For several years now I have patiently waited for someone to give me the magic formula for how to catch the perfect man. Many friends, strangers and shoe store clerks have offered their two cents on where to find the perfect man, and what I should be wearing when that miraculous moment arrives. But I admit I have selective listening when it comes to some of the advice I am given. I base my selective listening on the spouse of the person offering the advice. If their spouse is less than perfect or desirable, I choose not to take their formula into account. Because really, if that is the best man she could find, why would I want to take her advice on the subject? She clearly is not an expert on finding the perfect man.
Until I find the perfect woman with the perfect man to give me that perfect advice I so badly need, I am left to my own devices. These devices include: online “matching” or dating sites, church activities, general social functions and blind dates. The longer I am single the more I start to realize what the LDS singles culture is lacking — a yenta.
Few people know that the real Yiddish definition of yenta is “busy body,” or someone who knows both parties well. An LDS yenta could really serve some helpful purposes, because, trust me, the art of matchmaking has really gone downhill. A yenta could start with the basics, such as: confirming both parties want a temple marriage, are or are not BYU fans, whether or not football should be watched on Sundays, and determine how much time and effort both parties are willing to put forth into the match. From there it would be the yenta’s duties to find out what “type” both parties are after. Because, in my humble opinion, it is all too often found that a wannabe yenta has set up a man and a woman with all of the forethought of “He’s single, she’s single. Let’s set them up!”
Once the professional yenta has done her (or possibly his) part, it would then be his or her responsibility to create the right first date atmosphere. Preferably one without the matchmaker’s small children running under foot and asking embarrassing questions. A truly qualified yenta would find and plan a first date that caters to both parties’ common interests. All the stress of meeting and dating would be taken off the couple, and true love would ensue.
Alas, I do not see official ward matchmaking callings coming in the near future. Nor do I see community college training courses offering this highly skilled education. So we, the singles of the Church, are left to their own devices, matching websites, and shoe store clerks with perfect spouses.