I believe there is a matchmaking chromosome. It exists mostly in females, and it causes us to perk up the second an eligible single walks into our ward, and to begin rifling through a mental Rolodex for suitable matches. I have caught the eye of another woman across the chapel, seen her nod towards our next victim, and wiggled my eyebrows back at her. We cannot wait to compare notes and think how to set this unmarried soul up with another.
It is shameless, it is probably wrong, it is certainly not appreciated in most cases, and yet we do it. Our brains click into gear and we simply cannot imagine that someone might be perfectly content alone; we are convinced we are doing them a favor by ambushing them at a dinner party where another single just happens to be there as well.
Many contented singles will want to write and tell me how intrusive and unwelcome we women are, who cannot resist playing Cupid. But just as many will write to thank us for steering them towards their soul mate, a person they never would have met if not for the busy efforts of this same group of women. This is the group that fuels our flames, that convinces us we’re on the right track.
It’s not a calling (oh, if only!) yet most of us happily do this for free. We aren’t trying to circumvent dating services; we’re just unable to contain our enthusiasm for pairing pots and lids. Like the Jewish Shadchen (not a Yenta, actually), we keep vigilant watch for suitable mates, driven to secure a temple marriage for everyone who breathes. Maybe it’s a testament to our own joy, that we want others to be equally happily hitched.
And it’s not as if we have no scriptural authorization, here. The entire book of Ruth is about the clever matchmaking efforts of Naomi. You read it your way, I’ll read it mine.
My first counselor is the result of just such meddling. Suzanne was working in an office with a wonderful woman who said she had a feeling Suzanne would be joining their family. Suzanne, a Catholic at the time, was not so sure. The woman’s brother was divorced, had three boys, and was a Mormon, of all things. But the matchmaking continued and today they have two more daughters and a wonderful temple marriage.
Many a weary husband has sighed, lying in bed and hoping to get some rest, as his wife muses about possible prospects. In my own case, the endeavor has revved up as I have shifted my interest from ward members to my own son, 31, still unmarried, and living in Davis. Few levels of desperation approach that of a mother who wants grandchildren, thus I pray for a wonderful girl to fall out of the sky (although, come to think of it, why would Heavenly Father send a perfectly suitable girl plummeting to certain death?), or to bump into him on campus, or to find him at Trivia Night, or to drop by my house exactly when he’s here for dinner. He’s tall, dark and handsome, he’s a math/science genius, he’s charming and funny, he’s romantic and thoughtful. He has no temper issues and would make a wonderful father. Far be it from me to use Meridian as a matchmaking tool, but I’m just saying. Photos available.
Joni Hilton’s book, “FUNERAL POTATOES-THE NOVEL” (Covenant Communications) is in LDS bookstores everywhere.
Hilton has written 20 books, three award-winning plays, and is a frequent public speaker and a former TV talk show host. She is also the author of the “As the Ward Turns” series, “The Ten-Cow Wives’ Club,” and “The Power of Prayer.” Hilton is a frequent writer for “Music & The Spoken Word,” many national magazines. She is married to TV personality Bob Hilton, is the mother of four, and currently serves as Relief Society President in her ward in northern California. She can be reached at her website, jonihilton.com, Twitter:@JoniHilton, and Facebook: Joni Hilton.