Somehow, I end up meeting the most interesting people.

The other day I shared a cab with a woman I didn’t know.  During the course of the conversation, I found out that she worked for a matchmaking service–not the eHarmony/Match.com variety, but the “membership starts at $20,000 a year” variety.  They are straight old-school; they do not have a web presence, and they conduct extensive interviews with all the people who sign up with the agency.  Her job is to write up extensive profiles on everyone she interviews and to match her male clients with women (the women get to sign up for free). 

Of course, my first question was–What kind of men sign up for a service like this?  Businessmen.  Men who are too busy to cull through the women they meet every day in order to find out if they are compatible and would rather just outsource this job to someone else.  Many of them are divorced or widowed, and many of them are very, very picky.  In fact, according to my cab-mate, part of the reason why many of her clients are not already with someone is because they are their own worst enemy.  They only want someone with blue eyes, who is between the ages of 32 to 35, who is 5’2″ to 5’4″, who works in upper management, who lives within a 5 mile radius of the Loop, blah blah blah.  But because they have the money, they pay a company, like the one she works for, to find this needle in a haystack.  Oh, and $20,000 will get you 10 introductions a year. (Their rates go up to $100,000!)

How do these introductions work?  When I asked her that question, I pictured Patti Stanger arranging cocktail hours and lining the women up like a firing range.  My cab-mate said that it was nothing like that.  She sends her clients her detailed notes and write ups of the women that she thinks would be compatible with the client, and he reads them over and decides if he would like to meet anyone.  If he says no, then he hasn’t used up any of his introductions for the year.

What kind of women sign up?  She had shrugged and said all kinds of women.  Regular women.  She said that she encourages all her friends to sign up.  She even asked me to sign up!  I told her that I’m married and therefore wouldn’t be a suitable match for anyone except the guy sitting to my left right now watching the football game.  However, I do have a few attractive, intelligent single friends who I think would be game.  She said that some women don’t get picked because it is a buyer’s market and it depends on what the guy is looking for, but she likes to have all kinds of women sign up because again, you just don’t know what a guy is looking for.

So after I got out of the cab (with her business card, I might add), my mind started racing.  There is so much potential for a story here! I can see a hot romance about the rich businessman who is “introduced” to several women, all of whom have something to offer, and he can only choose one.  Or it could be a sweet romance about a broken-hearted man whose friends all chipped in for a membership for his birthday as a way of helping him to get over the death of his wife.

Hmmm . . . (begins scribbling notes) . . . it’s funny how inspiration can come from a chance meeting in a cab.


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