Girl Talk: My Mom Wants Me To Date A Reality TV Star

One of my mother’s favorite pastimes, aside from texting me my daily horoscope, is playing Yenta for her 30-something single daughter. Only she doesn’t try to set me up with nice Jewish boys. No, she prefers to shop for my potential suitors on reality television.

It all started after the guy who I thought was my soulmate dumped me suddenly. I was devastated. Perhaps in an attempt to sooth my pain, my mother vowed to find me another guy, someone better.

Indulging her Ames Brown fantasy seemed easier than worrying her about the bleak state of affairs in my real love life. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, an Orthodox Jew I met at the Apple Store. We split because of religious differences. I never even told my mom about him, probably because I didn’t want to disappoint her with yet another breakup tale. I wished I had a happily-ever-after story to share instead.

Related: Girl Talk: Is Soul Mate-ism Preventing Us From Finding True Love?

One evening, I received a phone call from her. “Oh Aim!” she said in her thick Long Island accent. “I’ve found the perfect man for you!”

“Who?” I asked skeptically. I was so heartbroken that I doubted a perfect man for me existed. And if he did, I was certain my mom didn’t know him.

“His name is Constantine Maroulis and he’s a contestant on ‘American Idol.’”

I laughed so hard, I snorted.

She hung up on me. I called her back.

“Mom, there are so many things wrong with you fixing me up with Constantine,” I said. “But let’s start with … I’ll never meet him.”

“You never know,” she said. “Anything is possible.”

A few years later, I did meet Constantine at an opening for a Broadway show we were both working on. I asked if he would take a picture with me … for my mom.

“She thinks we’re meant to be together,” I told him, laughing.

He looked at me like I was I was a weird crazy/stalker/fan, which prompted me to explain myself.

“I’m not a crazy stalker fan! I work on this show!”

“Sure you do,” he said laughing at me and blowing cigarette smoke in my face.

He was not the man for me, still, my mom was elated when I e-mailed the picture.

“I told you so,” she gloated.

After my “date with Constantine” went so poorly, my mom narrowed the scope of her search for my future husband. She strictly looked at contestants on “The Bachelorette.” They were single and looking, which made them prime candidates in her mind. Also, we were looking for a non-smoker, preferably.

It became a game she would play each season: “Which Bachelor Does Mom Want To Set You Up With?”

Last year, it was Chris Lambton, the Massachusetts hottie with a heart of gold who never quite recovered from his mother’s death.

“He has a tattoo just like you, Aim! And did you see his bod? Meant to be!! xo” her text read.

“Ur ridiculous! These people are not real!!” I replied.

Chris bounced back quickly from Ali Fedotowsky’s rejection. He announced his engagement to “Bachelor” alum, Peyton Wright this June. Another reality TV boyfriend bites the dust.

This season, her pick for me was Ames Brown, the refined, well-traveled intellectual former nerd with the sculpted abs. He failed to win Ashley Hebert’s heart despite taking a punch in the face during a Muay Thai boxing challenge while clad in pink, silk shorts. He was also on the current season of “Bachelor Pad,” where he — briefly — rode off into the sunset with fellow competitor Jackie Gordon. My mom was delighted to find out, however, that they’ve broken up and he is still on the market.

“Oh Aim! What do you think of that Ames? He is quite a guy. You need a smart man. Perfect for you? xo Momma.”

“Ooh yes! I like him a lot! If only guys like him really existed. xo,” I texted back.

“They do!!” she insisted.

Indulging her Ames Brown fantasy seemed easier than worrying her about the bleak state of affairs in my real love life. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, an Orthodox Jew I met at the Apple Store. We split because of religious differences. I never even told my mom about him, probably because I didn’t want to disappoint her with yet another breakup tale. I wished I had a happily-ever-after story to share instead.

Related: Dealbreaker: I Wasn’t Jewish Enough

The appeal of reality TV is escaping from your own life for an hour to get carried away with the lives of others. For a short while, every Monday night, my mom can fantasize about some tall, handsome smart, perfect prince coming to sweep her daughter off her feet. I would never allow myself to have that sort of fantasy; I am too realistic for that. But there is something therapeutic in believing in the unbelievable, if only for an hour. Hope, even a kernel of it, makes life’s disappointments more bearable.

This past Sunday evening, I was walking through Greenwich Village alone at night. As I crossed through Washington Square Park, a tall, handsome man turned the corner.

It was Ames.

Without thinking, I blurted out, “Ames!”

“Hi!” he said seeming flattered, surprised, and confused all at once.

We started to walk together. Our conversation was natural and free-flowing. He asked me what direction I was going and offered to walk me that way. Aware of not coming off as a crazy stalker/fan, I kept my prying “Bachelorette”/”Bachelor Pad” questions to a minimum. I had only one important question for him:

“Why would a person like you do a show like that? Do you really have trouble meeting women?”

“I had gone on about a thousand dates with no success before I applied to be on the show. I was genuinely hoping to meet someone,” he told me earnestly. “How do you meet people?” he asked.

“Just like this,” I said.

Ames was just a normal guy looking for love. Well, maybe with a deeper tan and with more screen time under his belt than most guys I meet, but normal. More than normal — seemingly kind, humble, and down-to-earth.

“It’s funny,” I said, having a rare moment of clarity. “The only way to meet the right person is to change your mindset about love. To actually believe in it.”

“And then what?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I guess you just wait,” I said, answering myself just as much as him.

Then I asked for a picture … for my mom.

In that moment I realized that my mom’s far-fetched set-ups were not for her benefit; they were for mine. She doesn’t want me to date a reality TV star, she just wants me to keep on believing in love, even when it seems impossible.

Want to contact the writer of this post? {encode=”ami@thefrisky.com” title=”Email her”}!

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