Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gold Digging 101

One of the several match makers that I am working with had an interesting prospect for me. Interesting - in the sense that I wasn't sure that I was going to like it, but not sure if I wouldn't either. You know when you see the classic gold digger scene in a restaurant...some aging gazillionaire having the time of his life with a tarty young thing with blonde hair and huge boobs - and it is just so typical, yet fascinating and repulsive at the same time? I mean, I know that it is common - but where exactly are these rich old men meeting girls young enough to be their grand daughter's, who in turn - are not turned off by the advances of wrinkled, old hands coming at them. Well, one place they are probably meeting them is through a match maker!

My next set-up was literally twice my age with a bank account big enough to make the "Forbes 400" list. Daddy Warbuck's - as we will call him, has two failed marriages, two children...oh and a private plane and a fully staffed mansion in the middle of New York City just steps from Central Park. The match maker told me that he is really looking to settle down for good "this time" and that he would definitely like more kids. He is retired, but is extremely active and looks much younger than his age. Daddy has an Ivy education, loves to travel, and collects art in his spare time. I was completely questioning my own motives for even wanting to meet this man. What was wrong with me? Would we look like Anna Nicole and Howard Marshall to the gasping public? Had I become that girl? I mean, the entire reason that I had signed up with a match maker to begin with was to meet men who were interesting, successful, and who wanted to settle down...but I really hadn't been hoping for anyone so wealthy or so old - to be perfectly honest!

Daddy Warbucks was perfectly nice on the phone and had recently returned from a Butterfield and Robinson bicycling trip through Burgundy. He wanted me to give him 48-hours to recover from his European jet lag and then he was happy to take me out for a night on the town. He booked Chanterelle - a fantastic restaurant in Tribeca - which is both elegant, refined, and located a mere ten minutes from my apartment. Daddy wasn't messing around here. I intentionally dressed to look as old as possible to try to visually narrow the age gap - just like Katie Holmes did after she started dating Tom Cruise - and I put on a ruffled Chloé blouse buttoned very high and some great Balanciaga pants with a long Alhambra necklace. I couldn't look more like a really well put together 40-year old if I tried. Now if only Daddy Warbucks could wear something trendy and hip, then perhaps he might look 50 and we won't cause quite the stir I am dreading we will once we enter the restaurant.

Daddy turned out to look just like Bill Maher and was dressed in a business suit. I knew immediately the moment I saw him that it just wasn't going to work. He did turn out to be everything the match maker had he was definitely interesting and he barely looked a day over 55, but still there was still a definite age gap. I felt as if I was having dinner with a very rich uncle. He was polite. The food was amazing. He was easy to talk to, but at the end of the evening - "giddy" is not a word I would use to describe what I was feeling.

I had a nice time and that was it. I felt nothing for him and I knew I never would and so I was relieved. I felt as it I had just passed some sort of "Gold Digger Test" and was personally thrilled to know that at the end of the day, money isn't even the half of it. I think that Daddy Warbucks picked up on the fact that I wasn't interested in him as anything more than friends and he dropped me off at home in his chauffeured car with a good natured peck on the cheek. I'm not worried about him though. In this town, he probably won't be single for any longer than about a week - tops - as the gold diggers far out number the loaded, old single men out there. Good luck, Pops - even though you probably won't be needing it!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Caught in Traffick

September in New York is feeling more like September in Los Angeles with the unseasonably warm weather we are having. My Yorkie, Edith, was having the time of her life in Washington Square Park, and as usual - she was a total kid magnet. However, for once Edith had reeled in a kid with a ridiculously hot Dad attached and no Mom in sight. A rare score - and no ring on his finger either! Good job, Edith Piaf.

I intentionally fostered good relations between the dirty, little four-year old girl and my dog by giving her some treats to feed Edith - while I began to chat up the "DILF" (an acronym for "Dad I'd Like to $#@*" for those of you not as familiar with the even more common acronym of "MILF.") He was completely responsive - and totally gorgeous. Once his daughter's attention span had shifted away from my dog, the DILF got my number and promised to call - soon.

