A JBlogger weighs in on a debate between Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger and America’s Rabbi, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Several weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a debate between Patti Stanger and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach concerning the topic on everyone’s mind in scandalous Southern California – can money buy love? The verdict, of course, in keeping with the JTrend, remains unanswered! The fact of the matter is, the Millionaire Matchmaker, much like online dating, simply offers an alternate way to meet and greet your soul mate, and in a city like L.A., bombarded with wannabe actors and less-than-stellar rockstars, a quality date of any gender is as rare a thing as being able to pull off white clothing post Labor Day. In the often not-so-nine-to-five white-collar world of corporate America, it’s not easy to sneak off in an effort to wine and dine with the one you happen to be lusting after. In fact, it may not be easy to meet up for anything when you’re under crazy deadlines and your Blackberry is going off more than a crack dealer’s pager. The less-than-soothing cell lullaby is also the least efficient way to coax either party between the sheets, and when you realize Verizon is getting more action than you, it’s time to call in Patti and the Rabbi. As Patti proclaimed at the beginning of the debate, she can “get you the man, and Rabbi Shmuley gets you to keep him.” Rabbi Shmuley professed to the audience the two great lies plaguing our society. First, that every man, like a Marciano sweater, has a price tag on him, and second, that a woman has been reduced to physical beauty.
The Rabbi and the Millionaire Matchmaker had very different debating styles, and while Patti kept her answers clear and concise, the Rabbi had me feeling as though I were listening to a sermon at High Holiday services. Both of these debaters are no strangers to primetime entertainment, with Rabbi Shmuley hosting a show on TLC called, Shalom in the Home and Patti Stanger wreaking havoc on those looking for love as hostess of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker. The kosher of a ham Rabbi and his co-hostess Patti kept the debate entertaining as ever and the sanctuary audience was on the edge of their seats, when the charming tete a tete evolved into an all out battle of wits addressing love, money, and the myth of being able to hold on to them both.
In a post-opening statement, and somewhat sermon-like rant; Rabbi Shmuley professed to the audience the two great lies plaguing our society. First, that every man, like a Marciano sweater, has a price tag on him, and second, that a woman has been reduced to physical beauty. Repulsed by these phenomena, he states, “We have broken men dating insecure women! Broken people can’t love.” In awe, the girls in the audience and I nodded in understanding with what the Rabbi had just said, wondering how many times we ourselves had performed (and successfully executed) covert shopping excursions for that perfect guy to match this season’s wristlet. On that same note, if you are a girl and have ever been on a shopping venture, you can recall all too well the silent vow not to eat again until next month because you are drowning in a sea of superficial, size two twiglets (as Patti has referred to them on her show). So mission one, and at the risk of sounding like all those already enlightened and lovestruck, it was agreed upon by Patti, the Rabbi, and the entire audience, that you have to be in love with yourself before you can give your heart to someone else. And let’s face it, a one-of-a-kind accessory, like loving oneself, is always a coveted hot commodity. Of course, Rabbi Shmuley is well practiced in the art of lone lust, asserting, “When I wake up in the morning and I see my children and I see my wife, that’s all very nice – then I look in the mirror, and that’s love.”
In keeping with the hot commodity idea, the Rabbi also professed that when opting for his soul mate, he not only chose one woman, he deselected three billion other women. Since both he and the Millionaire Matchmaker seem to answer to a higher authority, it seems more than fair that the two of them are well practiced in the art of selective savoir-fair, adding their own embellishments on the methods used of course. Growing up in a big city like Los Scandalous, where the Jewish community can seem so suffocatingly small, you find that when selecting a mate, you are forced to choose, and the perfect package (the one you thought you wanted your entire life), simply does not exist. I would not mind having Patti kick my as-piring heart into shape. Maybe all those girls involved in preteen midnight rendezvous at Jewish sleep away camp should trade in their memberships there for subscriptions to Patti boot camp – and how many times can a girl say a summer fling helped her find long lasting love?
Now, because we are not already surrounded by it everywhere we go, and for something completely different, let’s talk about sex. More importantly, remember that we are talking about sex in a sanctuary. So when you thought that having the talk with your parents was awkward, imagine having a Rabbi and a Matchmaker school you in hanky panky with a siddur in front of you, in a room full of single guys and gals in their twenties. Patti maintains that one should never perform the no-pants dance until it is acknowledged by both parties that you are in a committed, monogamous relationship. Ladies let’s face it, with an abundant supply of hot girls coming from every which direction, guys are overwhelmed by options. And, differentiating yourself by dressing in carnal couture is not going to help you maintain a man. It will only elevate you to promiscuous status faster than Patti can say I told you so. Rabbi Shmuley claims that when it comes to dating, shopping around is practiced profusely. In a nutshell, the concept is, they like you, they think you are great, but that does not stop them from wanting to see what else is out there. So, in this coy courting game, it is important to hold out and plan a move in advance. It’s dating Darwinism – –survival of the fittest, and in this quest to maintain both monogamy and sexolution, it seems that holding out until you are both committed is a great start to a happily ever after. If you need a pre-nup, I don’t think you should be married. – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
I am from Los Angeles where a pre-nup seems to come standard with the wedding reception nowadays. When asked their opinions on the contract situation, what was previously a cordial confrontation evolved into an all out heated dispute. Patti, in her rational but never soft-spoken manner, simply stated that, “Pre-nups are great for both parties. They put everything on the table.” The point my favorite matchmaker makes is completely valid, and if both parties truly are engaging in engagement for love and not money, it’s simply one more thing to sign before sipping champagne and beginning the rest of your lives together. The Rabbi however was adamant in his complete and total aversion to the idea, upholding the notion that, “If you need a pre-nup, I don’t think you should be married.” I’ll tell you one thing though, if I were lucky enough to find love in this chaotic mess of a twenty-first century world, a little piece of paper would be the last thing to stand in my way.
All in all, the controversy over love and money will continue to rage on and be a discussion topic for years to come. To sum up, the Millionaire Matchmaker is not helping the rich acquire their next trophies, but simply offering wealth-based matchmaking as an alternative way to find love. Without love however, all the money in the world cannot make you happy. The Rabbi has different methodologies to help with the same quest and like online dating, bar hopping, and dinner parties, they are simply all different options to help people find their soul mates. While ladies and gents could not be more different in how they view the love process and how they go about relationships, sex appeal and personality compatibility are two ideas that will not be contested by anyone. Patti repeatedly stated that, “Women fall in love between their ears, and men fall in love between their eyes,” and if the stars align they will both fall in love between the sheets; provided they are in a monogamous relationship of course. So monsieurs, rip those price tags off your shirts and girls get off those extreme diets. Be comfortable with who you are, because as soon as you are truly happy with yourself, that’s when you can be happy with someone else.