Jo Ann Jaacks: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a Match

A friend who is gregarious, large on Facebook and kind, posted a while back that if any of his friends were looking for a little help making a match-up, he would be happy to lend a hand to find the perfect Significant Other. (He didn’t exactly say that; I’m paraphrasing.) Half-jokingly, I said I would be interested.

That never materialized, but it brought back my own memories of putting two people together. When I lived in south Florida, I became a notary public because it came in handy. Florida is one of only four states that give a notary public the extra responsibility of performing weddings. I “married” my boss, a good friend, and my favorite - my brother Andy who came down to Florida, as did my family members, for the nuptials. I got to admonish my wild younger brother that he should take his vows very seriously and cherish his new bride. My mother was like, “Amen, listen to your sister!”

Another good friend asked me to cover her wedding which would consist of the bride and groom, myself as the officiant, and a hot air balloon pilot who would take us up to a visible height for the wedding group below. Unfortunately, the majority of attendees chose to take advantage of the reduced rate to book a hotel room where the guests were in a private open bar . . . until midnight. I’m sure that’s not unprecedented for wedding parties, but then we were all advised by the pilot that the perfect current for the balloon lift was at 7 a.m. It did not end well, and sadly, neither did the marriage.

I so much enjoyed officiating at weddings that I began to think of ways to get two friends together. One of the contractors my husband was using at the time was a tall, sweet man named “Tony” who was divorced and had no children. My husband often invited the workers he liked or thought did an excellent job on the project, to join him for a beer or two after hours. I decided to come to the bar one afternoon and began to grill Tony - what went wrong with his marriage, what kind of woman was he looking for, what hobbies and interests did he have, etc. This, of course, was pre-online dating sites. There were many pages in the Miami Herald where you could pay for a personals ad to find or attract your perfect Significant Other.

I went through my address book and came up with the most likely match, a woman who had gone through training with me to become a licensed interior designer. “Judy” was also divorced, and had no children. She was cute, funny and sweet. I told my husband that we should invite Tony to a classier bar than usual and I would innocently bring my friend Judy as well. They hit it off immediately, and after one cocktail together, they both gave an excuse that they had to leave. I hope they are still together . . . we lost touch and then I moved back to Connecticut.

I’ve been trying to become a Justice of the Peace for years, the only way in Connecticut you can marry people. And I’m hoping that I will someday find my own second match.