He completely had not been kidding about calling soon - because he actually called within the hour and asked if I wanted to get a glass of wine that very night! His ex would be picking up the little girl in a few hours and then he would be free. I had no intention of delaying gratification here because he clearly was not into playing games, so why not just go with it?

We met in a cozy, dimly lit bar just South of the park that was thankfully free of NYU students despite its proximity to the school. The DILF was tall, with dark curly hair, green eyes and a chiseled face. He clearly had to be a model at some point - because he looked as if he had just stepped out of the pages of a men's fashion magazine. His voice had a slight outer-borough twang to it (ewwwww!), but luckily his looks more than made up for the slightly Soprano-esque accent. It turns out that he was indeed a model a few years ago and now he is a personal trainer. Hmmm...O.K., so he falls into the "Mr. Right Now" as opposed to the more desirable "Mr. Right" category. Good enough though for a last minute date on a Saturday night though when I had zero plans anyway! I must consider the alternative for the evening before I get too picky.

Conversation didn't flow terribly easily. It didn't seem this guy got out much. He complained about having trouble making ends meet and having to pay child support. He rarely sees his daughter and he is currently staying on a friend's couch. In fact, the DILF even admitted that the child was the product of a brief fling he had with a woman in her late 30s who lied about being on birth control. She had basically tricked him into getting her pregnant because she was dying to have a baby and time was running out for her. Clearly, this guy has some great physical genes and it seems she found him to be the perfect sperm donor and she had hoped he wouldn't stick around. However, she miscalculated slightly and the DILF actually wanted to have some role in the child's life and so in exchange for paying child support he can barely afford, he gets to see the kid about one afternoon per month, if her Mom doesn't forget that he exists.

This evening was clearly going nowhere and this guy was turning out to be a complete loser. He proceeded to order a second round of drinks that I got the feeling that he had no intention of paying for after he had eyed the Cartier on my wrist. He asked me my age (which is SO polite on a first date) and I, in turn asked his. He is eleven years younger than I am. I suppose because he was so tall and he had a daughter, I was mistakenly assumed him to be in his 30s. Misreading disappointment for disbelief, the DILF pulled out his passport to prove his tender age - and here is where it gets interesting. Very interesting!

The DILF's passport was absolutely full of stamps from international travel for an impoverished, young, washed-up model turned personal trainer with an illegitimate child. There were probably ten trips to both France and Argentina taken within the past couple of years and a few to Brazil as well. Maybe this guy wasn't a total loser after all? I began questioning him about his favorite spots in Paris and Buenos Aires - two of my favorite cities, and he surprisingly seemed to know nothing about either of the cities which he had frequented quite recently. He had not been to any museums, did not have a favorite district, never heard of even the most touristy restaurants, and couldn't even place the name of the hotels which he had stayed in. Something was not right and it was clear that he regretted letting me leaf through his passport.

Finally, the DILF decided to come clean. He laughed a little and told me that I was going to hate him. He asked me if I knew what trafficking was. Gulp. I admitted that I did and then I asked him if he was a drug or (gasp) human trafficker, as I wondered if I would end up in a cage headed for Thailand in the not too distant future. Luckily, for me he turned out to only be a drug trafficker. I actually ordered a third round of drinks that I was suddenly all too happy to pay for as I planned to get the entire story before this night was over. It was bad enough that I had ended up on a date with a drug trafficker (who had my phone number, no less!) - but at the very least, I was going to get the skinny on exactly how he did what he did for the sheer entertainment value of it all. Why stay at home and watch CSI, when you can be on a date with an entire episode of it?

