Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCLXXXI. The Opposite Sex (4 of 5)

After dealing with two odd agencies, I went back to Moshiko, and asked him for the name of his agency.  Moshé informed me that the owner, Solomon, was choosy and didn`t take all applicants.  Nevertheless, he would in put a good word for me.

Apparently Moshé had some influence, and I did make the cut!

Solomon didn`t have a fancy office or any staff.  His office was miniscule and was not centrally located.  He obviously kept his overhead to a minimum!

He was a man in his sixties, and was retired from a previous occupation (he never mentioned what that was).

I referred to the first two outfits as odd; but wait till you hear about that one.

No time was wasted on completing even a basic application.  Solomon only noted my name and age.  Even that was done on a list that included other names!  To reassure me, he told me that the list didn`t mix the genders!  I wasn`t reassured, but I was certainly amused.

Next, I was informed of the rules of the house.

Except for the absolute minimum, nothing was put in writing.  Everything was in his head, and he had a very good memory.  At any rate he had a small and select clientele.

I was not to call or write unless there an emergency!  I didn`t ask him to clarify what he viewed as an urgent situation.  I did ask though how could I meet him?  “Just come on over during my office hours,” after a moment of silence, he added, “a meeting has to take place ben arba’a e’nayim (between four eyes)!”  Put in other terms, the parties have to meet in person; any other way is unproductive.

(Solomon was lucky he didn’t live in our present age where less and less things take place “between four eyes!”)

He charged no upfront fees; you paid him only if you got married with his help.  He specified no amount; you paid only what you could afford.

I needed to be patient; he took his time matching his clients.  He stressed that it was worth the wait.

I was to visit him periodically to check if he had found an adequate match for me.

Because of his “four eyes” reference, Moshiko had nicknamed him Mar “ben arba’a e’nayim!”  And to this day, I remember him by that name!

Every so often, I did pay him a visit.  And more often than not, he was just reading the newspaper.  He was glad to see me, but he would regretfully inform me that he had not found my ideal mate yet.

And then one day it happened!

She was an Iraqi lady by the name of Nahama.  She encountered tragedy early in her life.  She had been married for only 5 years when her husband died suddenly.  They had no children.  Nahama was now ready to remarry.

Before getting married, Nahama was a successful businesswoman; with the help of her husband, she grew her business.  I was never told by either Solomon or Nahama what that business was, only that it was in retail.  (Being discreet by nature, I prefer to wait for the other party to inform me.  I am more a listener than a questioner; and you get more from other people when you wait until they are ready to talk).

If the nature of the business was not disclosed, Solomon made sure to insert in the conversation the fact that “Yesh harbeh kesef po!”  (There is a lot of money here!)

The last piece of information Solomon provided me was that she was “slightly” older than me.  (She turned out to be 8 years older than me!)

Nahama arranged for us to meet in one of the fanciest restaurant in Tel Aviv.  I accepted provided that we meet for coffee and dessert only.

It would be unfair to say that she was an interesting woman; she was a fascinating person who had traveled to many countries.  She was also very attractive.

I couldn’t miss two obvious attributes she had:  She didn’t throw at me her accomplishments; and she managed to draw me out; the dull Roland disappeared and was replaced by an individual I would meet many years later.

We spend two hours together, with the first hour being a job interview of sort!  It was done discreetly; nevertheless, she made it clear that she needed an able person to help her run her enterprise.  “I am a good judge of people, and you’re probably that person,” she said.

There were no sparks between us; but neither was that a simple business proposition.

Her silence at the end was interrupted only when she stated that she wanted children.

It was now clear that it was up to me to indicate whether I was in or out.

In truth, I had been out halfway through our meeting.  Yes, she was an attractive woman; and there was wealth and the promise of an interesting life.  But I am not a material person, never was, never will be.  I would like to believe that she sensed that; perhaps it even worked in my favor.

At the end I told her that I would have to think about it.  She looked disappointed and simply said, “haval!”  (It’s a pity!)

Solomon and his unorthodox system were left behind.  Indeed, I never dealt with a matrimonial agency again.

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