scream about divorce rates, domestic violence, deadbeats of both sexes,
zero tolerance, gay rights and endless problems in man-woman
relationships. It’s enough to inflame Cupid’s hemorrhoids and give
Valentine’s Day a bad name.
Meanwhile, a detail goes unreported. The great majority of men and
women are either hooked up and fairly deliriously happy, wishing they
were, or trying to get that way.
To get a look
at that end of that human condition, I called Linda Miller. When I last
wrote about her in 1998, she was emerging as Eastern Ontario’s
most successful match- maker. She runs a business out of Carleton Place
called Misty River Introductions. In that first story, she had a staff
of two, a
client list of 1000
and the going rate was $375.
now a staff of eight, a client list of 8,ooo, and those people are
willing to pay $550
each in the hope
Ms. Miller can find a cure for what ails them
Yesterday, she was in Pembroke starting a weekend swing through a number
of communities in which she would conduct 70 face-to-face interviews
with men and women who still believe it takes one of each to make a
happy unit. I was looking for a love story and she passed the call
and Dwayne White, in their 30's live in rural Perth. Two years ago,
both were registered with Misty River. She signed on because she wanted
somebody to carefully screen candidates before she met them.
Be was a Misty client because relatives convinced him it was the modern
way to meet Ms. Right. As
a busy self-employed carpenter, he wasn't meeting many available
was Katherine Young then, managing a retail store in Ottawa, divorced
and weary of searching for a partner. What drove her to Misty River was
a bad experience on the Internet.
"She liked his nervousness"
“We communicated by computer and suddenly he was demanding to
know where I was. If I wasn’t at the keyboard when he sent a message,
he was upset. He seemed to think he had ownership. And that was in less
than two weeks. It was scary.”
studied Ms. Miller’s profiles and one of the first she called (only
women can initiate contact) was Dwayne. “I loved his voice. And he
seemed nervous. I liked that too.”
Meeting him in an Ottawa restaurant was a shock. It was just before
Christmas, and he was sitting alone, holding a single red rose and
shaking like a leaf. Katherine, at five-foot-one and 100
pounds, always felt vulnerable meeting men. Here was a man
almost six feet tail, about 200 pounds, muscular, wind-burned and with a
great black beard whose nervousness was his biggest selling point. She
sensed no danger. She admits that within minutes of meeting, she was
making imaginary design changes. The beard should go. “But we
compromised. He grows it in the winter.” She thought of clothes he
would look good in. She saw he was open to suggestions.
She wanted to meet his friends and family. “You can tell a lot about a
man by the reactions of those close to him"
big man was well-liked, respected and people were happy to see him when
he introduced his new friend.
Lady Luck went into a foul mood4or Katherine and, in the
next few weeks, she was in a serious car accident ~d there was a fire in
her home. She discovered she had a calm and capable friend. They married
to months after the first meeting. When I asked her to put him on the phone, there was some quiet chatting in the background, then she giggled,
and he picked up the phone
Being a romantic, that’s all I had to hear. I didn’t have
to ask if he was happy. My first question was: Gotcha, didn’t she?
He felt very much
the rustic in the company of a city woman. Things started to fall
together when they learned they both loved animals and rural
living. He has the skills to keep the phone ringing as a carpenter and
contractor, and she has the business experience to handle the paperwork.
Now if they can just
avoid the armies of publicly funded experts lining up to tell them how
wrong they are.
Brown is the Citizen's senior editor. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read prevoius columns by Dave Brown at www.ottawacitizen.com
Katherine and Dwayne
White were married
10 months after they first met.