In fairy tales, true love often seems about reaction rather than action, which means that our heroines are usually reacting to entirely messed-up things that happens to them, rather than making something happen. Behold Snow White, innocent target of a murder plot, who’s hunted down in her safe house and left for dead until some stranger comes and kisses her awake. And poor Sleeping Beauty gets a curse as a christening present (surely no one registered for that), falls asleep and, again, waits for some stranger’s kiss. (Yuck.)
If Siggy Flicker had been hanging around the Enchanted Forest, she probably would have fired the fairy godmothers, hidden all the poisoned apples, and tried to talk some sense into them.
Or, at least, given them a copy of her new book.
“If you’re complaining about something in your life, you can turn it around. You have the opportunity to kill it. The only thing holding you back is you,” says Flicker, 48, a part-time Boca Raton resident, lifelong matchmaker, TV relationship expert and now author of “Write Your Own Fairytale,” designed to frankly and humorously slap every real-life lover out of waiting for their prince or princess to come.
“It’s the only book you’ll ever need…if you’re out there in a bad relationship, or depressed because you’re single. I feel like people today are afraid of rejection. No one wants to take risks,” says Flicker, who’s appeared as the star of VH1’s “Why Am I Still Single?” and appears monthly on “The Wendy Williams Show.”
“There are no guarantees,” she continues. “But I like to think about Oprah or Michael Jordan, who both fell flat on their faces at first. But they kept trying and they succeeded….You have to try.”
She is a well-coiffed, huggy, sweet and driven ball of energy, a person worthy of an attention-grabbing and kinetic name as Siggy Flicker, which conjures flame and movement and crazy unpredictability.
You see it when she’s proudly showing visitors around the house, or when she realizes she’s on the wrong channel to see her monthly appearance on “Wendy Williams” and frantically switches to the right station, afraid to miss her segment. But with a quick click, she finds herself gabbing about Serena Williams meeting paramour Drake’s mother.
“Yay!” she screams, standing up by the TV and clapping effusively. “There I am!”
That’s a lot of delicious energy, and Flicker says she came by her energy and directness honestly: Her mother went into labor with her in a bomb shelter during Israel’s Six Day War - “I came out screaming!” - an entrance that established her as someone who knows how to make an impression.
She and her family moved to New Jersey when she was six, making her “a Jersey girl” who used her natural charm to win friends - “I wasn’t the prettiest girl, or the richest girl, but I made people feel comfortable and they wanted to be my friend.”
It was also around that time that Siggy, whose full name is Sigalit, started fixing friends up, setting the template for a career she didn’t know she wanted. Right before her last year in high school, Flicker’s father, noted Holocaust scholar Mordecai Paldiel, got a job back in Israel, and she chose to stay with family friends to graduate, working her way through Monmouth University as a TGI Friday’s waitress.
“I was the poorest girl in town. I used to buy $10 American flag Ralph Lauren’s Polo shirts at TJ Maxx when I had no money,” she says. “And then much later I met Ralph Lauren! I could now buy his (expensive) Purple Label. But I don’t.”
After moving around a little, she wound up in Miami, where she met her first husband Mark Flicker, “a beautiful guy,” at the club The Forge. This, she says, was a fairy tale, at least on paper, she says. The handsome, wealthy man of her dreams swept her off her feet, married her and moved her to a fancy home in western Boca Raton’s Woodfield Country Club, where they raised two beautiful children. She worked as a life coach and a selection coordinator for a home builder.
But beneath the fairy tale, “I wasn’t myself,” Flicker admits. “Anything I’d do, he’d roll his eyes at it. I was more quiet, afraid to be who I was because I didn’t think he would like who I really was. I realized I wasn’t going to do that anymore. Sometimes we feel like we have to be with someone. But being single is not gonna kill you, just like being in a relationship is not gonna heal you.”
So she ended her marriage and moved with her two children to New Jersey. But it was a very cordial divorce, resulting in a lifelong friendship. When she married second husband Michael Campanella in 2012, her ex-husband was his best man, and “I threw his fiancee’s baby shower. He’s a great guy. He just wasn’t the guy for me.”
Michael Campanella, a New Jersey car dealer who friends introduced her to, turned out to be the guy for her, but she admits that “on paper, I wouldn’t have probably picked him. He sold Jeeps and Chevrolets, and he’d been successful and had lost it all. He doesn’t have any hair on top. But my heart was pounding. We started talking, and he was not afraid to admit his failures. That was sexy to me.”
Taking a chance on following her gut rather than her first impressions led her to true love, and to a new career as a matchmaker, first for a company called Model Quality Introductions in New York and then on her own in a Marie Claire magazine column, on TV and now in her book. That takes, she says, complete honesty, like having the guts to take “a dating detox, to step back and ask ‘What am I doing?’” or to even ask friends who you trust: “‘Be honest…What do I do that’s really annoying?’”
At the end of the day, Flicker says, your fairy tale is up to you.
“You have to get up and get out there,” she says. “Love is not gonna knock on your door like the pizza guy.”
Siggy Flicker’s 3 P’s of Relationships:
- Be present.
- Be positive: “Everybody has a story. No one wants to sit down across from Debbie Downer.”
- Be patient: “I have a client who found true love at 54. I found it at 40. It’s going to happen to you.”