The last thing I asked Siggy Flicker, the matchmaker on the new show Why Am I Still Single?! when we spoke recently is probably the first thing anyone who meets her wonders about: Where’d she get a name like that? And Siggy, who is as outspoken and honest as they come, gave me the full scoop not just on her unique name (which she hates), but I also got a full lesson on just who Siggy Flicker is, personally and professionally. Nothing is off-limits with Flicker, she’s unfiltered and hilarious, but more importantly, honest. In a world full of PR-obsessed celebs who tiptoe around their issues, Flicker is uniquely open about every aspect of her life, from her (refreshingly amicable) divorce to the big difference between her show and the other matchmaking shows out there. But first, let’s start with that name.
Everyone wants to know about your name.
Yes! No one thinks it’s serious. If I were to make up any name in the world, I would make up maybe Ava. I like Sophia, that’s why I gave my daughter that name, Why the f— would I make up Siggy Flicker? The ugliest name! It doesn’t get uglier than that! Seriously, my real name is Sigalit. People call me Ziggy. Everyday, “Ziggy!” My name is Siggy. Never made that up. My real name is Sigalit Paldiel. I got married to Mark Flicker. It’s probably the ugliest last name in the world. And if you write it in capital letters it says “f—er.” I tell my kids, “When you write your name, don’t ever use capital letters.” “Why mommy?” “Because I want to save you. Listen to my advice.”
Where does Sigalit come from?
Sigalit is a flower in Israel. It’s a violet flower. My mother named my sister and I after two flowers. The bitch got the better name: Iris. Everybody could say Iris. Everywhere we go, “Iris and Ziggy!” No, it’s Siggy. I’m not the fat cartoon in the New York Times. I wouldn’t make up a name like that, but that’s where I came from. Sigalit is a violet flower. I’ve never seen it. I don’t like purple. But you know what? It worked for a reason. Siggy Flicker.
On the show you talk about your fiance Michael, and you lovingly refer to him as a balding car salesman. How did you meet?
I met Michael at Elio’s on 84th and 2nd. I was going out with a girlfriend and Michael was there at the bar. I said, “Oh my God!” I felt butterflies in my stomach. The reason why I say about Michael, “balding car salesmen,” is not to make fun of him, because so many women come to me with the vision boards. They want to meet somebody who looks like John F. Kennedy Jr. Of course! So do I! He was the most gorgeous man in the world. But here’s a guy at the bar who had no hair on top of his head, tall. There was something about him that made my stomach go into knots. It’s called chemistry.
But you’ve had a great relationship with your ex-husband since your divorce, too.
Mark and I were definitely heading on to separate roads. When somebody is getting divorced, it doesn’t just happen in one day, it was five years into the marriage. It took eight years for us to finally get divorced. For three years I was like, “Wow, this is really not working.” We tried therapy and everything like that. And then, when we decided to get divorced, I said, “Let’s do it without an attorney.” We have two beautiful kids. It was very sad to me because I was in love with my ex-husband’s family. Like, I love my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. I am very, very still close to them today.
Do you also consider yourself a divorce coach since yours is a “successful” divorce?
I wrote a book. This is the weirdest thing you’ll ever hear in your life and it’s so true and really scary. After Mark and I got divorced in Florida, there were a lot of copycat divorces. That may not be the best word, but a lot of people wrote to me and said, “You helped me with my divorce.” So, I started writing this book called Divorce Done Right, meaning when you have children in your life and you decide to get divorced, the children didn’t ask to be brought into this world. I try to put it together for the sake of my children because the bottom line is: that’s the common denominator. Those kids are my number one priority. End of story. You’ve got to find the happy medium and let go of your ego. So, Divorce Done Right inspired a lot of copycat divorces. I don’t want to say I got a lot of people to get divorced. I got a lot of people to get divorced the right way.
So how did you become involved in matchmaking?
When we got divorced, I found myself back out in the dating world and single. That’s when I said, “You know what, Siggy, I’m not going to cry for you.” I started writing a book. I started using all my positive energy. I started going out there and I started going out on date after date after date. What happened was that I was out at a restaurant with all my girlfriends and a recruiter had come over to me. I didn’t know she was a recruiter. She was like, “I’ve been watching you all night and you have this great energy; you’re having so much fun. Are you single?” And I said, “Actually, I am.” She goes, “I work for one of the largest matchmaking companies, would you be interested in going out on dates?” I’m like, “Why not?” I kept myself open.
I started going on dates and noticing that I was starting to coach the clients. The client wouldn’t look at me or he would look at his paper, you know, the menu. I’d say, “What’s the problem with your eye contact?” I started becoming best friends with all of the clients. But the owner of the company said, “Siggy, what’s going on?” I said, “Listen, that’s just what I’ve been doing my whole life.” And he goes, “Well, why don’t you start making money doing it?” So I move back to New York and that’s how I fell into actually making money for something I’ve been doing ever since I was in my 20′s.
What do you think of other matchmaking and dating shows, how is yours different?
When people come to us, they’re already broken. We build them up, we do not break them down. Simply put. We build people up in a nice way. It’s all in the delivery of how we say it. That’s why we have the cameras there, people don’t know they’re talking about their eight cats. Our show is different because people are asking us for help, we don’t want to break them any more than they are. We don’t believe in bashing anyone. A lot of people think I’m phony, but you’ll see it, I have a temper, I’m real.
What do you think the biggest problem for a lot of people is?
Themselves. They’re in their own way. It’s a mixture of things. It’s unrealistic expectations. It’s bringing up your ex. It’s being a Debbie Downer. It’s listening to your mom. It’s listening to your best friend. It’s listening to your sister. People don’t know how to go inside them, focus on what they want, their core, and go after it. People are afraid of rejection.
And how many people are completely oblivious to what their problem is?