The DILF said that there are several different people involved in transporting the drugs (cocaine - in his case) and they don't know each other. He will receive instructions on where to do his pick up and from whom. Usually, he will fly to Argentina and then he will travel close to the Bolivian border where the drugs arrive from and he picks them up. He takes the cocaine (which costs about $2-3,000) to Buenos Aires where it is packed in brick like forms, wrapped in Glad Wrap, and sprayed in some substance from an art supply shop that makes it impossible for the dogs to smell the drugs through. It is then wrapped in some sort of carbon paper in reverse so that it does not show up on an x-ray. Lastly, the bricks are sewn into a huge bulky hang glider and packed in a hang glider's travel case with lots of complicated folds that would be too cumbersome for most custom's agents to want to deal with. He then boards the plane, with the hang glider as over sized luggage to Paris. He pretends that he is a avid hang gliding aficionado who frequently visits the Andes, the Alps, and any other mountain he can think of and then he delivers the hang glider to someone in France for about $25,000 per brick. If he thinks he is being followed he pretends to forget the hang glider because you only have broken the law if you leave the airport with it - apparently - not by simply travelling with it. However, he could get killed if he doesn't complete the delivery and give the money to his contact person - so inevitably, he always goes back to get it. I didn't bother asking what his cut of the money was as clearly it didn't seem to be the most lucrative business in the world for this guy as even renting a small studio seems beyond his reach financially. He also added that he is pretty sure that the DEA knows exactly who he is and what he is doing, but they don't typically arrest the "small people" - and even if they did, he couldn't lead them to the person in charge of the operation as he doesn't know who it is himself. The DEA is probably aware of this and thus he seems perfectly convinced that he will never get arrested. I suggested he rent "Maria Full of Grace." She was arrested. The DILF didn't care. He said movies about drug trafficking are really fake and that he knows what he is doing. Fine. Whatever.

At the end of my fascinating, but not terribly sexy date - I paid the bill. He seemed to find me irresistible...again, mistaking my voyeuristic interest in his criminal activity for a genuine interest in him as a boyfriend. He even added that he would be happy to have more kids if I found myself wanting any since I was in my mid-30s and all. I thanked him for the offer and left in a taxi, alone. He promised to call tomorrow and I silently made a note to self to change my phone number - like immediately. How ever do I find these people?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ebony & Ivory

It is Fashion Week in New York and the city is literally in full swing.
All of New York's elite stay in town for the shows at Bryant Park and our best hotels are fully booked with celebrities, socialites, and royalty for the occasion. My friend, Isabella, works for one of the big fashion labels and doesn't miss a chance to see and be seen during this time of year. She organized a dinner with four of her prettiest girlfriends (including moi!) at Cipriani Downtown - which was destined to be a scene. However, at the last minute...she informed me that our table would be doubling in size. Some British guy she had met over the Summer in St. Tropez was in town for the shows with a few friends and so they decided we would merge. So much for the girls night! At least now perhaps I wouldn't have to pay for my $15 bellinis I planned to be drinking all night and perhaps they would be cute - as long as they were the types of British who had an understanding of good oral hygiene and the necessity of braces in one's teenage years. One could only hope.

So, Isabella, myself, and three other pinnacles of hotness all turned up at the same time under the yellow awning, past the massive glass doors...perfectly coiffed and styled - ready to admire and be admired. Three blondes and two brunettes, the shortest one probably 5'7". Isabella air kissed the maître d' and spoke to him in Italian for a minute before he ushered us up to the table by the window in front - exactly the table we had been hoping for - and we anxiously awaited our dining companions. I scanned the room and saw Yoko Ono dining with some dorky guy in his early 30s who looked like he worked in an IT department. The King of Bling, Jacob Arabo (aka Jacob the Jeweler) was at another table filled with men in suits. The entire place was packed with the exception of a table for six right next to us that was being held intentionally vacant - clearly for someone very important.

