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Anyway, the point is, at the end of the day, it's good to have somebody. But finding that somebody is another story. That's where I come in.

My 6 Simple Rules for Setting Up Friends

1. The Native Americans or the Arabs or the Japanese or some other highly evolved culture I can't think of and I'm too lazy to look up have this theory that every time you take a photograph of someone, you steal a bit of their spirit. I maintain that going on a bad blind date has that same effect. Remember that. Avoid phrases like "It's just a drink" or "It's only an hour out of your life." Those hours add up. Do not say, Hey, they're both single, so what the hell. Do your homework. Think long and hard about whether they're really compatible.

2. Think long and hard about whether they're really straight.

3. Keep expectations low. When describing the mystery suitor, it's best to avoid grand pronouncements à la "I've found you the man of your dreams!" Go with a light, casual "Well, he's originally from St. Louis and he takes meticulous care of his gums."

4. You're going to be very tempted to try to find out if you made a love connection. Stop! Do not under any circumstance contact either party for postdate details. I mean it. Ditch your cell phone. Cancel your e-mail. If they had a good time, you'll hear about it.

5. Unfortunately, if they didn't have a good time, you'll hear about that, too. If one or both members of the date calls to say, "Your cousin Mitzi was all hands," or that your brother's former roommate spent 38 minutes discussing the printer's credit at the bottom of the menu, you have but one choice: Fake a seizure. It's hard for people to complain if they think your airways are closing.

6. Being single is not synonymous with being mentally impaired. So if your friends tell you there just wasn't any chemistry, trust them. Don't try to guilt them into another get-together; don't accuse them of being overly picky. It's sort of like what I did with Jules when she agreed to taste gefilte fish. You smile reassuringly, you say, "I'm proud of you for trying it," you remind her that "there are other fish in the sea," and then in the calmest voice possible, you add, "Please don't ever spit gefilte fish down the front of Mommy's blouse again." Now, your friend won't understand that last part, but it'll definitely take the conversation in a new direction.

You may wonder why so many of my rules deal with what to do when the date doesn't work out. Well, it's because true love is an incredibly elusive thing and, to be honest, most of the dates I fix people up on don't work out. Okay, none work out. But that doesn't mean it'll never happen. The day will come when my dental hygienist's niece and the guy who fixes my computer will meet for coffee, and coffee will turn into a movie, and a movie will turn into dinner, and if the stars are aligned and the gods are smiling, and nobody screws up royally, that dinner will turn into forever. Like I said, I believe in love.

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