If I were a true matchmaker, I'd have no clients. Word would get about quickly, and the only people who would come to me would be the people who wanted to know whom they should avoid at all costs.
Wednesday evening I made an introduction of an out-of-town wealthy, artistic jeweler to a creative, intelligent, and pretty friend of mine. Now that sounds like a winning combination on paper, doesn't it?! If I had a checklist, I would have written down all of his obvious traits and matched it to hers, and I would have found at least an 80% match!
However, this was truly the worst match I've ever made.
Since my friend looks like Lisa Kudrow, we'll call her "Lisa" here. He didn't actually look like anyone I've ever seen before. She likes older men, so he fit the bill. Although she's 44, he's in his 50s. He has cherubic cheeks, curly gray hair, a Tom Selleck mustache and smile, and a ready wit. However, his personality turned out to be so far from Tom Selleck that we'll call him Caligula instead.
We arranged to meet for a couple of drinks so that no one had to make any commitments and could escape at any time. Lisa hadn't been feeling well that day. "I can't come," she said frantically over the phone. "I've been under so much stress lately that my entire mouth has broken out into cold sores! I feel like crap!"
"Oh c'mon," I cajoled her. "It's only for a couple of drinks! You can leave right afterwards! And who knows - maybe a couple of drinks will cauterize everything! Remember, he's only in town for a couple of days and this could be The One!"
She fell for it: I could sell fire to Satan.
I then called Caligula. I cautioned him that she wasn't well. "Oh, what is it, a cold or something?" Caligula asked. Yup, it was something, I said. I added that she wouldn't be able to stay for long, but we could always meet up for dinner on Friday night if all worked out. He thought it was a great idea.
So that night my friend Rick and I arrived at the club to find he was already waiting for us, drink in hand. We had no way of knowing how much he'd already drunk, but he carried it well and we didn't suspect that he'd had more than one. He happily ordered a couple of drinks for us and we found a table to sit at while we visited and waited for Lisa to arrive.
Now let me add something here: I hate being drunk and I hate drunks, so my limit is always two drinks. A drunk person turns me off so much that I've been known to break dates when I see a guy get drunk, and then never call him back. My tolerance is exceedingly low. My idea of a good time is getting out, dancing, and not waking up with flu symptoms the next morning. I can't see why anyone would want otherwise.
We sat there and sipped on our drinks, leaning over to yell loudly in each other's ears in order to overcome the violently loud 70s and 80s dance music mix.
Lisa soon arrived, dressed casually and sauntering in with an unconsciously athletic gait. She looked pretty and was very friendly and chatty as she sat down. However, the loud music conspired against us and it was very difficult to interract.
Soon after she sat down, a man walked up to her, did a double-take, and gasped "Lisa?!"
"Ted?!" she said, startled. She turned to us and muttered something about how she knew someone she knew would spot her, and she excused herself to be polite and visit with Ted and his wife for a few moments before she returned to our table.
During that time, Caligula leaned over to us and announced that she met with his approval and he could certainly 'do her.' Questioning my hearing due to the loud music, I let it pass. Surely he didn't say anything that crude about my friend!
Lisa soon rejoined us, and we resumed chatting. Sometimes Caligula would get up and disappear for a couple of minutes and then rejoin us. Other than that, Lisa remained the focus of his attention.
As a little time went by, she grew glummer as her mouth grew more painful. Finally when nothing could be said to elicit a smile, I leaned over and said "Why don't you go on home, hon? Get some rest and we'll get together on Friday." Lisa nodded thankfully and Caligula jumped up with the offer that he'd walk her out to her car.
When Caligula got back, I said it was a shame that Lisa couldn't stay but we'd see her on Friday and we were looking forward to it. He nodded and said "Whatever! If it works, fine, if it doesn't, fine." Well that seemed open-minded and fair enough! Of course he said that as he was gaping at a tiny hispanic woman walking by.
"Careful! Don't snap your neck, Caligula!" joked Rick. Caligula grinned and then promptly went after her. He moved as quickly as a horse out of the starting gate.
Rick and I exchanged glances. "You know he has a drinking problem, right?" said Rick.