Suddenly, a very attractive, dark, black man (who resembled Djimon Hansu) in a white suit and a thickly knotted tie walked in followed by four other black men in colored (pink, beige, anything but black) suits and Isabella jumped up and waved. Oh my God. It appeared that we were going to have dinner in a time capsule with Boyz II Men circa 1989...or was it New Edition? The band leader extended his hand and introduced himself with a cockney British accent and on down the row of men....the accents became slightly closer and closer to the Queen's English until we got the the last one (the shortest) who might have been the only black guy to have graduated from both Eton and Oxford (brilliant.) They took their places on the opposite side of the table from us and checked each other out. I will just say this - if it had been a bling competition, they would have won. Between the diamond cuff links, diamond studs, and chunky watches....covered in, you guessed it - more diamonds, I think they probably "out-blinged" Jacob the Jeweler himself. Who the hell are these people and why didn't Isabella say more before they got there? Eventually, I found out that one was a London club owner with his star DJ, then there were two investment bankers, and a fashion designer. But still...I can honestly say that I have never dined with a man in a suit of any shade of pastel - no matter what he does for a living. I was cringing at the sight of it, while being blinded by more diamonds than any man should ever be legally allowed to wear out in public unless he is the ruler of a small kingdom - which, as we had just established...none of them were.

My train of thought was temporarily interrupted by shouting on West Broadway and a gazillion flashbulbs going off as the paparazzi surrounded someone and the entire restaurant fixed their gaze on the door. In walked none other than Victoria Beckham in a strapless, red mini dress and a small entourage who were seated at the table right next to us. Jacob licked his lips and went over to his prey immediately and was whispering in her ear for about ten minutes while she was looking straight ahead at us...five British black guys with five white American girls.

A drunk woman with an awful Long Island twang stumbled up to our table and said loudly to us "Excuse me...." and waved her hands at our odd group and continued "but what is this?" The Band Leader obviously didn't understand and said "What is what?" She refused to budge and laughed nervously and said " guys....I mean, where do you know each other from? I have been trying to figure it out and I don't get it." I glanced over at Posh who was staring intently at the woman with a bemused look - probably regretting her choice to move to America after being introduced the a primo example of the classic loud American. More awkward silence. Finally - Isabella helpfully said "We are friends....friends from St. Tropez" and she turned back to us and said "Is anybody getting appetizers or are we just getting main courses?" The drunk woman finally skulked off. I'm not sure if the bellinis were making me blush or if the entire evening thus far was doing the job, but I was as pink as the club owner's suit.

The blonde next to me nudged me to check out the hot guy who had just walked in and I continued the nudge down the row until all five girls were gawking at him over the dark shaved heads of our dates. He was the best looking man I had seen in ages. Literally perfect. Tall, with floppy brown hair, chisled features, and a perfectly kissable pout. He was with three other guys that were were average at best - and Isabella whispered into my ear "May the best one win when we get upstairs" with a glimmer in her eye that she gets when she is feeling particuarly competitive. "Upstairs" was the private nightclub run by Cipriani that is very much like an intimate loft party with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, dim lighting, and great Euro-trashy music. It is technically private...for members only, mafia types, Italian glitterati, models, and the odd celebrity here and there - but Isabella and I manage to get a table when we needed one and tonight was one of those nights. Who cares if we looked like groupies to an R&B group from the 80s? We were on a mission.

By the time we got upstairs, Posh was already there at a table with Roberto Cavalli, Damon Dash, and L.L. Cool J. I was praying that David Beckham would stop by - but no such luck! Maybe he was babysitting their three boys? Although I doubt it. However, Mr. Fabulous, who we had been salivating over earlier, was seated at at table right across from us and flashed me a huge smile. I smiled back. Isabella looked temporarily defeated, until she remembered that I can't dance to save my life - so she took the opportunity to stand up and let the music take over her long, lean body with one of the other girls from our table. The foxy brunette on my left was pretending to be interested in what one of the Brits had to say, but she was staring at Mr. Fabulous over the Brit's shoulder and showing more cleavage than I remembered seeing that she had downstairs. The race was on and we were all angling for Mr. Fabulous with what ever we had. My personal weapon at that point was the old fall back of hair flipping and eye contact. Finally he stood up and started to walk over to us and reached his hand out to me (score!)...and said "Britt, Britt Walker, right?" Oh my God. What planet was I on? I swear this was not a dream sequence here, but actually truly happening. The four girls shot me looks of death as I took his hand and was lead over to his table, while the British guys seemed amused at the fuss this guy had caused (he obviously wasn't impressive to them in the least.)

