been thinking about it since the beginning of the year. I’m not exactly sure how I conceived of finding a tried-and-true matchmaker. I just realized that what I was doing wasn’t working. The online thing. Agreeing to setups with friends of friends. “He’s such a good guy! Swear, you’ll like him!”
Whenever you hear those magical setup words, take it from me, ask your friend, “Would you date him? Are you attracted to him? Is anyone in this galaxy attracted to him?” I got so sick of getting setup with super nice, super rich, great on paper guys who were plain…ugly. That’s right, I said it. They were ugly. He could have his house. I could have my house. But no romantic connection whatsoever. Fun. We’d obviously adopt.
Once I set my mind to something, I can’t stop thinking about it. I committed to identifying a matchmaker in time for my annual bonus. I could put a portion of my bonus to good use. Finally finding a husband.
The other night, I was on the phone with a friend and she said, “You know, getting married isn’t everything.”
And I cried, “If that’s the case, then everyone wouldn’t be doing it.” Let’s be real. I’m old. If I can’t convince you that I’m old, then I’m middle-aged. I’ve had a great life. A great single life. I’m ready to settle down, finally learn how to cook, and sing lullabies to my twins so they fall asleep.
So I started doing lots of research. First, I went online. Then I talked to people. I made phone calls. I conducted phone interviews. Some matchmakers started stalking me. Not a good sign. I had committed to interviewing with Great Expectations. I forget which city. Somewhere in the Peninsula. After more research, I realized that they had gotten a barrage of complaints with the Better Business Bureau. I was so freaked out, I was a no show for my appointment. You’d think they wouldn’t want a flake in their network. But no. They continued to call incessantly. “We still want you to come in. We think you’d be a great fit!” Ummm, you have tons of bad reviews with the Better Business Bureau. Yick. I had to tell them to stop calling! Stalkers. Just like my normal dating pattern!
I settled on Kelleher and Associates based in Sausalito. They are the top matchmaking firm in the country with the accolades to prove it: 20/20, People, Dr. Phil, Extra, CNBC, Good Morning America..the list goes on. I filled out their information request form, crossing my fingers they would contact me. They are known for being extremely selective. I heard from them the next day–at which point I began the process of determining whether they were worth it.
– How many people are in your network?
– What are your success rates?
– What makes you better than other dating avenues?
– What are the most common complaints your clients say about you?
– Have you been involved in any lawsuits?
– Walk me through the process.
– Let’s say that after the whole process, I didn’t find the right person. What happens?
I felt like they were worth the money. I met with someone face-to-face for an evaluation. The interview lasted a little over an hour.
– What are your interests?
– What age range are you interested in?
– What are your religious beliefs?
– What are your political beliefs?
Kelleher is $6,500. Everyone pays the same—men and women. The interviewer said the fee would be discounted to $5,500. Something about me being young and easily matchable. I slept on it, but I was convinced that I would be signing up with them very soon. I reviewed the forms, perused the legal jargon. A minimum of 8 introductions over an 18 month timeframe. I started seeing their name pop up everywhere…on the web, in print. The San Francisco Chronicle featured them in their Sunday magazine. The picture of their CEO on the front cover of the Sunday paper caught my eye. I picked it up and tossed it into my grocery basket. It was a sign. This was it. I would sign the paperwork and commit that week.
As always, I started to get nervous. I could put that money toward plastic surgery and get any guy I wanted. I could buy several fur coats, a Vespa. I could go on a luxury vacation in Brazil and bring back a husband for that kind of money. I wanted to make sure that Kelleher really was the one. I searched vigorously online for complaints. Couldn’t find a single one. They were solid. But alongside Kelleher, a smaller matchmaker based out of Palo Alto started popping up in articles I read. A firm called Linx. The CEO (one year younger than me) had decided that she would never find the right guy in San Francisco. So she packed her bags, and moved to the South Bay where she realized there were all these great, smart, amazing, genuine men. That’s where she met her fiance (I believe he’s a Stanford professor) and came up with this business concept of setting up single city girls with single south bay boys. I was intrigued.
I contacted her. It was much different than what I had experienced with other firms. While she was responsive, she was also quite distant, saying that she only accepts a very select group into her network. I filled our her initial survey, confident that I would at least get a call back. I did get a call back, but again, she was still distant. I would have to go through an interview process. I interviewed on the phone with her assistant, then with her. After that, I filled out a 13 page questionnaire. It was extremely detailed. The whole process comforted me. If this is what she does to all her clients, then she really must know them well.
I went to her office in Palo Alto for the last face-to-face interview with her and her assistant. I prefaced, “Sorry, this is still an interview process on my part. I’m not ready to commit. Kelleher is still top of my list and I haven’t yet decided.”
“Let’s lay it all on the table,” her assistant initiated. I agreed. We laid it all out. Why I was still considering Kelleher. What I liked about them. What drew me to Linx. What concerns did I have about Linx that they could address.
Then they asked me questions.
– What’s the youngest age you would go for? What’s the max? What’s ideal?
– What types of professions are you attracted to? Why do you think so?
– What has worked in your previous relationships? What hasn’t?
– What if we set you up with someone who was Jewish? How would you go about the discussion on raising kids religiously?
– Which celebrities are you attracted to? Who are you not attracted to?
The interview lasted almost two hours. Then lastly, the CEO said she had googled my name and found my blog. After the discussion about me bringing down my blog, she insisted, “Catherine, I guarantee you Kelleher would never have said anything about your blog. They would have set you up with clients who would google you and who knows how that would have turned out. I’m here to look out for you. You haven’t even signed up with us and look at all the research we’ve done. Look how much we know about you already from the interviews and the questionnaire.”
I agreed. I took my checkbook out and signed away.
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. Find me a find, catch me a catch.