Men say they want intelligent, independent women who are their equal in every way, but do they, really?Mairead, who is 38, blonde and delightfully blunt, asks me to fill her in on my background, and tell her what I look for in a man.'You need someone generous,' she said, my husband's name unspoken between us, 'with a bank account, not a piggy bank'.And so, just before Christmas, I meet Mairead Molloy.Miraculously, given that I was the editor of a woman's fashion magazine, before meeting my husband in my early 40s (then a BBC journalist, he came to interview me; as soon as we got married, he gave up his job and started having sex with other women), I had only ever had three boyfriends, two of whom hadn't even liked me that much.Liz Jones braves the snow in Times Square, New York, as she searches for Mr Right I think the reason I never met men was that I was either working, or sat at home, wishing they'd come to me, which, of course, they didn't.I hobble off into the night on my shoes and text Mairead: 'Am V depressed. I find this hard to believe, having watched a great many episodes of Sex And The City, but I valiantly call skirt and shoes into service yet again (wearing the same outfit acts, I as a sort of scientific control), meet Christie, from Mairead's sister agency, Premier Matchmaking, who is hand to arrange everything.
I tell him I have dark hair, and will be wearing purple Burberry platforms. I invest in a Hollywood wax, and an all-over light sheen of fake tan.When I get to the bar I'm so nervous I down a glass of champagne in one go, then text to tell him I've had a 'slight change of shoe: silver platforms, not purple Burberry'.When he arrives I am disappointed: he looks ordinary, in a normal, brownish suit, clutching a briefcase.We say our goodbyes and I go to freeze in the snow, trying to hail a cab.After about ten minutes, a man asks if I need help.She never sends clients photos, but instead supplies a brief resume of their qualities. He says he likes good hotels and restaurants, long walks and log fires.