I realize I'm a little late on the curve with this one, but armed with another rainy weekend in Los Angeles and no new DVDs to speak of (probably because the rain caused delays with the delivery of my latest amazon.com order), I plopped down on my oversized leather couch with a box of Godiva chocolate drizzled popcorn and left my HD flat-screen on Bravo hoping to find a mini-Top Chef marathon, or even The Real Housewives of NY (you know, to catch up before season two!). Instead, I found The Millionaire Matchmaker, which was a show that until this point I had vehemently avoided. And today I found out that was with good reason.
Patti Stanger is a horrid woman. A smart entrepreneur, I will give her that, but just awful as a human being. While it amused me that if she said she won the lottery tomorrow, she'd still want to do what she does now, but for free: "I'd travel the world...and be the Mother Theresa of matchmaking!" were her exact words, the way she treats the woman who sign up to be apart of her organization is worse than any hack casting director this town has to offer. She critiqued everything from the women's hair (apparently, men-- and by men, she mostly means her-- don't like curly hair; wtf??) to their headshots (again wtf?? why do they need headshots; are these millionaires casting for their trophy wife?) to their shoe-sock combination (though the silver sequined pumps she picked on were pretty bad). She told some women to get hair extensions and other to show off their legs and cleavage in order to entice her millionaire clients. It was really easy to forget I was watching a dating show; Stanger sounded like the next Heidi Fleiss, and I'm pretty sure the only reason she hasn't been similarly investigated is because she makes it a very clear point to tell her clients that if they sleep with her girls, they will no longer work with her, and they won't see a dime of their money back either. But when she says so, she does it with a little tongue-in-cheek wink of "I'm still selling you sex; you can only do it once with my girls, though."
Stanger doesn't treat her millionaire clients any better, either. Though some of them-- like Lonnie, the owner of Dolce group who was accused of raping an underage patron-- are not really in this for the right reasons and therefore deserve any character slams thrown their way, others-- like Patrick, the quiet dog lover in finance-- really do mean well and maybe are just a little socially awkward on their own. Stanger helped Patrick with his look by taking him to a celebrity stylist to avoid the "grandpa wardrobe" his millions had acquired him, but she also talked endlessly to the cameras and her staff about him being "dull as a doornail." And I can't help but assume the accented woman she found for him, who started off the dinner conversation by talking about her love for her own chihuahua which just lit his eyes right up, is part of a mail-order bride scenario, and she was just coached to say she liked certain key things to which Stanger knew Patrick would respond-- you know, like any high end escort. Anything to make that sale, right?
My friends joke with me all of the time that I better find a rich guy to marry-- for my expensive taste in clothes, art, and jewelry and also my sheer desire to spend all day, everyday lying on the sand in Malibu, writing, which let's face it, right now isn't paying me much! But if becoming one of "Patti's Girls" is the acceptable way to try to reel in one such suitor, I think I'd much rather stay single. I couldn't even take Stanger for one full episode of her Bravo reality show; needless to say I couldn't handle her as my "madam!"