The moment I was seated next to him...I insisted to know who he was and how he knew me. Incidentally, we had actually gone to high school together of all things! He was a good friend's younger step-brother at my boarding school. The last time I saw him he must have been 14-years old and their parents had since divorced and so I had forgotten all about him. He had literally grown up to be the sexiest thing on the planet. Who knew? He had just moved back to the States from Argentina (where he had spent the last ten years) and he has a loft in Tribeca and works in banking. He said he recognized me instantly because I hadn't changed that much from high school - which I suppose was a compliment? Did I mention how gorgeous he was? Anyway...

Isabella was looking truly miserable and so I quickly excused myself to pop back over to our table to get my drink. I gave her the five second version that he was an old friend from high school and she seemed truly relieved that her ego could remain intact and then I sat right back down with Mr. Fabulous. I had always heard that you meet the greatest guys when you are not looking - and I can certainly say that night, I hadn't been. It was originally a girls night that got crashed by by the Commodores in their crazy suits and now finally...the perfect man with a great job who I knew way back when...who was clearly really attracted to me. He was my ideal sort of match - in almost a text book sense...tall, dark, and super duper handsome. Heavenly - and how utterly romantic of a situation with our former history. I even managed to imagine for a second what a funny story it would make later in life when we were married with kids!

Fast forward one hour...his arm is draped over my shoulder as he keeps my drink constantly refilled. He is checking out the large packs of models that seems to have sprung up from nowhere, but yet when ever he looks back at me he has an intense stare of affection and admiration. He admitted that he has had a hard time dating in New York so far (as I try to keep a straight face) and that he really wants to settle down because he is finally ready for that stage in his life. I almost needed a diaper at that point.....and he added that he was so happy that we had this chance meeting and that there are no mistakes in life and then - stop the lovely background music. Jekyll exits stage left and in walks Mr. Hyde. I'm serious.

Mr. Fabulous turns to face me and says "So, tell me...are you the kind of girl who will have sex on a first date or the kind who pretends she doesn't - because there are only two kinds." Excuse me? I laughed and reminded him that we were not even on a date. He shrugged and asked if I was ready to go home with him - as if it was something we had done 100 times before! He was so matter of fact about it. Ummm...not really part of the program. He then started to look irritated that I was not on board with his meaningless sex agenda for the evening and said in an exasperated tone "I'm tired and I want to get out of here and you are either coming home with me right now or you are not." I laughed and told him he is insane and he mumbled that it was my loss and tried to give one of his friend's a few $100 bills for the tab and they refused, so he just walked out with a disgruntled look on his face. He didn't ask for my number. I didn't even get a hug good bye. I hadn't even had a chance to tell him that his ex-step sister had just had her first baby...not that he would have cared. What a monster he had grown up to be. So much for fairy tale endings!

I slipped back to my original table with the last shred of dignity I had left - post-proposition - and suggested we move on and we did. Team Domino headed to a nightclub called Tenjune where we closed the place down...several bottles of champagne later...and I challenged Isabella to a dance off and lost. I was so bad that the British guys assumed I was joking because no one could be that bad of a dancer. Oh - how they were wrong on that one, but the thought was sweet.
This morning, I had the worst hang over ever. Consider Fashion Week over for me personally - I can't take a second night of least until next season, which thankfully won't be until February. I should be over my hang over by then. Hopefully.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Manhattan Transfer

I was feeling really confident about getting a guy who is interested in me to be interested in someone else (of my choosing) instead. I mean, the men in this town have a bad case of "roving eye syndrome" to the point where it is at epidemic levels. At least, for once I was going out with a man who I was hoping and praying would look at anyone and everyone else, but me...and more specifically my friend, Ellen, in particular. It almost seemed too easy.

Here was the plan...Ellen spent a good part of her day getting a manicure, a blow out, eyebrow shaping, and shopping for the perfect dress to pair with a "va va voom" push up bra. We know men are visual creatures and there is really no point trying to pretend otherwise. I spent less than zero time getting ready and showed up in something that could have been pulled from my mother's closet - a khaki linen skirt that went to my ankles, a white button down shirt (buttoned all the way up, of course), and flat brown sandals. No makeup and a low ponytail. I was looking very "Karen Blixen"...efficient, un-sexy, and ready for a day on the African farm, circa 1935. I was respectably unattractive in the most schoolmarm of ways - just as planned.

