A Very Personalized Dating Service

February 20th, 2012 § 2 comments

A few days after Valentine’s Day, HG was engaged in finishing the last of dinner’s cabernet with some chocolate truffles (both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s carry these goodies that go so nicely with red wine). As appropriate in the weeks that surround the Day of Amorous Pursuit, HG’s thoughts turned to the changes brought to courtship by our digital age. Namely, the proliferation of online dating services that promise happy relationships, future mates, etc. And, this led HG to recall Irving Fields, a very old fashioned, eccentric matchmaker in the traditional old country Jewish style. Irving (not to be confused with the pianist of same name) called my public relations office (this was sometime in the 70’s) and told my receptionist that he needed a publicist and HG was highly recommended. Cut to the chase. HG went to Irving’s office on W. 42nd Street. Sign on the door said: “Irving Fields, Matchmaker. Enjoy Matrimonial Happiness.” A helluva consumer promise, thought HG. The office smelled of a vile, flowery scent and was bedecked with nasty artificial flowers. There were numerous wedding photos on the wall.

Irving himself was a beguiling visual. A small man with a thin (obviously dyed) black moustache and a head covered with what first seemed to be a patch of (obviously) dyed black hair. But, what was most astounding was that instead of dyed hair or a toupee, Irving had simply painted his skull with India ink. He was a voluble fellow with a very thick Yiddish accent and he referred to himself in the third person as “Oiving Filds.” He set HG straight about his business: “Oiving Filds brings heppiness — merridge heppiness to good pipple who udderwise would be sed and lonely. A grown man comes to Oiving Fields and wants a lady to fool around wit — I trow him out. Feh!”

HG was impressed by his business scruples. Irving said that a good matchmaker — “like Oiving Fields” — was the key to marital happainess. “You dunt find the right poysin in dentz halls and night clubs.”

Needless to say, HG was richly amused and agreed to conduct a one-month publicity campaign for this odd fellow (HG thought Fields would provide some laughs and a funny story for some of New York’s feature writers—and HG was right. Using a PR expression, Irving got some ink).

Irving was a gentleman. He paid HG is advance and “in cesh.” HG remembers Irving’s parting statement: “If Merilyn Monroe would hev come to Oiving Filds, beliv me, she’d be alive today.”

Dan Fields - Irving Field's Nephew Who Now Runs The Business

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