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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, I'm gonna sue your ***

I read too much Yahoo! News sometimes, so I have to apologise for turning to their AP service again to relate to you the sordid tale of a matchmaker who did not find the match that her client was looking for. So the client promptly sued the matchmaker for failing to hook her up with monogamous millionaires. Here's the punch line: The jury gave the client, now plantiff, $2.1 million (US) in damages.

Can we just say, right here at the start, that this may be a case where the jury turned out to be far more stupid than the actual participants in the trial? Yes, let's say that and be sure of it, because it's true. Astoundingly, mindbogglingly, pathetically stupid...which, given the facts of the case, is a remarkably high standard.

According to the AP:

"Anne Majerik, a 60-year-old social worker from Erie, Pa., claimed in a lawsuit that she paid Beverly Hills matchmaker Orly Hadida $125,000 to be introduced to men who wanted monogamous relationships, earned more than $1 million and had estates of up to $20 million."

Well of course! What sexually-faithful millionaire doesn't dream of marrying a ravishingly ordinary 60-year old social worker and settling down to nights of looking over your shoulder to make sure the woman who pledged her future to you isn't sneaking up behind you with the kitchen knives to suddenly collect the estate, or divorce papers to collect up to half of it, or perhaps file specious claims of abuse to her former co-workers at the local Human Services department, just for kicks? Now, I'm not suggesting that Ms. Majerik would actually stoop to such low, greedy, and awful tactics. After all, given that her tastes in men seems to run only to blokes who file in the top tax bracket on their U.S. 1040 forms, she may find such efforts unsubtle.

Yes, $125,000 is a fairly steep fee, and according to the story, the matchmaker is accused of not providing suitable men. One example was that an "international banker" turned out to be an "interpreter who worked in a bank." Personally, I think that's a bit of a quibble, as if the person were of foreign nationality, that would certainly make them an international, and as they work in a bank. Nonetheless, it would seem the real quibble Ms. Majerik had was that translators don't pull down 7 figures a year or have massive stock portfolios. After all, if the translator were Donald Trump working on a lark to improve his Spanish, she would have flown to Vegas before you could say, "Hadida!"

It is difficult to imagine a real romantic relationship beginning with a woman who doesn't see fireworks when you kiss her, but instead hears the familiar sound of cash registers. What would she write on the anniversary cards, "Dear Hubby, 'Ka-ching!' Love, Anne."

The matchmaker, Ms. Hadida (which sounds like the villian of a Henshin superhero show), claims that Ms. Majerik is a "serial matchmaker suer." This is a phrase that would fill me with tremendous outrage and disgust, if I could stop all the involutary giggling. Furthermore, Hadida claims Majerik became her client after she helped her win a lawsuit against another matchmaker, which is a bit like a plastic surgeon helping a person in a lawsuit and then offering to do that really expensive and risky reverse tummy-tuck afterwards.

However, again the grand prize for "wretched human excess" (Category number 27 at the Emmys) in this sordid and stupid little tale must be the jury. My key evidence is the following quote from the jury foreman, one Christine Troutt:

"We wanted to punish the defendant, but in the amount we wanted to punish the defendant, we didn't want to reward the plaintiff. They were both wrong."

So they gave the plantiff $2.1 million dollars. Brilliant. Well done, indeed. If I weren't happily married myself, I'd really start to wonder how many desperate, monogamous, and yet deeply wealthy women were out there and what matchmaker could fail to fix me up with them...but only if I can get Ms. Troutt's jury.


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