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The Groucho Pyramid

Published: December 3, 2013

I want to love someone impressive, beautiful, intelligent, interesting – someone like me! – and there are a growing number of websites and clubs selling exclusive access to the super-awesome men I’ve been unable to find in a city of 8 million people.


I was networking with my actual alma mater when someone told me about this site. I didn’t enjoy college, and Harvard has been milling degrees for unemployed politicians, gardeners, and future hucksters of Wall Street since the founding of the Republic, but it is possible other Ivies offered richer pickings.

Upon signing up, I received a personal welcome from an IvyDate VP:

I’m writing because we select particularly compelling members to be featured on IvyConnect, and we all thought you’d be a great candidate. Let me know if you’re interested in doing a quick Q & A and photo shoot for a featured profile. This allows us to best promote your projects to our community, and allows me to make personal introductions to other members I think you’d like to meet. Please let me know if you have any availability in the coming days.

They would promote me, and my book, all for the low, low price of $540 a year! I asked about a free upgraded membership, since I was, apparently, the attractive and compelling Ivy bait with which they could hook other Ivy fish.

No, said they.

Young Jewish Professionals

Someone whispered about the amazing events hosted by Young Jewish Professionals. Why hadn’t I heard of this group before? I’m young (barely), Jewish (totally), and no one has kicked me out of journalism, yet, QED professional.

Upon signing up, I got yet another personal invitation to join an ultra-elite group of superior Young Professionals:

Upon reviewing your application, I would like to extend an invitation for you to join our Access Business Club, a membership community in New York city [sic] to connect you to talent, ideas, people and information.

The philosophy of our business club is simple: offering you access to exclusive Business Summits and Roundtables and giving you direct access to the industry’s top business leaders to help you grow professionally. In order to join YJP Access, potential members must complete an application and an in-person interview is required.

Questionable capitalization aside, I submitted my CV and went in for the interview. They share office space with one of the shadier PR firms in New York.

A young professional woman of modest dress and a great big honking engagement ring explained the Access Business scheme: I was super-duper special, and they could connect me to other snowflakes for only $1,000 a year.

Me: You know I’m a journalist, right? That pricing makes sense for the finance or real estate community but is totally bananas for a freelance writer.
Young Professional: Perhaps one of your outlets – CBS or The Wall Street Journal – might cover the cost?
Me: You honestly think The Wall Street Journal will pay for my membership in a dating club? Do you have any idea what’s happening in publishing? Have you read a newspaper?
Young Professional: It costs less than a monthly gym membership.
Me: Who exactly is behind this organization?
Young Professional: Our directors have ties to Chabad.

I will never know if YJP events are any good; the intention is suspect.

Let the world enjoy its country clubs, alumni dinners, and churches; embrace them, celebrate them, and marry within their ranks, please. Some groups are predicated on a bogeyman as a way of keeping us away from them, and they are the clubs in which I wouldn’t want to be a member.

I would rather die alone.

I just might.

I am the Groucho Marx of New York dating.


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