Yente the (Brazilian?) Matchmaker


South Florida was a pretty nifty place to grow up in when I was young. Thanks to The Great One himself (Jackie Gleason) we were a hub of entertainment and arts. It’s where you came to film Bond movies, watch variety shows and go to theater.

My Mom was especially keen on exposing me to all sorts of shows. I got to see Artur Rubinstein perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Saw a live presentation of the Mikado. I even got to see Zero Mostel do Fiddler on the Roof.

Decades after my first exposure to Yente the Matchmaker, I now apparently have inadvertently employed Yente the (Brazilian) Matchmaker. Or so my Dad tells me.

Let me see if I can ‘splain it, without extensive use of the wayback machine.  Maybe just a quick trip or two…

She’s singing, but I can’t understand her!

First, I point you to the fat lady to the right. She will guide you to an early post I did on the blog explaining how I was first raised on classical music and Broadway. Of those, I have an enduring affection for the romanticized struggling Jewish life in old Russia presented in the Fiddler on the Roof story.

My paternal grandparents were both from the time of the Cossacks and emigrated here during that dangerous era. As such, the show not only is enjoyable on its merits, but because it reminds me of them each time I hear a tune from it.

Over the course of my extended singlehood, I have been the unwitting pawn in family and friends’ efforts to change my marital status. As yet, none have been successful. That is cause for both sorrow and celebration.

Recently, as you may know if you follow my blog, I pulled the trigger on having others clean my house for me. The two ladies who showed up were recommended by my Dad and Stepmom, as they also clean their home.

I had a maid previously, mind you, but not due to laziness (my usual fault in all things work-related). No, it was because I…how can I put this clearly…hate to clean. It’s really the only time I use that word. I come close on turnips, but even they are not as bad as cleaning.

When she stopped because she was pregnant (get your head out of the gutter), I took up cleaning myself. For the past several years. Ugh and Ugh.

Here is a mutant child – it likes cleaning!

So, first, the new ladies needed to see my place and decide (a) whether they could fit it into their schedule and (b) what I wanted done.

You can read about those details in the link off to the right. When the day ended, she asked for $85 for the first time and then $80 going forward (she charges Dad $75). I gave them $100, just to ensure they would come back.

Now comes the goofy part. I get a call from my Stepmom, who almost never calls me. Not that she doesn’t care for me, quite the opposite, she just prefers Dad to make the contact.

On the call, she tells me that when the house cleaners showed up to clean their place, all they could talk about was how nice and kind I was. Dad, of course, cracked wise about it, but my Stepmom, typically, said I was wonderful.

The upshot, according to her (with details filled in by Dad) is that they have decided to find me a nice Brazilian “girl”.

Huh? They met me once (and a half) for maybe a few minutes and an hour or two cleaning my home and that’s enough to determine I should have a wife?

What is it about me that people think I need to be married? Is it something that all single people get or do I just have “lonely boy” taped to my back?

Of course, it’s a sweet gesture and (I hope) more a joke than a promise, but I couldn’t help remembering my previous issues with “mixed signals” and I’m crossing my fingers that my brief instances of gentility haven’t once again confounded the female mind.

Because, if you know anything of the Fiddler on the Roof story, you don’t want to get in the crosshairs of a matchmaker. And in my case, that includes Yente the (Brazilian) Matchmaker!


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