Readings — From the February 2018 issue

Fifty Worst Dates

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From a lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania district court last August by Darlene Daggett against Kelleher International, an elite matchmaking company based in California. Daggett hired Kelleher for dating services for a fee of $150,000 in May 2014.

Kelleher is purported to be the number-one executive matchmaking service in the country. Kelleher represents that it interviews and screens compatible individuals. Daggett had a weekly conference call with her matchmaker to discuss matches. Consistent in every conversation was Daggett’s desire to be matched with a financially independent, retired or semiretired gentleman who had flexibility in his schedule, had a desire to travel frequently, and was open to marriage. During her three-year tenure with Kelleher, Daggett was introduced to twenty-five men. Only five matches resulted in more than two dates.

no. 1: the interpol spy

Daggett was introduced to an Australian entrepreneur. Daggett and the man hit it off quickly, had two dates in California, then took a trip to Panama and Costa Rica. Daggett flew home with the understanding that this gentleman was going to meet her the following weekend. Two days later he called and said he “needed to go dark” for two weeks. The man had mentioned doing work for Interpol in previous conversations, so Daggett thought this was a legitimate, albeit strange, occurrence. Eleven days later, Daggett received an email from the man saying he’d be gone until the end of the year with no phone contact, text, or email. Thirteen months later, Daggett received a telephone call from this gentleman’s previous girlfriend. She informed Daggett that he had her fly in the same day that Daggett left Panama. When he “went dark,” the two of them were actually sailing to Cuba. When he said he would be off the grid, he was traveling all over Europe and Australia with this woman.

no. 2: the serial lothario

Daggett met a senior executive for a Fortune 500 company who lived in Belgium. Despite the distance, he and Daggett spoke and texted multiple times a day. This gentleman flew to visit Daggett at Thanksgiving and again at Christmas. He and Daggett began planning their lives together. On December 27, 2015, Daggett received a tender morning message from this man, as was custom between them. That afternoon, this man called off the relationship via email. Kelleher rematched the man shortly after. This man did the same thing to the next woman.

no. 3: the widower turned convicted felon

In February 2015, Daggett was matched with a widower from Virginia. During lunch, he told Daggett he was having flashbacks. He said, “It was a snowy and rainy day like today that my wife was killed.” The man was tearing up, and Daggett comforted him the best she could. For a multitude of reasons, Daggett was not interested in this man and did not continue to date him. A few months later, Daggett received an email from him, asking whether Daggett would consider helping him with aesthetic decisions on an 11,000-square-foot house he was building in Boulder, Colorado. Given that he had lost his wife and that Daggett has some talent in this area, she agreed. Daggett and the man went out for dinner, and Daggett noticed that she had a voicemail from an unknown number. The man was ghostly pale. When Daggett asked what was wrong, he said that the woman who left the voicemail was his wife. The man went on to tell Daggett that he had been raped as a child and his lying was latent behavior associated with the trauma. The man said, “I need to cause pain and shame.” On December 9, 2016, this man was convicted of bank fraud in the amount of $10.5 million.

no. 4: the censured judge

The founder of Kelleher said she had identified a match, a New York State Supreme Court justice. The founder provided his name and Daggett conducted a rudimentary internet search. What Daggett found was alarming. This gentleman was censured for carrying on an affair with an attorney and for sneaking off to broadcasting school while he was supposed to be in court.

no. 5: first seriously ill man

Daggett, without her prior knowledge, was matched with a gentleman who had Crohn’s disease. After spending several months developing a relationship, Daggett realized that she could not become a caretaker for this man.

no. 6: second seriously ill man

The next man that Kelleher matched Daggett with had a heart condition and had suffered three prior strokes. During the first date, this gentleman lost consciousness in her car.

Basic due diligence that Kelleher claims to conduct should have disclosed that Daggett’s matches were men who were married, mentally unstable, physically ill, pathological liars, serial lotharios, stalkers, convicted felons, and unwilling or unable to travel.

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