Playing Matchmaker

22 Jun

In my nearly two decades of life, I’ve identified several things to avoid to achieve normalcy. I call these necessary avoidances “red flags” and have listed several of them for you below.

Taking a relative to prom: red flag.

Knitting your own underwear: red flag.

Coming home early from a party to hang out with your guinea pig: red flag.

Playing chess and/or checkers by yourself on a Saturday night…or any night: red flag.

Crashing a middle school dance: RED FLAG.

Drinking wine out of a box while listening to Celine Dion: red flag.*(But acceptable during times of extreme duress.)

Eating your dog’s food because you’re too lazy to go grocery shopping: red flag.

The theory of the “red flag” system is that, in successfully managing to avoid these classic pitfalls in judgment, I will live a happy, well-rounded, and normal life. So far, I’ve done pretty well! I went to prom with a non-relative, I don’t know how to knit, and I only ate dog food once. (I was four and it looked good. That is all.)

One thing I’ve left off the list? My grandparents setting me up with a stranger they met on a beach. That’s right, if your grandparents see a stranger on a beach, observe him for a week, develop a back-story for him, and decide that he is your soul mate – simply because he is a male, you are single, and he is on a beach – then grab a box o’ wine, put on some Celine, and Google the closest middle school dances because you are a walking red flag, my friend.

My grandparents were enjoying a lovely batch of pico de gallo when they spotted him – my anonymous beach-going soul mate named Todd. They noticed Todd right away because he was a regular at their hotel, and because he was always alone; he ate alone, he swam alone, he tanned alone, and he played tennis alone while talking to his imaginary friends and making young children cry out in fear. (I may have made that one up. But I would not be surprised if that was the case.) So here’s the first alluring trait about Todd to remember: Todd is a loner. What I’m getting from this is that Todd is perfect for me either because I, too, am a loner, or because he is so freaking tired of being alone that he would date his left foot if he could. Neither option is particularly good for Todd, and both leave me in red flag territory.

The second thing that I am told about Todd is that he is “handsome”…but not “too handsome.” Well, maybe he’s what you would call “attractive,” my grandparents collectively decide. But then again, he’s not too attractive. So perhaps he’s more “appealing looking,” they say. Nope, that still sounds too positive. They juggle a few different descriptions before deciding that he is just “a man…a normal man.” Okay, so he’s a man, that’s good. But normal? In any other case, I suppose “normal” would be a fine way to describe someone. But given Todd’s obvious lack of human interaction, I feel like “normal” is one delicate step away from “would be cute if you put a bag on his head and pasted a picture of Ryan Gosling on it…and then put him in a very dimly lit room…” So again, things aren’t looking too optimistic and I’m starting to wonder if I should go all Hester Prynne and paste a red flag on my chest to symbolize my shame.

The third thing to note about Todd is that he has hairy legs. VERY hairy legs. My grandmother finds this appealing and thinks I will as well. “Sophie,” she says, “He just had the hairiest legs. They were great, hairy, legs.” Yum. That DOES sound great. Could I get a sexy Snapchat of those so I can screenshot it and show all of my friends? I know I’m part Italian and have dark hair, but does this mean I’m destined to end up with a wooly mammoth of a man who has to keep a comb and some detangling spray in his sock so he can tame the beast that pays rent to live on his leg?? If it does, then I am perfectly willing to abstain from meatballs and lasagna in order to deny my heritage… If anyone asks, I hail from Canada.

The final thing to know about Todd: his name is not really Todd. Todd is what my grandparents named him as they watched him on the beach for a week. I wish they’d snapped a picture… then I could use one of those face-mashing apps to predict what our little lonesome, average-looking, hairy monster babies would look like.

I think we can all agree that if your grandparents play matchmaker for you and rely on level of desperation, degree of visual normalcy, and amount of body hair as the primary criteria for a match-made-in-Heaven, your love life is fully submerged in a prolonged “red flag” phase, and probably has been for quite some time. What should you do if this is the case? Smile, nod, and agree that Todd DOES sound like the perfect fit for you and that you would like to book a ticket to Cabo to meet him in all of his glory. Then, politely excuse yourself and create a account… because if you’re going to date a weirdo, you might as well do it the modern way.

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