Honey for the Russian Bear (or Making a Match for Putin)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of Crimea must be in want of a wife.”
It’s not exactly what Jane Austen wrote. But now that Vladimir Putin is officially single — his divorce was recently confirmed by the Kremlin — we can safely assume that he is in want of a wife. Or maybe Kiev.
If it’s a wife he wants, he would do well to consult veteran Toronto matchmaker Ruth Claramunt, 65.
The doyenne of coupledom says she has “lots of ladies for Putin” — or any other powerful man over 60, whether or not he has a wandering eye for other countries.
Claramunt says about half of her business is matching boomers like Putin, 61, and people who are older.
“I have lots of clients 60 and over,” she says. “One man is 89 years old, an Irishman, with a sense of humour, such a gentleman. He still cross country skis. He’s full of life and vigour. If you met him, you’d think he was 75 or 72.
“He’s looking for a lady to spend his life with.”
Does she find that men of a certain age want younger women?
“They do,” she says. “Temporarily.”
Putin, in fact, has already hooked up with 30-year old former gymnast Alina Kabaeva.
The most important factor when matching people over 60, she says, is lifestyle.
For Putin, she’d choose someone with an opposite personality. “Otherwise, they’d be at loggerheads” — and goodness knows the Russian president already has enough stress what with NATO and all.
Claramunt would comb her client list for a woman “who is extremely feminine but not a pushover, well-groomed, very bright, obviously very worldly and well-travelled.”
On a first date with Putin, over coffee or even a Black Russian, this woman would do well to ignore Claramunt’s usual advice, which is to “talk about what’s going on in the world.”
Instead, because Claramunt matches people with similar interests and hobbies, the conversation could be about dogs and horses, literature and sports.
But Claramunt likely does not have a client whose interests include Putin’s hobby: massing troops on international borders.
She should, however, be comfortable with luxury and at ease with oligarchs.
The woman will certainly want to follow Claramunt’s most important piece of advice for first dates.