11/19/2013 02:57 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

The Elephant in the Room

A man wrote me a email this morning. His entire email consisted of these words, "Dear Lady, we seem to be perfect match. Can we meet?"

Wow, I thought, someone who already believes we may be a perfect match! Curious, I opened his profile. Age 53. Lives in a small town in California. Lists himself as: East European, multi-lingual, a successful producer, investor, broker, filmmaker, owner of an international talent management company, philanthropist and patron of the artists. In fact, lest you think I am making this up, here is his entire profile.

In his own words:

International multilingual filmmaker, investor's broker, owner of the international talent management company, philanthropist, patron of artists. I am funny, authentic, courageous, non-conformist, unstoppable, living out of the box. I was around the world and I am living my life in full. My everyday life is what the people call happy vacations: spas, wineries, dancing, luxury restaurants and resorts, castles getaways, my billionaires friends mansions parties, charity events, mountains hiking and skiing, strolling the beaches, exploring deserts, monuments and national parks, romantic breakfasts at sunrise and candle light dinners at sunset. My friends wonder if I ever sleep and work. Yes I do, when there is nothing better to do. Looking to meet the lady who is in need of smile, affection, warmth and love who can follow my pace, be my romantic soul mate, partner, Big Love and wife in the same person and dream of the live comparable to Nirvana. I am told to be very handsome, confident, powerful but funny, romantic, outgoing and truly down to earth in the same time. Having lived around the world and chosen my path my friends say my smile is contagious. I am honest and straight talker. I live the life of artist with admiration for art, beauty and feelings and contempt for money. I am marriage minded and founding family is my dream. I am East European origin and we are known from deep emotional life, romanticism and chivalry. Yes, I will hold and caress your hands, cuddle, open doors, kissing your hand while putting you in your car seat, etc. If you are outgoing, passionate and fun loving personality, come with me to Hollywood celebrities parties, charities events, hot springs spas, wineries romantic dinners with candles music, flowers and let's see where it will lead us. I was going west all my life looking for the place where I can have the sun over my head all the year round and never more suffer from cold, now I am in the perfect place! I would not allow my lady suffer bad weather and live without sun. So, if you are you living in cold bad weather area, be my friend guest, spend some time on me in sunny and beautiful Palm Springs area and LA and let's see where it will lead us. Definitely, I am looking for honest, passionate, intelligent beautiful, adventurous, courageous, patient, a believer in faith and true love at first sight to stay with her for the rest of my life if we find the love and even if it doesn't work I promise you great time and help in whatever you need to make you happy. Love to help ambitious ladies to live their dreams and passions.

Okay, let's get real. From photos this is an attractive man, and he certainly claims to be highly successful. If he swims in a pool with billionaires, there must be lots of women of all ages around, so one might wonder why he needs to advertise himself. Most puzzling, why in the world would he advertise for a woman "between the ages of 18 and 121"?

I did write to him. I asked him why such a wide age range. Why did you reach out to me, a woman 20 years your senior and one inconveniently located not near you in California but in New York? I also pointed out to him that under income, where the largest annual amount you are allowed to list is simply "$150,000+" he had chosen, "I'll tell you later." So I asked him, is there perhaps one occupation he forgot to include? (See lyrics below). Understandably, no response.

I feel comfortable reproducing his profile verbatim in this blog for two reasons. First reason: Let's say his profile is for real. With what I am sure he would consider my bad or at least skeptical attitude I may have missed out on a life of love and luxury. But one of my lucky blog followers -- you? --seeing something I don't, might decide to contact him. You two then fall madly in love, and later on, go to those "billionaire friends' mansion parties." By the way, should this happen, the least you could do is invite me to the wedding. Hopefully it will be held onboard a billionaire's yacht -- maybe one belonging to Harvey Weinstein, with whom he's pictured in one of his eight photos! Second reason I feel okay with reproducing his own words: he should be very happy to have the extra exposure, though given where my blog is placed on HuffPost, he is on his own for finding interested ladies from ages 18 to 50.

About his celebrity photos. I have pictures of myself with a number of VIPs. Actually these photos cover part of an entire wall in my home. Most of the famous men and women I am standing next to, in poses similar to his -- two smiling faces directed at the camera -- would not actually know me if I fell over them. It was a "photo op" at a fundraising gala or some other event, where a) the celebrity is paid to be there and as part of the gig has agreed to pose with the high rollers; or b) he or she is the honoree and has likewise agreed to let people pose with him or her.

Let me put a broader perspective on this story. Don't believe that old saw that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. When you stop learning new tricks the magic has gone out of your life. There are also many young dogs that can't learn new tricks. So what I am going to say now is that we may each be open-minded and flexible in many ways, but we all have deal-breakers. My biggest one has to do with money.

