By Joe Franchini


My mother always said, to my sister of course, you could fall in love with a rich man just as easily as a poor one. I must have been lurking somewhere in the background (probably braiding Barbieís hair) because her very words came to mind when I saw an ad at the back of a gay magazine asking the question, "Do you want to date a gay millionaire?"  The idea intrigued me and I thought "What the Hell?" and "Why not?".   I was on the wrong side of 40 and it was painfully clear around my eyes when I smiled that I was not going to be the pretty one forever.

I clicked on the web address and found myself at a site, which connected wealthy businessmen with other men who firmly believed what my mother told my sister.

I filled out a form, which asked for the usual description and vital statistics.  It said my form would be evaluated and that I would receive a phone call from a representative.  I sent the initial form along with my
photo and waited for a response.

Sure enough, a couple of months later I got a phone call from a very professional, businesslike woman.  She explained the origin of the sight and the service she provided for the millionaire.  It all sounded very straightforward and pleasant.

The interview was full of all kinds of questions including those concerning sexual preferences and medical history. We finished the questions and she said she already had someone who was interested in meeting me!  He was a businessman of 45 who had homes all over the world and who was quite attractive.  She had faxed him my picture and fact form in Greece where he was vacationing on a friendís yacht and he suggested we set up a date for the following weekend when he was back in the New York area.

I agreed to the meeting and waited for an email to give further instructions from my representative. It came and I read my orders carefully and waited for the email to self-destruct.  I had my mission.  Whether or not it was impossible remained to be seen.

The day arrived.  The most expensive French restaurant was chosen.  Although I had never eaten there I had seen it many times on my way to Papaya King.

I knew I cleaned up nicely so I was confident that I would make a good first impression.   I put on all of my designer finery, said a silent thank you to God for creating Century 21, and made my way downtown.

The restaurant was lovely and unpretentious.  I was escorted to my table where my date was waiting. He was handsome!  For the next three hours we had a pleasant time and a spectacular meal.  I was in heaven when the desserts came.  There were about 6 of them on a fancy TV dinner tray.  I calmed myself down and kept telling myself to take human bites.

I liked him yet I did not feel an instant chemistry and rapport with him.  I knew I was in trouble when I made a Golden Girl reference and then had to explain who they were.

He liked to oil paint in his spare time.  I hadnít done anything like that since my attempt to draw Bambi with my Venus Paradise coloring pencils in the 6th grade.

He collected rare Opera records.  I had a stack of 80ís pop 45ís somewhere in the back of my closet.

It was clear that the work of Puccini and Kazagoogoo did not compliment each other.  I reminded myself that opposites attract and I was encouraged when at the end of the meal he offered me both his home and cell numbers and asked for mine in return.

There are times when you lie to yourself.  In an effort to remain open and positive you second-guess your instincts and first impressions.  You think to yourself that you should not judge things so quickly.  Give them time.  Explore a bit more before making any kind of decision.

So I called him at home.

The personal secretary sent the call through to the upstairs maid.  After a few moments the millionaire got to the phone and we had a nice, although somewhat strained conversation.  I was working at it, which is not such a good sign.  We talked for a good 1/2-hour and he told me he would call me in a few weeks as he was back from Paris.

A few weeks came and went.  I called again.  Again we talked.  Again the conversation was pushed.  Again he was going away on business.  Again he said he would call when he got back.

I put the phone down and realized that I didnít really want to date this nice man. We had a pleasant time and a delicious dinner.  Thatís it.  My hope for something more pushed it beyond its boundaries.  I didnít really care about the fancy clothes and the classy restaurant.  They are great but not the point.  I knew that.  I always have.  I guess in my attempt to give things a chance I overlooked my instincts.  It can happen when you are vulnerable.  You begin to doubt yourself.  You get confused.  You get suspicious of your judgment and reasoning.

Back to Cheap Eats. I still think my mother was giving my sister good advice.  You can fall in love with a rich man as well as a poor one.  But first and foremost you have to fall in love.  The rest is immaterial.


Reprinted from the courtesy of the Editors of MetroSource ©2004 MetroSource Publishing Incorporated. All rights reserved. MetroSource is a trademark of MetroSource Publishing Incorporated