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Advice: Love and Matchmakers

Written by Jane Brooks

Are the younger members of your family suspicious of your romantic suggestions? When it comes to love, some things never change.

Sometimes I have a hard time accepting that I'm "one of them." After all, I buy my jeans at the Gap, work out side by side with 20-somethings and dance pretty much like my sons and their friends. But there's no denying I belong to another generation when I'm forced to admit that I've never used iTunes or watched Twilight.

Just when I delude myself into thinking I'm not that old, something intervenes to remind me that I'm no longer on the under side of 50. Despite these sobering revelations, I take comfort in discovering that some things never change. Allow me to share a recent exchange with my 18-year-old niece.

Approach a blind date with an open mind: Don't accept if you're going to be negative.
Chat on the phone first: You can decide whether it's worth your time.
Make the initial meeting short and sweet: breakfast, lunch or just coffee.
Don't burn your bridges: A geeky date might have a great friend for you.

As soon as I learned that Margot was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, just minutes from my home, I dashed off a congratulatory e-mail. Enthusiastically, I added that a friend's nephew would be attending a nearby college and that I understand he's very smart and handsome and wouldn't it be fun for them to meet?

Her reply: "AHHHH! The plague of the Jewish relatives!

Ouch, that hurt.

I could picture Margot's eyes rolling in exasperation. Didn't I have that very same reaction at her age? Have I ever forgotten the worst blind date of my life, arranged by my mother's sister, who somehow managed to sustain her favored aunt status, despite that terrible lapse in judgment?

To think I'd been lumped as a meddling relative.

I wanted to tell my niece that while I'd had some awful blind dates, I also fell madly in love with a couple of them. I longed to say that as a divorced woman, I understand how boring a blind date can seem, but it's safer than a personal ad. I wanted to let her know about my friends Jay and Maxine, introduced by someone's cousin and happily married for 30 years.

Turns out that none of that was necessary. In her next e-mail Margot wrote, "I have a boyfriend right now, but I would be more than happy to meet this looker."

I smiled triumphantly. In the never-ending quest for love, my young niece, just like her old aunt, is willing to take risks, even if it means accepting a fix-up by a relative who doesn't have a clue who Limp Bizkit is.

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