Manners & Misdemeanors

Dear Truly Rich Lady: How Do I Deal With My Unwelcome Matchmaking?

The Truly Rich Lady offers advice on defusing matchmaking shenanigans.
ILLUSTRATOR SANDY ARANAS
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Dear Truly Rich Lady,

Help! I am a single young woman in my 20s. I don’t think I am old. In fact, I am young! But my grandmother and various aunts all think that I am running out of time, and thus need their expert help in regard to that most important task of finding a suitable man to marry.

I can find a man on my own, thank you very much. I just, er, don’t want one at this moment for reasons I’d rather not say (let’s just say freedom).

How should I deal with their well-meaning but totally uncomfortable actions? Sometimes I just want to scream my head off. Other times, I want to tell them I am marrying our Lord Savior just to shush them. Most of the time I just go along with their schemes, because they have snuffed out the fire in me. 

But I want it to stop! They’re dragging me to another casual dinner with another too old, always boring, and never-my-type man! Please save me.

Your Truly,
Guinea Pig

 

Dear Guinea Pig,

First, can I call you Ginny? Second, can we talk about me?

I can relate to your dilemma for I, too, have been subjected to the unwanted attentions of crones, whose boredom, I suspect, is the cause of their delusions about becoming the most successful matchmakers on this side of the world and some parts of Canada.

True story: After my horrific breakup with my Greatest Ex, Grex, an army of aunts held a secret meeting about my life. They were so worried. “How gaunt she looks!” “She is now too old to find a suitable match.” “Too bad about the jewelry. Is it true she returned the entire set? Stupid.”

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It was a Tuesday afternoon, and a coterie of women, friends of my Truly Rich Mother, were gathered under the shade of our great mango tree. Which was just slightly away my room, where I was hibernating and could hear their conversation through an oddly placed vent (our patchwork mansion is old).

The tinny voices traveled through the grate, and I learned that their serious talk was all about me!

“We need to find her someone suitable—her age or older. But who is left?” asked Mrs. Tiger Face, a tiger mom whose eyebrows touched her hairline.

“Yes, yes. A good boy with a good job. What about Mrs. Tan’s youngest son? The one who just got back from San Francisco?” offered Left Eye, a Truly Old Rich Lady whose right eye is almost sealed shut.

“No, no. Isn’t he a painter or a writer? None of those please!” squeaked Perfect Hair, who, aside from having a coiffure as hard as rocks, has three sons in the arts, so she knows what she’s talking about.

 “Yes, no starving artists or bohemians. We need a CEO or at least someone in finance,” says the Scary Magnate, who refuses to step down from her company (like a certain queen). 

“Or one of those dashing restaurateurs, but only restaurateurs with quality restaurants. No chains,” said Giddy Gran, a Truly Old Rich Lady in her tiny, girlish voice. (Eww.)

“Grex was truly great. I wondered what she did?” said my mom with a sigh.

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It was at that point when I marched outside the house and into the gathering and then declared, “I don’t need a man! You hear that? Hear that? I don’t need a man. Ha ha ha ha.”

I must've looked a sight in my unwashed Ralph Lauren sleep shirt and messy mass of hair, but it did the trick. The old swans waddled away and disappeared into their chauffeured sedans. My mom sat there shocked, with her mouth half open, a homebaked pastry hanging from her lips.

Now is the point where I should tell you that this is not the ideal way to deal with your problem. (Please know that I had not eaten anything except liquor-laced chocolates at the time so I was both drunk and high.)

To defuse matchmaking shenanigans, I suggest you do any one of these instead:

1. Decline the offer outright.
Tita Tita,  thank you for your concern, but I am really doing well. I do not want to go on a date.” Let the crone know very clearly that you are not amenable to any of her suggestions. The magic word called “no” usually does the trick.

2. Go along with the plan... once.
Because of their seniority and surprisingly strong grip, agree to the experiment. When the date goes horribly (and it will) and they offer to set you up with another catch (“He is in his 50s. Early 50s!”), decline the offer. See above.

3. Make up an imaginary boyfriend.
To crush their plans, show them you are already in a relationship. Flaunt fake e-mail and chat messages. I hear there are services that mimic the idea of a boyfriend. I think this is called an assistant.

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4. Turn the tables around.
Tita Tita, what about you? How have you been since Tito Tito left you? May I introduce you to some of my older friends in their early 50s?” She will love this or hate this.

5. Do the opposite of a breakdown.
Instead of a bombastic show of protest, be quiet. Stare them down and say nothing. This is a different kind of crazy, which is acceptable because you are supposedly brokenhearted.

Then again, being set up by aunts can be fruitful. For the very reason that you are not doing the choosing, you will meet someone who does not align with your ideals or idea of the perfect man and it may result in a polarity of attitudes, which can be sexy.

I mean, who knew that Boring Banker from the Boonies would hit it off with Art Lover Sophisticate? He talks of pig farming and she, of Tintoretto and Jazz Age Paris. They love it.

Sometimes you do need an old hand to steer you in an unexpected direction. But most of the time, you need to swat away the withered hand off your shoulder.

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About The Author
C.C. Coo
The Truly Rich Lady
C.C. Coo—also known as Town&Country’s Truly Rich Lady—is not a professional seeker of leisure as many people wrongly assume, for she has a real-life occupation: a SHE-EO of Important (Sub)Company of an Empire, for which she works very hard to make sure that the people in her care are not left wanting. She believes that manners are utterly important: “If society is like one of those costume jewelry worn by Jackie O or Diana, it would be the glue that keeps the veneer of a most beautiful thing from falling apart,” she says.
View Other Articles From C.C.
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