Looking for a person who can wow you . . . or just fit the bill? Call a matchmakerWhat are people thinking when they meet. To find out, the JoongAng Ilbo’s Lee Kyong-hee posed as a member of Sunoo, a company that arranges dates.
Before the actual meeting took place I had to consult with a couples manager who is in charge of devising a “strategy.”
“You have a lovely face but where is your makeup?”
“Eh, I love to sleep . . .”
The advice kept pouring out like a flood.
“No casual dress. Don’t be late. To look more feminine, I suggest you take a handkerchief.”
Finally, judgement day arrived. Like boxers we chatted and exchanged the usual platitudes. His profile kept circling in my head as we made small talk. His name is Shim Dong-sub. Born in 1972. He is an assistant manager at Enterprise Networks. Tall. Well, his face isn’t exactly my type. Seems to have good character. And a sense of humor . . .”
Reporter: What do you do on weekends?
Mr. Shim: Hang out with friends and drink.
Reporter: (Must have a lot of friends) You like drinking?
Mr. Shim: Yes. How much can you drink?
Reporter: I can drink beer till my belly pops out (That just slipped from my mouth)
Mr. Shim: (Silence)
Reporter: (Trying to salvage conversation) You know, when drinking beer you get full really fast.
After it was all over Mr. Shim’s friend told him my real identity. When I met him for a second time, I offered to buy him a beer. He accepted. I asked him if he was delaying marriage on purpose.
“If I meet the right person I will get married. It’s very tough at this age to fall in real love. At these types of meetings you have to decide quickly whether the person fits the bill.”
I asked him what he was looking for.
“Well, guys want pretty girls that are also professionally successful. But the standards for physical beauty are not that high. The bottom line is chemistry. For guys, it’s not that simple. Being a nice person is not enough. You have to be financially acceptable to the other side.”
“But, you must be competitive,” I said. He said the couples manager told him he was just about average.
“Still, can’t be worse than a busy female reporter,” I said as we parted.
by Lee Kyong-hee