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Blind-Date Profiling

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Maureen Dowd, matchmaker? That's right, says writer Helena Andrews. She writes in Marie Claire this month that when she was a reporter at politico.com a few years ago, Dowd set her up with Mr. Love. That would be Reggie Love, also known as Barack Obama's personal aide. The reason for the setup, Ms. Andrews says, was primarily based on race--both she and Mr. Love are African-American.

The date didn't go so well, she says. "It was clear that Reggie and I had just two things in common," says Andrews. "We're black, and we both have bachelor's degrees."

It's a dating dilemma that Andrews, 29 years old, says has dogged her for years. "Never mind the complicated algorithms of eHarmony, my matchmakers used simple math: Black professional + black professional = Huxtables," she says. "Despite all my more awesome qualities, the main thing they saw was my skin."

Even her mom falls into the trap, Andrews says: "Recently, my mother met a black man at Ikea, gave him my card--and then yelled at me when I raised the obvious psycho-killer issues. She said he was nice, a lawyer."

Andrews says Dowd's heart was in the right place, as was her mom's, of course. Even if they both were "playing into the kind of stereotypes I was trying to dodge," Andrews says. After all, she adds, the more "weird setups" she endures, the closer she gets to finding the real Mr. Love.

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