To round out our table for dinner, we invited Will...a witty, brilliant, married banker and father of three. We had met him and his wife a year ago during a trip to the Miraval Spa in Arizona. His wife, Bridget, had generously loaned him out to us for the evening as we were in need of a "eunuch" and I suppose to a single woman in the 21st century - our choices were either a gay man or a married man. We went with the latter. The Muppet didn't need any direct competition and Will was the perfect table filler.

The restaurant of choice was Paola's on the Upper East Side (where the Muppet, Ellen, and Will all reside.) Paola's is charming with fantastic food - yet caters to an over-50 crowd, so the chances of Ellen getting upstaged by a gaggle of models at a nearby table were thankfully close to nil.

The stage was set - all players (except the Muppet) understood their roles....I was to be dreary and dull; Will was to be pleasant and unassuming; and Ellen would be glamorous and fetching....while the restaurant was nothing more than a backdrop with food to highlight Ellen's fabulousness!

The Muppet seemed thrown off slightly being in the company of two scoops of vanilla and one scoop of chocolate mint chip...and he reverted to being a scoop of vanilla himself....thus forcing Will and I to become more lively or risk making Ellen stand out like a lunatic. The Muppet was not heading down the clearly marked path as we had been hoping he would. He kept trying to steal glances of my cleavage in between the buttons on my shirt when I leaned forward (pervert!) He loved the fact that I didn't tower over him this time due to my flat sandals and he was acting as if Ellen and her fabulous cleavage was some sort of test. A test - he clearly thought he was passing as he remained unwavering in his devotion to me...which was obviously, beyond irritating.

Halfway though dinner, it was clear that the Muppet did not want to trade in his option on a 5'9", 34-year old in exchange for a 5'2", 40-year old - no matter how funny or well dressed the 40-year old was. He obviously found it to be a bad deal - although the fact was that he only really had one option at the table. It was Ellen or nothing because I wasn't interested. We all knew by the second bottle of wine, that the Muppet had no chance with me and Ellen had no chance with the Muppet. It was game over.

Determined not to have a bad evening even though it did not turn out to be the night I had hoped for...Will, Ellen, and I ended up having a blast. The Muppet grew more and more quiet until he was a virtual mute by the time the check arrived. It was a literal three-to-one. The three of us love our wine...while he nursed his mineral water (was he coming from an AA meeting?) The three of us had pasta...while he ordered a steak (who orders steak in an Italian restaurant?) The three of us almost got thrown out of each of our respective boarding schools (and had hysterical stories about it)...while he was a straight-A public school student from upstate New York (yawn.) The three of us travel all the time...and the Muppet doesn't like to travel (of course.) The worst part was when Will told the Muppet the best way to get over hating to travel is to fly private and watching the Muppet nod and stare at Will, wondering if that was a serious comment - and it was. Muppet Man had no response to that. Not even a laugh.

Finally, when we all ordered coffee...the Muppet had a chamomile tea. He just had zero personality (like everything he had to drink.) He really was just a dud. You don't have to be raised in a certain type of family or to be cultured to be interesting. I know some people who have been all over the world and have nothing to say while some people walk around the block and can tell me ten fascinating observations they had. He contributed nothing - literally - except for some mild disappointment on Ellen's side for not even offering a minor flirting session with her after all the effort she had put into getting ready.

At the close of the evening, we left the Muppet standing out the front of the restaurant and we all climbed into the back of Will's chauffeured car. He promptly gave us the responses we desired all evening - at long last - and assured me that I looked positively dreadful and matronly and he told Ellen that she was a total knockout. He felt that the Muppet was below either of our standards... and he had the courtesy to wait in his car to make sure that each of us got safely inside our apartments before he drove off.