"WHAT?" I gasped, "No?! Why do you say that?"
"Have you noticed how he's periodically gotten up and disappeared?" asked Rick. I nodded yes. "Well, he's been going up to the bar and ordering an extra drink every chance he gets," said Rick.
"No, no - really?!" I said in shock (my back had been to the bar the entire time). Rick just nodded.
Soon Caligula was back, for a brief moment, before he spotted another good looking woman and went high-tailing it after her.
"Well, you've gotta admit he's got stamina," said Rick.
For Caligula, the third time was the charm. He found a blond lady who was very receptive to him, and he came staggering back to tell us that he was going home with her. I had enough at this point and said with false cheeriness "Well then, Caligula, have fun, be safe, talk to you later! We were just about to go. Ready, Rick?"
It was at this point that Caligula leaned in to me, and in a stage whisper he announced that he was great in bed and was fabulous at oral sex, and he wanted to show me just how fabulous he was. Well... that's a sanitized version of what he said.
"OK, then, gotta go!" I chirped, dragging Rick out of his chair. "See ya, Caligula!" I said, waving as we backed out the door.
As I turned to look at Rick, I saw that he had had one drink too many. He wasn't nearly as drunk as Caligula, but he wasn't sober, either. "Did I just hear him say...?" began Rick.
"Don't worry about it," I said hastily. "The guy is drunk and doesn't know what he's saying."
I stuffed Rick into the car and drove away. However, for the next couple of miles, Rick was angry and agitated. Finally he insisted on getting out of the car and walking back to the bar. I honestly told him he was a complete idiot and my honor hardly needed defending (I can defend it just fine, thank you) but off he went, and I went home.
At home I went through my usual routines. I let out the dogs, we curled up with a good book, and I read for a couple of hours. I wasn't worried - Rick can take care of himself, and he's really not the type to get into a brawl.
At 12:30 I got a call from the local Holiday Inn. It was Rick.
"Rick? What are you doing at the Holiday Inn?!" I asked.
"Can you pay for a cab?" Rick asked wearily. He'd left his wallet behind at his place. "No," I said, "I'll come get you instead. What the heck's happened?"
"Well, I went back to the club, saw that Caligula really was drunk, and he was about to leave." Apparently Caligula's one-night stand fizzled out and by then Rick had sobered up and got worried about the guy. So Rick continued "I told him I needed a ride home and I'd drive his car to his hotel if he'd just arrange to get me a cab. When we got to his hotel, he staggered in and headed for the elevator. I told him "Hey, Caligula, I still need you to pay for my cab ride home!" Caligula said "F-you, I've got no money," got on the elevator, and disappeared!" said Rick.
In my opinion, Rick got what he deserved and I told him so. However, I said I was on my way. I had nothing better to do, and the Victorian ghost stories I was reading were keeping me awake.
When I arrived at the hotel, the situation had worsened. Caligula had come back down on the elevator, saw Rick, and said in great, drunken surprise "What are you doing here?!"
"I'm still waiting for my cab, remember?" said Rick, irritatedly. "You were supposed to pay for it!"
At this point, Caligula erupted into great profanity and grew very aggressive, coming after Rick with his chest bowed out and fists clenched. Rick hollered to the desk clerk that he was a witness to the fact that Caligula was being the aggressor and if Rick had to flatten him right there, he wanted to make sure that everyone knew he hadn't thrown the first punch.
The hotel clerk cowered behind the desk, only shrieking out that if Caligula didn't leave immediately and return to his room, he was going to call the police. The clerk retold the story to me later, shuddering a little as he did so.
Caligula stumbled back to the elevator like a punch-drunk bear and disappeared just before I arrived.
The next day Caligula called me and left me a message. "I don't know what was wrong with Rick last night!" he whined. "He became so aggressive! I really think he needs anger management classes. Call me!"
Yeah, I'll call him. I'll call him when hell freezes over and I get Satan to buy fire from me. Yessir! We got fire! We got all kinds o' fire! We have red fire, orange fire, candle fire and wood fire. We even got a special on that fabulous blue fire - you know, the kind that accompanies all the undead...