Fellas: Heed the Millionaire Matchmaker
Daughter of professional Jewish yenta dispenses advice on Bravo
Sunday is Valentine’s Day, when the world is divided into two categories: people who are basking in true love and people who are searching for it. If you’re in the first group, well, mazel tov! But if you’re in the second, then Patti Stanger, better known as the Millionaire Matchmaker, has some advice: if you’re not sure whether you really like someone, just see what your schmeckle has to say. (Or your knish!)
For those of you who haven’t seen her Bravo show, Stanger’s an L.A. transplant who’s taken the trade-craft her mother and grandmother practiced as shadchans at their New Jersey shul and applied it to the very rich and, frequently, very shallow people who pass through her office every week. But she’s no platitudinous fairy godmother, offering up worthy Cinderellas to lovelorn Prince Charmings; she’s Sophie Portnoy for hire. “Patti’s mom is quieter—she was that Jewish mom on the street who wanted to see the nice little Jewish girl get together with the nice Jewish boy and be happy,” Stanger’s right-hand man, Destin Pfaff, told Tablet Magazine the other day. “But Patti takes that nice Jewish boy who wants to be set up and says, ‘There must be something wrong with you, because otherwise you wouldn’t be single.’”
This is, by the way, the show’s secret genius: it’s not about watching people find love, it’s about watching millionaires discover that money doesn’t make them any less insecure than the rest of us. (Exhibit A: Justin Shenkarow, whom Stanger dubbed her “angry Hobbit” and who threw a thoroughly recognizable tantrum when Stanger visited his home with a wardrobe consultant: “You come into my fucking room and you tell me you have to open my closets? Who are you?” he snapped.)
Stanger gets away with eviscerating these guys because she exudes ethnic authenticity—which is to say, she talks back—and because everyone knows that, deep down, she really just wants them to be capable of finding happiness. “There are people who come in with this challenge attitude, like, ‘I challenge you to find someone for me,’” Pfaff said. “But these people just need a mirror in front of them to help untie some of those knots.”
Starting next Wednesday, we’ll be distilling Stanger’s wisdom weekly on The Scroll. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with an example of how not to behave this weekend: do not be like last season’s favorite, Dave Levine, a sex-toy mogul who told Stanger he was looking for a bisexual swinger who also had her own career and would be a good mother to his children; you know, someone he could take home to his Conservative family in Boston. Stanger’s analysis: “Ugh, Charlie Sheen.”
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