I appreciate that many men in and around Manhattan who are divorced have paid out a small (or large) fortune to get out of their marriages, and often have also continued helping their college age or even adult children, and, as a result, they may be living on fumes. I also appreciate that many men who are now retired, and perhaps have been for several years, may be living on fumes. Likewise, I fully appreciate that dating is expensive for the man, who is generally expected to pay for drinks, dinner and entertainment.

I also happen to know that an estimated 60 percent (more than half) the women in later marriages or living arrangements are the main support of the lifestyle they and their spouse or significant other enjoy. I see nothing wrong with that. When I was married, it was fine that I made more or had more: my attitude was that the money was there for us both to enjoy. Even today I believe that if we love each other, and are sharing a life, what's mine is yours.

But in the courting phase, if you have to ask me to split a check, or invite me to go away with you for any kind of a day trip or other out of the city adventure, then need to ask me to split the expense, we are not a match.

I know I am going to be sliced and diced by some of you for this. But as I said earlier we all have our deal-breakers. In my case, the man has to really love my two small dogs, has to want to live, at least part-time, in Manhattan, because I am not selling my gorgeous apartment, and has to be okay with someone who still works at her craft.

I might be flexible on some of that in the future, especially if this turns out to be a brutal winter, but if someone seems cheap, I am so gone.

Here is what happened to me last week: I went on a second date with a very nice man, bright and easy to talk to. In the course of a conversation I said something about having had to take a lot of cabs recently, and that it was expensive but necessary when you're time-challenged. He said he much preferred public transportation when he was in the city, and praised his late wife for her frugality. He said she would never take a cab, not unless she was in pain and had to go to a hospital. Maybe then! He told me this in an admiring way.

I told him that was what I consider a "Depression Mentality" and that to me things had to be pretty rough financially to always wait for a bus or go underground to a crowded train if you had the option of getting somewhere quickly and comfortably by taxi, especially in inclement weather. He agreed, though unenthusiastically, and maybe to change the subject. We moved on to other topics.

Before we parted he said that the leaves were turning and could he drive in (from the suburbs where he lives) and take me away to a country inn somewhere in Connecticut, New Jersey or upstate New York? I said sure. He said he would make all the arrangements.

A couple of days later, on an impulse, I wrote him an email, saying I hope he didn't mind my asking, but since we had been discussing money and our attitudes towards it, I felt free to address the elephant in the room. So my question was this: did he expect me to split the costs of this little mini-getaway with him?

He responded, "Oh yes, I was going to ask you, thanks. That would be great. I will take care of any expenses connected with the car, and we can split the rest!" He did end his email with, "How do you feel about that?"

Well, I told him what I thought about that. I wasn't nasty or mean. I just told him that I asked the question because I had a sense that this was what he had in mind, and like everyone else I prefer to not have to deal with unpleasant surprises if I can help it. This, to me, felt like being invited out for a meal and then the person who asked you on the date saying, "Well, your half is..."

I told him that what he wanted to have happen was a deal-breaker for me and meant we were not a match. In closing I respectfully suggested that the next time he invites a woman he really likes to spend a day or a night with him in a country inn, he might consider paying for the room and a few meals. I said I know that by saying you would take care of the gas and tolls you believed you were being both fair and generous, but that this only points up the unbridgeable chasm between us.

I did get one last email from him, in which he wrote: "I am sorry we will not have a chance to get to know each other better. I goofed."

My daughter said, "Mom, he didn't know what hit him." I don't think that's it. I think he still thinks we should have split the expenses.

So let's go back to Mr. Friend to Billionaires. This may be his theme song. But I could also be way off. What do you think? And what are your deal breakers?


Just a gigolo

Just a gigolo
everywhere I go
people know the part
I'm playing

Paid for every dance
selling each romance
every night some heart

There will come a day
youth will pass away
then what will they say
about me

When the end comes I know
they'll say just a gigolo
as life goes on
without me
'Cause I ain't got nobody
nobody nobody cares for me
I'm so sad and lonely
sad and lonely sad and lonely
Won't some sweet mama
come and take a chance with me
cause I ain't so bad

Get along with me babe,
been singin love songs
All of the time
Even only be, honey only, only be
Bop bozadee bozadee bop zitty bop

I ain't got nobody 'cept love songs in love
Hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla boobuhla
hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla bop

I ain't got nobody, nobody,
nobody cares for me
Nobody, nobody
I'm so sad and lonely,
sad and lonely,
sad and lonely,
Won't some sweet mama come
and take a chance with me
cause I ain't so bad

Get along with me babe,
been singin love songs
All of the time
Even only be, honey only, only be