Attention single, wealthy ladies, Robert Darling wants to marry you. However, you must possess two necessary attributes: have a net worth of at least $750,000 and enjoy listening to the band Genesis. He does not specify if it’s Genesis with Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins, so there seems to be some leniency there. He carries an audio cassette of the band with him at all times, just in case he has the opportunity to romance a willing (and mildly insane?) lass.
Since 2001, Darling has been heading into Manhattan from his two-bedroom apartment in Bradley Beach, N.J. in the hopes of finding himself a rich wife. With a sandwich board strapped to his person that reads “I’m looking for a wealthy lady to be wife,” he doesn’t exactly beat around the bush. Nor has he not chosen his favorite places to look for love with direct intent. Wall Street, Columbus Circle and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are his favorite spots to loiter in trying to procure himself a sugar mama.
At 56 years old, Darling has never been married. It wasn’t until later in life that he realized that he wanted a companion with whom to spend time – but a rich one, of course. What’s love without a bank account that’s not loaded to the gills in cash? It’s nothing.
Although Darling admits that his chances aren’t so great – let’s be honest, what educated Genesis-listening rich woman wants to marry an unemployed middle-aged man from N.J.? – he begins each trip into the city telling himself that this could be the day he finds true love, or more specifically true wealth. Says Darling,“The odds may not be great, but they might be better than any other way. I’m still very hopeful. I’ll never give up.”
Considering the list of requirements that some might have for their future significant other, Darling may not forever go without his well-to-do sweetie. It may look less than hopeful since he has been at it for 10 years, but hey, you never know who might walk past him one of these days and see him in a whole new light, in the light of love.
So as to not totally alienate interested parties that have yet to acquire such wealth, his sign also offers a side note: “Ladies not yet rich but very well off will be considered.” Sometimes life and love are about compromise. It’s nice to see that Darling isn’t totally ignorant to this fact. Yes, I see this man married within the next decade or two. Probably far before most people I know, to be honest.
Photo: Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal