Avenues dating service
With such a terrible track record, I started to realise that, if I couldn't meet someone when I was in my prime, how on earth was I going to meet someone now I'm 50?My friend Kerry, tired of my moaning, had told me about an upmarket dating agency that takes on only high-achieving rich people.'You need someone generous,' she said, my husband's name unspoken between us, 'with a bank account, not a piggy bank'.And so, just before Christmas, I meet Mairead Molloy.
I tell her I'd prefer someone around my own age (she tells me I don't look 50, and am in fact 'slim, fashionable and gorgeous', which makes me want to date her), but they must be boyish rather than Steptoe-like (I tell her Imran Khan could be her template, although I wouldn't date him as I don't think my cats would want to live in Pakistan).I'm not interested in the boring banker types that make up the bulk of her clients.She tells me I seem to have narrowed my options to Paul Mc Cartney but, rather valiantly, accepts the challenge to help me find Mr Right. Once a client has been interviewed and then vetted - Mairead visits them at home, checking out passports and, if necessary, decree absolutes - she will then introduce them to prospective partners all over the world (rich people, it seems, have no truck with annoying things like distance and time zones).When I get to the bar I'm so nervous I down a glass of champagne in one go, then text to tell him I've had a 'slight change of shoe: silver platforms, not purple Burberry'.
When he arrives I am disappointed: he looks ordinary, in a normal, brownish suit, clutching a briefcase.Irish by birth, and having made a fortune in hotels, she now divides her time between Cannes and London.Five years ago, with an address book positively bulging with successful but often lonely men and women, she decided to set up a dating agency.But, after a few minutes, and much to my surprise, I start to enjoy his company immensely. He says women in New York are only interested in how much money a man makes. But I can tell he fancies me, this despite his lack of curiosity about me, and his disconcerting habit of continuing to talk into the remote of his mobile phone. Men like to know they come first.' After two hours, he pays for our drinks, apologising that he has to leave for a dinner engagement.