Sadly, the dreamiest man I've met in a long time was someone else's husband. I will have to remember to thank his wife for the loan. If you had been reading "The Great Salt Lake City Manhunt", we might have offered to become Will's second and third wives at the end of this story...but thus far, polygamy hasn't quite taken off in the Big Apple, and so I have to get back out there with Ellen and all the rest of the singletons in the city looking for Mr. Not Yet Taken, and avoiding Muppet's at all costs.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Safety in Numbers

My business partner, Ellen, is a woman who terrifies me. She is a brilliant, petite blonde who is a total firecracker. She runs marathons; she has written articles for magazines; she has owned a boutique in the Village...and not to be a total name dropper, but she also dated Jon Stewart about ten seconds before he became famous. Ellen works out with a trainer three days a week at Equinox; she owns a spectacular apartment with panoramic city views; and her closet could easily be mistaken as an outpost of Bergdorf Goodman...filled with more Prada and Chloé than you could shake a stick at. She finishes the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle every weekend with nary a mistake. She has a wicked sense of humor and is universally adored by all of our clients and co-workers alike. Ellen comes from a wonderful family who gave her the best education money could buy - along with frequent trips around the hone her shopping, skiing, and scuba diving skills to boot. Did I mention that she is always perfectly plucked, groomed, and manicured at all times as well?

The problem, you wonder? She is 40-years old and single. She has never been married, never had a child, and hasn't even had a boyfriend in the past three years. Ellen goes home every night and watches television alone; she cooks a healthy dinner for one to eat at her dining table by herself; and at bed-time, she crawls solo into her Frette-laden bed wondering things like "Is it too late to freeze my eggs?" and "Why aren't Russian mail order grooms available?"

Ellen's three dating options are as follows: 1) Going to bars in a low cut top 2) Paying a match maker $10,000 to find her a husband 3) Putting her photo up on every online dating service known to the world wide web. She chose option three and is thus a active member of Match, J-Date, and e-Harmony. In the past three years, she has endured countless blind dates and over time her desired age range has gone from 35 to 45, to 30 to 50, and now I think she is somewhere between 24 and 67 years of age for her "ideal match." God help her...another couple years of singlehood and Ellen might end up as the only girl on a dating website willing to date any man between the ages of 18 to 99, of any race, any religion, any income...with the sole requirement of having a pulse.

However - back to me, for a moment. The Muppet called. I did not respond. He called again. I picked up the phone the second time and we had a pretty good conversation. The guy really is charming and told me about his ups and downs of hosting 11 house guests at his Hamptons estate last weekend. He is going to the U.S. Open tennis final this weekend and he is heading off to a big charity event tomorrow. I must admit, looks aside - he is definitely not a loser. I am still not attracted to him, but I do recognize his finer qualities....which got me thinking back to Ellen. She would love him. O.K. to be honest, she would love pretty much anyone at this point - but then I started to imagine it. They could host me at their Hamptons house next Summer! They could invite me to join their table at a fancy charity ball at the Waldorf. They could even give me their U.S. Open tickets if they aren't using them next year as a little "thank you" for setting them up. It was perfect, really....I would love his lifestyle, but just without having to date him...and Ellen could have a "happily ever after" so I don't have to look at her and wonder if that will be me at 40? Alone...and illuminated by the glow of Match.Com on my laptop screen as I slowly go infertile! Argh! Banish the thought!

The Muppet ended our phone call by asking me out on a second date and I managed to convince him that I am so crazy busy, that if he wants to get together at all next week it would have to be a "group thing" and to please agree to join me and a friend or two....or else it would be two or three weeks before I am available again. He bought it and we settled on Monday night.

Ellen is totally up for trying the old "switcheroo game" and hopefully the Muppet will be easily volleyed into her court. We are going to try to find a second guy...a eunuch preferably, who can also join in on the game plan and can convince Muppet that I would be the mistake of a lifetime and that Ellen is the real catch of the two of us? Hmmmmm!

Would this, could this work? We all know the benefits of recycling cans, paper, and plastic - but men? Certainly worth a shot.